Brazil’s economy, the largest in Latin America, is rapidly transitioning from cash-based to digital payments. To meet growing demand, the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) created a new instant payment network, Pix. This innovative solution required a highly available, scalable IT infrastructure. With a new architecture based on Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, and technology from Red Hat Integration, BCB can cost-effectively support thousands of transactions per second while maintaining 24x7 service availability. This new service has also helped the bank promote competitive diversity in Brazil’s financial services market.
- Cut transaction processing time from hours to seconds
- Built foundation for anticipated future savings in service costs—for users and internally
- Accelerated financial industry diversity and innovation
- Gained expert insight and guidance to enhance new IT capabilities
Building a modern, innovative instant payment service
Brazil’s economy—the largest in Latin America—is increasingly evolving from cash-based to digital payments, creating massive potential for financial services organizations.
The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB), a federal body linked to the Ministry of the Economy, is responsible for controlling inflation, issuing paper currency, and regulating the country’s financial sector. Since 2002, it has led a program to modernize the Brazilian Payments System (SPB), which manages the transfer of financial resources between banks for payments between individuals, businesses, and the government.
In December 2018, BCB began work on Pix, a new instant payment network that uses ID keys or QR codes that are read by mobile devices. Using Pix, individuals or companies can make or receive payments in seconds, without needing debit or credit cards. The service is free for individual users. Additionally, this solution would help increase competition in Brazil’s concentrated financial services market, where the top five lenders hold close to 80% of assets.
To create this innovative, modern solution, BCB needed an IT foundation that would support uninterrupted 24x7 financial services operation—without requiring extensive management effort.
“We wanted to create a solution that would offer flexible, secure financial transfers, improving our customer experience while reducing transaction costs and promoting financial diversity,” said Vicente Fernandes, Chief of Division of Server Architecture, Storage and Basic Software, Central Bank of Brazil. “But to build Pix, we needed a simpler, more scalable IT infrastructure.”
Creating a high-performance service infrastructure with Red Hat
BCB solicited vendor bids for technology to run Pix using a distributed, highly scalable architecture based on Apache Kafka, with Red Hat AMQ winning this selection process. AMQ streams, a component of Red Hat AMQ, offers distributed data streaming with high throughput and low latency for running, scaling, and managing applications in a cloud-native Kubernetes environment. Red Hat AMQ is part of Red Hat Integration, a group of products and components that support service and data transformation through improved connectivity.
“During the proofs of concept, Red Hat met all of our requirements while also offering the expert support and partnership that we needed to make sure we start off right with new technology,” said Fernandes.
In addition to AMQ streams, BCB deployed Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to create and implement reusable, easy-to-use infrastructure automation capabilities through its network. The bank uses Ansible Automation Platform to integrate Pix with third-party partners’ automation solutions. Red Hat OpenShift, an enterprise Kubernetes platform, hosts the bank’s access and business logic applications.
BCB worked closely with Red Hat Consulting to become familiar with and successfully deploy its new service infrastructure. “Red Hat was an active, essential partner in this project,” said Fernandes. “They allocated a large project team of experienced technicians that helped us become familiar with the technology and best practices.”
Pix successfully launched in November 2020, with more than 72 million registrations open to consumer and business users and an anticipated capacity of up to 200 million users.