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Acordo Certo combines data intelligence and ML in a tool focused on defaulting consumers

About Acordo Certo

Acordo Certo’s mission is to deliver financial wellbeing for defaulting consumers. The company does this by simplifying debt tracking, negotiation, payment, and notification processes, providing a digital, comfortable, end-to-end experience.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Brazil

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Migrating to Google Cloud solutions gave the company peace of mind to quickly process and analyze data at scale, thus providing customers with a more relevant service.

Results

  • 90% of the company’s cloud services are in Google Cloud, and the rest will be migrated soon.
  • New features put in production in under five minutes.
  • Up to 80% cost reduction using preemptible virtual machines.
  • Response times of <10 seconds for complex queries and validations on tables with large data volumes.

Model training and scoring in 30 minutes.

Default is an issue affecting over 63 million Brazilians, according to Serasa Experian. Banks, retailers, telecommunications companies, and other creditors have long relied solely on the work of collection agencies that reach consumers through call centers, in a homogeneous and often inappropriate strategy.

In 2017, Acordo Certo emerged as an alternative to the traditional collection model. Instead of employing a dedicated team for contacting debtors, the company built a platform to let consumers check, negotiate, and pay their debts on their own, in a fully-digital process. This model provides scale for creditors, and convenience for those seeking to pay off debts.

“Consumers barely know traditional collection agencies because they are always creditor-oriented instead of debtor-oriented,” explains André Monteiro, Acordo Certo’s CTO. “We saw an opportunity to bring a new technology with a new approach, and to become a company with a solution for consumers.”

The combination of data intelligence and machine learning is essential to make that good customer experience happen. After all, the company has over 40 partners and nearly one million new subscriptions per month on its platform, which generate dozens of billions of registrations. Besides processing that huge database, Acordo Certo relies on technology to learn about consumer profiles and maintain more customized, assertive communications with each of them. But this was not an easy task from the beggining.

BigQuery as a source of truth

Acordo Certo’s platform had been developed based on the cloud services of another provider. However, in 2018, the team realized the database was having performance issues. Large-sized queries entailed the risk of not even getting a response from the tool. “Our previous solution was costly, gave us headaches all the time and was not delivering what we were looking for,” the CTO recalls. That changed when the team found out about Google Cloud’s BigQuery.

“Suddenly, we could simply drop data on BigQuery without having to think about the query types we could perform, and the tool responded quickly. And we just paid per query. That opened up much greater opportunities.”

André Monteiro, CTO, Acordo Certo

The new solution enabled easy, managed processing at scale. Soon it turned into the company’s data warehouse. In BigQuery, Acordo Certo consolidates the data generated or imported by its internal systems, which are integrated with business intelligence tools to run the necessary analyses. No wonder the team nicknamed the solution “source of truth”.

“With BigQuery, we obtained powerful processing, with huge, super complex queries, and the response is excellent. It ends up performing a double role, a very hard one actually: it takes the knocks and also comes back with the truth very quickly,” explains Ítalo Souza, Acordo Certo’s System Architecture Lead. That transformational experience marked the beginning of the migration to other Google Cloud services.

Open to new solutions

The company spent a year preparing for the adoption of new Google Cloud solutions. The migration, however, took place in the final months of that period. To ensure it would be as smooth as possible, the team did a deep dive on the tools to understand which made more sense from a technological and financial standpoint.

“One of the first things we really liked about Google Cloud was documentation. When we started out, we realized it would be easy to understand best practices, since there are a lot of references available.”

Ítalo Souza, System Architecture Lead, Acordo Certo

The good integration between services and the help from Google Cloud professionals made deployment increasingly easy. “A very positive aspect of Google Cloud is that we got access to Google’s engineers. I called many of them via Chat to understand if what we were developing made sense. And we received direct feedback from professionals who looked at our environment and told us if it was going to work,” Souza says.

One of the solutions adopted was Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for running the web app. The integration of GKE with Cloud Build reduced the go-live time of new features to under five minutes. Also, for the web app, the team began using preemptible virtual machines to handle unpredictable peaks in request volumes, which meant a cost reduction of 80% compared with previous VMs.

The company uses Cloud Composer to organize and orchestrate over 200 jobs every day to update the database using partner files. This data is processed and transformed using BigQuery together with Dataflow, which respond to complex queries in under 10 seconds and provide validations on tables with billion-scale volumes. AutoML’s tools enable training and scoring machine-learning models in about 30 minutes.

Acordo Certo has also developed its own optimization tools using Google Cloud solutions. Pulse, for example, uses machine-learning models and other services such as Dataform and Dataflow to customize communications with consumers, notifying them of the best offers, defaulting contract information, and debt settlement criteria.

In addition, Gatekeeper is integrated with Cloud Composer, BigQuery, and Dataflow to import contract files, transforming and standardizing data so Pulse gets them as accurately as possible. Creating these and other tools has helped streamline the developers’ routine.

A new modus operandi for developers

Besides the results obtained from migrating to Google Cloud, developing internal systems led to a modus operandi for the IT team. The Aldebaran tool gathers information from various Google Cloud solutions in a simple language to help developers understand everything that’s necessary – and even what isn’t, in case there’s already a solution available – and enjoy peace of mind about their deliveries.

“This makes development easier because now professionals can focus on their problems and not have to worry about solving every single problem. That increases the team’s productivity and reduces concerns significantly,” the System Architecture Lead explains. This process is also automatically integrated with Google Cloud’s Security Command Center to ensure this sensitive data for consumers is secure.

The easy development and deployment have had a direct impact on the business. Now new features can be tested and adjusted in an agile way. The suite of machine-learning technologies used also enables increasingly relevant communications with customers.

“We managed to have better conversations with end consumers and understand their requirements, which has improved their experience. The process of validating, of going live and testing, makes every bad experience short-lived because we quickly replace those with better ones.”

André Monteiro, CTO, Acordo Certo

Currently, 90% of the company’s cloud services are in Google Cloud, and the rest will be migrated soon. After reviewing Google Cloud’s solution portfolio and releases, Acordo Certo is also planning to adopt new tools and create more internal systems to continue meeting its goals of making debt payment easier, and helping consumers regain their financial wellbeing.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Acordo Certo

Acordo Certo’s mission is to deliver financial wellbeing for defaulting consumers. The company does this by simplifying debt tracking, negotiation, payment, and notification processes, providing a digital, comfortable, end-to-end experience.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Brazil