PhonePe: How Microservices and a Key-Value Store Transformed India into a Cashless Society

Burzin Engineer, Founder and Chief Reliability Officer, PhonePe

PhonePe is in the mobile payment space ecosystem in India and we are an open inter-operable mobile payments platform that works with end users, merchants, both offline and online.

PhonePe’s growth journey has been amazing so far. Today we are on track to do about $13 billion plus total processing value per year for the end of 2018, and we have about a repeat userbase of about 40 million users a month.

The main problem we were looking to solve with Aerospike is to have a consistent key value store that could be used across the organization, one that could scale and grow with us on our journey as we are on a hockey stick growth ourselves.

When we started PhonePe in 2016, the founders decided on a tech stack foundation. Best of breed at each level, because we had no idea how a payment company would grow when you have billions of people with smartphones.

When one of the architects recommended Aerospike, I took a look at it, and I realized that this is, indeed, giving me everything Cassandra does, except it doesn’t require operational people to constantly care and feed for it, that kind of sold me on it.

The choices, where Aerospike outshone its competitors, was the ease of maintenance, literally it takes zero maintenance to keep Aerospike going, and in terms of growth adding or removing nodes is relatively very straightforward.

We didn’t know if we would be regulated by compliance to be in multiple data centers, and Aerospike seems to have solved that particular problem quite well.

What has Aerospike meant for PhonePe? It has been a valued partner that has grown with us. If I don’t have to wake up at night to fix a scaling issue on Aerospike, which I consistently seemed to have to do, at this growth you cannot have pain. Aerospike hasn’t given me pain, so I don’t think about it.