Financial Services

Cloud and IT Modernization Keeps WorldRemit in Front

SUMMARY

WorldRemit is a global leader in the highly competitive world of cross-border payments and remittances but realized it had to continue to improve after more than a decade of success.

The client recognized that limitations within its existing IT architecture were starting to restrict its ability to address new business needs and revealed the need for greater scalability and reliability. This could only be resolved by adopting smarter systems and more modern cloud technologies.

This case study examines the background to that decision-making, how it first tried to tackle the problems with internal resources, and why it recognized the benefits of using a third-party partner. It will show how partnering with SoftServe and AWS not only resolved the business restrictions, but also laid the foundations for further IT modernization and a platform for sustained future growth.

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BACKGROUND

This part of the global payment industry had been dominated for many years by a small group of big players, with a white spot of service around small transactions, which was expensive for private users. WorldRemit became a pioneer in money transfer services and, after 10 years, had grown to a team of over 1,000 employees serving nearly 6 million customers. It was operating in 70 different currencies across 130 countries via bank transfers, mobile money, and cash collection. However, management realized that to retain those customers and grow, it still had to continuously improve how it operated.

Today, WorldRemit enables 8 million customers to send money online by several methods, namely cash pick-up, bank transfer, mobile money, and airtime top-up. It had already made money transfers affordable and convenient by leveraging a wide network of partners for people without bank accounts to be more accessible and convenient for end users, but now it had to improve again.

THE NEED TO CHANGE

WorldRemit decided in 2022 that it needed to address some key aspects of its business model to remain competitive and grow, these included:

  • Ensuring uninterruptable continuous operations
  • Reducing IT operating costs
  • Ensuring more robust software security
  • Delivering increased business agility
  • Optimizing operational efforts to reduce staff turnover

After considerable review, including internal efforts to improve IT systems and operations, the company recognized it needed external support from a third party to help it transition to a more robust and flexible cloud-based IT infrastructure. Specifically, management realized it needed to optimize the IT architecture and improve the performance of its software infrastructure. Management knew this would be best achieved by migrating from Azure to an AWS platform accompanied by optimization of software architecture.

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Among the main issues identified with the current infrastructure were the following:

  • Applications had poor performance during peak loads, which frequently resulted in customers not being able to access services.
  • Some applications were reliant on resources that were expected to be decommissioned.
  • Some of the software infrastructure had become complex with unknown interconnections between applications that were not going to be sustainable over the long term.

Accordingly, after considerable research and internal exercises, WorldRemit engaged with SoftServe as an AWS Partner to conduct both a feasibility study and further specific tasks under the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP).

It opted to conduct this migration of its application over three designated phases:

Assess: During this phase, SoftServe, as the AWS Partner, performed a client migration readiness assessment to identify the capabilities required in the migration and build a TCO model for the client’s migration project.

Mobilize: This phase accelerated the client's migration decisions by providing clear guidance on migration plans, including proofs of concepts (PoCs) — such as small-scale projects for customers that might have not fully committed to adopting AWS. These determined the feasibility of the AWS solution and verified that solutions would function as envisioned, leading the customer to commit to using AWS for the migration if the PoC was successful.

Migrate and Modernize: Finally, this phase was focused on the execution of the large-scale migration plan developed during the mobilize phase.

INITIAL CHALLENGES

One of the main issues to overcome was the complexity of the solution — documentation that was not up to date for the current architecture, client organization complexity, and frequent previous changes that had been dictated by business needs.

By February 2023, SoftServe completed the first two phases of MAP for WorldRemit, including completion of the assessment phase within six weeks. During this exercise, SoftServe delivered an analysis that identified which applications should be decomposed or decommissioned.

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VALUE DELIVERED

SoftServe supported the client in their AWS Cloud migration journey by moving the core solution engine into AWS Cloud. This produced several benefits for the digital payment company, which ultimately led to increased business value.

Firstly, unified cloud and tech stacks across their payment solution resulted in improved collaboration and communication between teams, resulting in increased productivity and faster development times. This enabled them to innovate and introduce new features and functionalities faster, ultimately leading to a competitive advantage.

Secondly, cloud migration of the core payment solution improved scalability, which enabled WorldRemit to handle increased transaction volumes during peak periods without performance handicaps. This resulted in improved efficiency and reduced downtime, ultimately leading to higher revenue and lower operating costs. Previously, a one-hour outage had resulted in $40k of extra costs.

Thirdly, reducing outages and increasing reliability led to increased satisfaction for the 8 million clients, who were then able to send money for 46% cheaper than average bank transfers within a couple of minutes. This, in turn, is expected to enable the client to enjoy higher customer retention rates and the scalability to increase the number of customers.

Finally, it avoided potential losses of $100 million that could have been incurred if virtual resources on the original cloud provider had to be decommissioned. This would have led to the suspension of their services for end-users for approximately three months.

By utilizing SoftServe’s technology skills to unify the cloud and tech stack across their payment solution, and moving the core solution engine into the cloud, WorldRemit improved reliability, scalability, and efficiency. The company significantly increased customer satisfaction and established the platform for the next phase of growth.

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