Aiven Blog

Oct 11, 2023

Alterra Bills Increases Success Rate of Smart Billing System to 95% and Achieves 40% Cost Reduction with Aiven

Aiven for Apache Kafka® improves stability and lowers latency

Florian Engel, Director, Customer Marketing at Aiven

Florian Engel

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Alterra Bills is a trusted bill payment aggregator in Indonesia. With the digital payments market growing fast, Alterra Bills needs a robust data infrastructure to handle the huge volume of data generated by the millions of transactions it processes each month. By using Aiven for Apache Kafka®, Alterra Bills has significantly improved payment success rates, can deliver insightful data faster to the business for decision-making and has saved 40% on costs.

Bringing innovation to bill payment services in Indonesia

Alterra Bills is a bill payment service provider that connects bill issuer institutions in Indonesia with payment channels and end-users. It is part of Alterra Indonesia which was founded in Jakarta in 2015. The company has a B2B business model and partners with more than 200 payment channels to accept payments for 1,500 digital products including phone credits, Internet data packages, electricity tokens, e-money, game vouchers, multi-finance, BPJS (Indonesia’s social security agency of health entity) and Telekom. Alterra Bill’s vision is to bring innovation to bill payment services in Indonesia.

Managing data in real time

With the digital payments market growing fast, and working with so many partners and products, Alterra Bills handles millions of transactions each month which generate huge volumes of data. A robust infrastructure to support this data is essential for the delivery of fast payment services and in ensuring a high success rate for completed payments. Therefore, Alterra Bills has the need to improve performance of the data infrastructure which is connected to stability aspects with ‘Smart Biller’ — its smart billing system — which will impact the success rate of payments.

Alterra Bills also uses the vast volumes of data to inform business decisions and produces insightful daily and monthly reports.

“Data is crucial to us. Every decision we make is data driven. It allows us to gain insights into our business which help us to make better and more informed decisions from the most basic level through to our strategy. We don’t make decisions based on assumptions. As such, having the capability to effectively manage our data in real time is of paramount importance to us,” - Kevin Setiawan Tanzil, IT Lead at Alterra Bills.

With such a data-driven culture in place, requests for data are made from all parts of the organization. These requests can require complex data queries and the business increasingly expects near instant responses to those queries.

To increase the success rate of Smart Biller and to ensure data requests from the business were handled quickly and efficiently, Tanzil and his team needed to optimize the performance of the company’s data infrastructure.

Managed service from Aiven offers best performance and price

At the time, Alterra Bills was using Apache Kafka® as its data streaming platform — the open source technology is ideally suited to handling high volumes of data with very low latency. Alterra Bills used Change Data Capture (CDC) to ingest data from the database into Apache Kafka which then processed data in real time for reporting and data warehousing.

The company was also using Apache Kafka as part of Smart Biller to support the switch breaker system. The switch breaker ensures a high success rate of payment acceptances by automatically switching transactions to another supplier if a customer experiences a problem.

Increased stability, lower latency, time savings and cost reductions
Alterra Bills now uses Aiven for Apache Kafka to achieve stability in Smart Biller’s switch breaker. With the switch breaker running steadily, latency is lower and the transaction success rate has increased to a high of 95%.

“We envision a dependable system, and once that is achieved, the next step is to know how to maintain it. With Aiven for Apache Kafka in place, our partners are happier because payments have a higher success rate and lower latency,” - Kevin Setiawan Tanzil, IT Lead at Alterra Bills.

Performance improvements are notable across the data infrastructure thanks to the Aiven service. For example, the process of reconciling data from Alterra Bills with data from partners has accelerated.

Aiven for Apache Kafka has enabled real-time data management for Alterra Bills. When compared to CDC data retrieval technology which can take up to 15 minutes, data management has become much faster. Because the same data is stored in Apache Kafka, business departments across the organization that require the same data do not have to process it twice.

In addition to the significant performance gains which have improved payment success rates and the faster delivery of insightful data to the business for decision-making, Alterra Bills is saving up to 40% on costs by utilizing managed services from Aiven.

“Aiven has brought us cost savings of 40%. We’re also saving on human resources and time because Aiven handles all the maintenance. This essentially frees up time for our team to focus on more strategic activities like creating innovative solutions for our customers.” -
Kevin Setiawan Tanzil, IT Lead at Alterra Bills

Tanzil and his team have been impressed with Aiven’s technical support. Aiven provides 24/7/365 monitoring, ensures 99.99% uptime and always has experts available. “We have the lowest support package but we feel fully supported from a technical and after-sales standpoint. Communication with them has always been easy,” says Tanzil.

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