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CERC processes 100,000 transactions per second with its infrastructure in Google Cloud

About CERC

CERC is the first cloud-native* financial market infrastructure (FMI) specialized in receivables, with an outstanding role in clearing (settlement registration & control) credit card receivables. It is Brazil’s largest FMI by volume of processed transactions.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Brazil

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Besides using tools that ensure robust, flexible services, CERC relies on Google Cloud to focus on new capabilities and quickly experiment with trends.

Results

  • New businesses created easily and efficiently using Google Cloud’s solutions.
  • Easy management of complex environments.
  • Ability to process over 80% of transactions in the credit card receivables market.
  • A project inoperative in Brazil’s Central Bank for over 10 years became viable by meeting requirements.

Increased scalability and availability for operations.

Headquartered in São Paulo, with employees spread throughout Brazil and the USA, CERC is a financial market infrastructure (FMI) operating in several economic sectors. The company provides solutions that add transparency and security for analyzing, registering, and controlling the settlement of financial assets to be used as collateral in a credit operation.

In the financial market, centralizing the data on thousands of companies’ financial assets reduces the information asymmetry that restricts market growth and the supply of more credit to businesses. Therefore, CERC aims to quickly and simply connect stakeholders from various economic segments.

Such a mission requires infrastructure capable of handling large data volumes without risking instability or performance loss. If the scenario included traditional on-premises environments, this would be compromised. Therefore, acquiring hardware to deal with increases in demand and waiting for it to be delivered are not options for CERC.

Instead, the organization shows its value proposition by adopting cloud technology as its operational foundation: a 100% digital online environment for its solutions, delivering operational efficiency to customers and the market. Since its inception, CERC has played an active role in debates and significant changes around the use of receivables as collateral for credit operations, a financial instrument regulated by Brazil’s Central Bank. This highlights the importance of CERC’s work and pioneering attitude in reinventing the financial ecosystem.

This entails lots of uncertainty and many challenges. Moreover, before operations began in production, the company did not have accurate information to estimate the volume of transactions and data that would be processed and supported every day. However, CERC always intended to mix expertise with readiness to face the future. Therefore, its history is closely linked to Google Cloud.

“Generally speaking, the choice of Google Cloud revolved around key factors such as proximity, openness to dialog, and seeking solutions, as well as the teams’ resolve - they were thinking as one. We also took Google’s legacy expertise into account. After all, we were creating a new, gigantic market, and we needed scalability, efficiency, and extreme security.”

Marcelo Maziero, Co-Founder and Chairman, CERC

Having its infrastructure in the public cloud from its inception gave CERC more possibilities, greater agility, more flexibility, and increased security to experiment with new projects and hone the services provided to customers.

A major example is the registration of credit/debit card payables, a mandatory project of Brazil’s Central Bank (BCB) under the regulation stipulated in Circular No. 3952 and Decision No. 4734. Deployed in a few months, this initiative has been in production since January 2021 and began fully operating only in June 2021, as soon as BCB’s regulation came into effect.

CERC’s solution registers and authenticates the amounts of receivables from credit and debit card transactions made in commercial entities, which put the receivables as collateral to obtain credit. This deployment enabled the final open banking stage, granting, through CERC, free access to commercial entity data and also allowing transactions using the entity’s receivables - with just one click or through an API.

Cloud-driven changes

Using data analytics, access tools, and secure data storage while operating under a regulatory environment that protects each party’s rights, CERC provides answers to drive financial agents to use more receivables and expand credit to businesses.

Since the project was created, CERC has been supported by Google Cloud’s team, which played an active role during the early discussions, to understand the company’s needs and challenges, and in technical meetings, to assess the company’s architecture, feasibility, and sustainability.

Other stages of this journey included interacting with global working groups and partners with knowledge and expertise in complex projects, training with teams, and supporting process deployment.

One of the standout tools used in the journey was Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), which provides flexibility, scalability, and availability to CERC’s microservice-based apps.

Cloud Spanner also played a key role as a fully-managed relational database with unlimited scale, robust consistency, and up to 99.999% mission-critical availability, increasing or reducing transaction processing power without the need to shut down the environment.

“Cloud Spanner made us confident we would have availability and scalability. Being a distributed transactional database made all the difference,” says Marcelo Maziero.

BigQuery complements this by helping to process and share terabytes of data with other players, keeping CERC fully focused on delivering and improving customer experience.

As it operates in a highly competitive market, where companies must be shrewd to leverage trends and launch capabilities, the organization has always stayed up to date. In the cloud, it can both engage in new developments and perform essential changes as quickly as possible.

This could be seen when CERC changed its database. In the beginning it used Cloud SQL and later it migrated to Cloud Spanner seeking to increase performance and optimize resources.

“The ability to add more resources under a transparent model is the most relevant aspect for us. It’s a performance-related factor that provides added value. We want to make the most of the tools while making room for expansion and internal learning.”

Marcelo Maziero, Co-Founder and Chairman, CERC

A road to growth

Scalability, cost control and savings, platform robustness, and the easy management of complex environments are some of the benefits of using Google Cloud as far as the company is concerned. That is also the reason why CERC’s architecture currently supports over 80% of all transactions with credit/debit card receivables in the market.

The business has also achieved a few essential metrics: it processes more than 100,000 transactions per second and stores and processes 3 PB of data.

As for security, a highlight is identity management, for defining which users can access the data and the kind of access they can have.

Regarding other challenges, CERC aims to expand its use of Apigee to apply the API-first concept to its entire architecture. Other projects that will be tackled in the future include reusing the apps in different businesses and serving, managing, and monetizing new services created with machine-learning solutions.

“We need to make data hypervaluable. Creating that culture in Brazil and being a part of this is one of our goals. It’s a challenge that means creating a specialized team. We want to get more and more answers from extracting and maturing information. The cloud will be essential for that.”

Marcelo Maziero, Co-Founder and Chairman, CERC

CERC aims to improve conditions for credit operations, analytics, and other related activities. Currently, the company is learning, developing, and accelerating. According to CERC, it will test several plans in future months to focus on building knowledge, innovating, importing resources, and creating a new startup inside the company itself, with concrete investments to be made.

It is worth noting that credit-card receivables are just one receivable category representing less than 15% of all receivables in the economy. The other categories, including trade bills and agribusiness receivables, will also be migrated to this model. CERC’s partners are focusing on turning every kind of receivable in the economy into fully usable assets for their owners to increase access to credit and thus fund business growth.

* Sources: Valor Econômico; Valor Econômico

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

Contact us

About CERC

CERC is the first cloud-native* financial market infrastructure (FMI) specialized in receivables, with an outstanding role in clearing (settlement registration & control) credit card receivables. It is Brazil’s largest FMI by volume of processed transactions.

Industries: Financial Services & Insurance
Location: Brazil