Financial Services

Payments innovator uses Elastic Observability and Google Cloud to cut issue detection time, improving application performance for customers and accelerating new products

Reduced time to detection of application issues

WePay has reduced the time to find the customer impact during incidents by 90% by having all the logging and telemetry data in Elastic and correlating events.

Faster roll out of new features

With Elastic, WePay can better monitor newly developed applications and services for errors, helping to accelerate the roll out of new features to customers.

Easier compliance with industry regulations

WePay uses Elastic’s hot, warm, cold, and frozen tiers with Google's SSD and persistent disks to satisfy auditory requirements in a cost efficient manner.

WePay optimizes customer experiences and eases data storage compliance with Elastic on Google Cloud

One of the most important areas of fintech is payment management, which enables organizations to securely process customer transactions via their websites. WePay stands at the forefront of the industry with its market-leading online payment service used by platform businesses such as crowdfunding sites, marketplaces, and small business software companies.

Acquired by JPMorgan Chase in 2017, WePay is built on an IT infrastructure comprising hundreds of services running in thousands of containers and virtual machines. Built on Google Cloud, this advanced infrastructure enables WePay to develop, deliver, and scale innovative services that help it stand out in the highly competitive payments market.

To maintain the availability and efficiency of its environment, WePay collects logs from across its infrastructure and applications as well as audit logs from Google and other external vendors that integrate with WePay’s service. Collecting, monitoring, and analyzing these logs at scale enables engineers to identify areas of poor performance, measure application health, and accelerate troubleshooting, all of which contribute to the speed and quality of new product releases.

The company must also store logs according to stringent financial industry regulations. Retaining large volumes of data is expensive so WePay needs technologies that help to streamline storage costs while staying within compliance guidelines.

Consolidating and streamlining the observability process

As its infrastructure evolved, WePay’s previous logging solution struggled to keep up with these objectives. It was prone to failures, needed manual intervention, and prevented WePay engineers from focusing on adding value to the business. In addition, logging, metrics and trace data was distributed across different vendor solutions.

“We needed to consolidate our monitoring and compliance tools to streamline the log analytics and improve the performance of our infrastructure and applications,” says Kartik Deshpande, Staff Software Engineer, WePay.

WePay researched the market and decided to deploy Elastic Observability as a single solution for all logging across development, stage, pre-production and production environments managing 500TB of data.

Elastic Observability delivers the ability to break down silos and aggregate all telemetry including log data while delivering the choice to control data retention. Cross-cluster search is a key capability that allows the ability to search across multiple clusters enabling data from multiple sources to be visualized and analyzed via built-in Elastic dashboards for up-to-the-minute, comprehensive reporting.

Saving hours to find the root cause

Using Elastic Observability as the single source for logging data enables WePay to identify infrastructure and application issues more quickly as well as undertake sophisticated analytics.

We have reduced the time to find the customer impact during incidents by 90% by having all the logging and telemetry data in Elastic and correlating events.

– Kartik Deshpande, Staff Software Engineer, WePay

WePay has also improved the efficiency of its fintech compliance protocols, particularly the retention of critical logging data. For the first 90 days, data is stored in Elastic so that WePay can quickly address short term audit inquiries. Older data is transferred to Google Cloud for longer-term auditing requirements.

WePay sees potential for using Elastic along with Google Cloud Storage for long-term data storage and retrieval. This includes Elastic frozen tier storage and comprehensive search and data analytics capabilities that can further reduce storage and operating costs.

Elastic offers a flexible, cost-effective way to simplify and strengthen compliance maintenance by making short-term logging data available while integrating with our longer-term cloud storage infrastructure.

– Kartik Deshpande, Staff Software Engineer, WePay

Elastic also supports WePay’s mission to continually innovate its services and maintain its market leading status. Developers use Elastic Observability to monitor logs for errors in applications that are in development, accelerating the move to production and the delivery of new capabilities for customers.

Less time reporting, more time innovating

WePay uses Elastic to build dashboards for log reviews and searches. This includes analytics for its technical account management team which ensures that WePay customers continue to get the most out of their deployment.

Elastic dashboards help our technical account managers deliver a better customer experience. Instead of coming to us with questions about the status of an incident or failure rates, they can see the information at-a-glance and take action to resolve customer issues more quickly.

– Kartik Deshpande, Staff Software Engineer, WePay

After improving its customer experience with Elastic Observability, WePay then looked to Elastic to help protect its data by deploying Elastic Security because when you observe, why not protect? Elastic Security is now the backbone of the security team’s operations that protects the business against external threats. This includes Watcher, an Elastic Security feature that WePay uses to analyze business-critical streaming data while receiving proactive alerts of suspicious activity. As a financial services organization that must adhere to regular audits, Elastic Security ensures that WePay meets all compliance regulations.

Deshpande also highlights the support offered by Elastic Professional Services which helped accelerate the time to production by helping to identify ways to improve search. Elastic Consultants worked with WePay to enable its developers to see all logs and see how an app is performing once deployed. From a workflow perspective this has given a much broader visibility into monitoring anomalies so the team can now determine where issues are and what needs to be done to be resolved. Dev, Stage, and Prod all have logs going into Elastic. “As an innovative tech company, we set very high standards for our IT partners. When we needed assistance during our Elastic deployment, Elastic Professional Services worked side by side with us,” says Deshpande. “There’s a great deal of respect between the teams for their technical expertise.”

Deshpande also sees enormous potential for other Elastic applications in the future. These include plans to use Elastic APM to quickly identify and resolve root cause application issues with correlated traces, logs, and metrics. Elastic APM will also offer deeper visibility of WePay applications with extensive support for popular languages, OpenTelemetry, and distributed tracing.

Payments was one of the first fintech industry innovations, and with Elastic, WePay continues to break new ground as online commerce expands. Elastic Observability is an integral part of our infrastructure that enables us to deliver outstanding customer experiences while complying with the latest regulations.

– Kartik Deshpande, Staff Software Engineer, WePay