Revolut: Simplifying cross-currency payments with Google Cloud Platform

About Revolut

Revolut offers businesses and individuals free international money transfers and global spending without commission fees. Since it launched in July 2015, Revolut has served over 3 million customers and processed more than 230 million transactions.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: United Kingdom

Revolut used Compute Engine to build an infrastructure that can scale at speed with rapid, automated deployments, while maintaining stability and security.

Google Cloud Results

  • Automates deployment multiple times a day with Compute Engine and Google Cloud APIs
  • Maintains resilience with incremental database snapshots for efficiency and minimal storage space
  • Helps keep sensitive projects secure with easy segregation using Cloud Identity and Access Management

Snapshots multi-terabyte databases in minutes

In an increasingly connected world, having access to the right kind of money at the right time has become more and more important for individuals and businesses alike. Revolut, styling itself as "the global money app", provides a fast, effective solution. A mobile application tied to a physical credit card, Revolut offers its customers an easy way of accessing their money in over 150 currencies. Customers can withdraw their money at the same exchange rates as banks, keeping fees and commissions at a minimum.

"As a fast growing start-up, pace of innovation is very important for us. With Google Cloud Platform, we could build an environment where we can have continuous delivery, releasing as much as we can as quickly as possible."

Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder, Revolut

Since launching in July 2015, Revolut has grown quickly, handling more than 230 million transactions and signing up more than 3 million customers. As it expanded, Revolut began to add more and more features, incorporating up to fifty applications into its platform. It quickly became obvious that its initial infrastructure would eventually be overwhelmed. The key to scaling up sustainably was to build an infrastructure that could automate updates and maintenance as much as possible, freeing up time for its developers and engineers to perfect the product. To do that, Revolut turned to Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

"As a fast growing start-up, pace of innovation is very important for us," says Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder at Revolut. "With Google Cloud Platform, we could build an environment where we can have continuous delivery, releasing as much as we can as quickly as possible."

Automating deployment, kick-starting innovation

When Revolut began, it worked with another provider to create the initial cloud-based solution. However, as the company quickly gathered more momentum and customers, it became clear that a change was essential to support the rapid growth. Revolut wanted to automate as many of its processes as possible, especially in terms of deployment, but that was proving difficult with its existing infrastructure.

After testing a range of solutions from different providers, Revolut chose Google Cloud Platform for its new infrastructure. The company already used G Suite for its productivity and email platform, so becoming familiar with the new environment was easy.

"The advantage of Google Cloud for us is that everything is very simple and intuitive," says Vlad. "Our solution integrated with the infrastructure very easily. We didn't have to reinvent the wheel."

"Incremental snapshotting is my favorite Compute Engine feature. With the incremental feature, only the initial snapshot is big. The subsequent snapshots are much more efficient in terms of time and storage. Instead of backups lasting up to twenty hours, we now get a snapshot in around five minutes."

Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder, Revolut

Revolut built its core infrastructure with Compute Engine virtual machines, which gave its engineers the perfect balance of ease of use, automated deployment, and control over its security. With Cloud Identity and Access Management, Revolut could easily set up highly secure, separate instances for its main infrastructure and its application. "We want to protect our infrastructure perimeter so it's very important for us to be able to deploy the application separately," says Vlad.

The company also made extensive use of Cloud APIs in conjunction with a third-party automation tool to achieve fully automated infrastructure-as-code provisioning and management of the platform. This allowed Revolut's engineers to speed up their deployments and easily roll back if necessary.

Cloud Identity and Access Management enabled Revolut to assign permissions to GCP resources simply and quickly out of the box, without compromising security.

Keeping Revolut's two multi-terabyte databases highly secure is essential. In the past Revolut invested time and resources into full backups and restoration, which were slow and costly. As part of the migration to GCP, Revolut completely redesigned its backup solution around incremental disk snapshots in Compute Engine. With snapshots, Revolut could continue to backup data more securely while minimizing the resource cost.

"Incremental snapshotting is my favorite Compute Engine feature," says Vlad. "With the incremental feature, only the initial snapshot is big. The subsequent snapshots are much more efficient in terms of time and storage. Instead of backups lasting up to twenty hours, we now get a snapshot in around five minutes."

Stability and speed for sustainable scalability

Revolut used GCP to build an infrastructure that can scale at speed without sacrificing stability, automate deployment without compromising control, and help maintain the security standards that are required of a financial services company. The company's developers and engineers have found creating instances much easier with Compute Engine, allowing them to build multiple instances for each of the applications that make up the Revolut platform.

"With Google Cloud Platform, we can scale our environment on demand in minutes with zero downtime. That allows us to support our fast-paced growth and is key for innovation."

Vlad Yatsenko, CTO and Founder, Revolut

"Google Cloud Platform is more efficient for us in terms of cost and it's more stable," says Vlad. "We can have each application running multiple instances, so everything is resilient and we don't have any downtime when we deploy new instances."

As well as providing stability, GCP has helped Revolut to improve the speed of its operations. That means that while its customers can enjoy a continuously smooth service, the engineers can focus on improvements and new products instead of worrying about infrastructure.

"With Google Cloud Platform, we can scale our environment on demand in minutes with zero downtime," says Vlad. "That allows us to support our fast-paced growth and is key for innovation."

Google Cloud Platform for a global vision

The ability to innovate has been key to Revolut's success and growth, as it offers customers more ways to manage their money. The company will soon be able to process card transactions directly, which comes with extra compliance requirements for Payment Card Industry (PCI) certification. The speed and stability of GCP has helped Revolut to minimize timeout issues while processing transactions. Meanwhile, handling such sensitive data means that Revolut's security measures are even more important. According to Vlad, GCP makes it very easy to keep the PCI environment separate and more secure from the other environments.

After a successful growth period in Europe, the company is also planning to expand into the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas, and will be leveraging Google's extensive global network of data centers to maintain an excellent standard of service for its users, wherever they are.

"We are building a financial platform for individuals and business across the world," says Vlad. "Google can offer us infrastructure that is seamless across regions. That's a huge benefit for us in helping us to achieve our global goals."

About Revolut

Revolut offers businesses and individuals free international money transfers and global spending without commission fees. Since it launched in July 2015, Revolut has served over 3 million customers and processed more than 230 million transactions.

Industries: Financial Services
Location: United Kingdom