CUSTOMER STORY

Transforming mobile payments into a finance super-app

$10M

In savings from smarter cash-back rewards

50%

Lower analytics and visualization platform costs

25%

Increase in self-service business analytics users

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“Our goal is to leverage data and AI to create an end-to-end experience that extends far beyond payments. This is the first step in achieving our vision of becoming Brazil’s first super-app, and Databricks Lakehouse is core to making that a reality.”

— Raphael Dayan, Head of Data Analytics at PicPay

PicPay is on a mission to become Brazil’s first fintech super-app, offering a range of services from credit cards and a digital wallet to P2P payments, e-commerce and social networking. With over 60 million customers generating more than 31 million transactions over the past year, they are in prime position to transform the way Brazilians interact with each other. But with that much data, there are challenges to managing it at scale. The complexities of stitching together various tools slowed the company’s ability to fully realize the power of their data. With Databricks Lakehouse Platform, PicPay has been able to unify their data — from customer interactions and sales metrics to financial and log activity — creating a common data layer that has opened the doors to not only delivering the best mobile payment services in Brazil, but also expanding their capabilities into new arenas like transportation, gaming and more.

Complex systems and vast data volume slow innovation

The pandemic has greatly increased mobile and contactless payments, transforming the way we transact with each other and businesses. With consumers and merchants alike now preferring contactless payment methods, PicPay — already a mobile payments giant — has set their sights on more than just facilitating peer-to-peer payments among friends and businesses. Their vision is to leverage technology to transform the world for the better. From their perspective, that means creating Brazil’s first super-app that can tap into the vast informal economy of Brazil — and achieving this goal requires data.

PicPay generates millions of events daily, including financial transactions between peers, businesses, transformation systems and more. Built on AWS, PicPay’s previous infrastructure required a wide range of data tools, resulting in an overly complex system that was difficult for their data team to integrate and maintain. This caused issues from data access, to slow data pipelines that couldn’t scale, to the inability to serve real-time insights to analysts and data science teams looking to make smarter decisions and innovate with ML.

“Our data infrastructure didn’t allow us to collaborate on the data and with each other,” said Vivaldo Neto, the Data Manager of Financial Marketplace at PicPay. “This slowed everything down. It wasn’t sustainable.”

Additionally, the quality of the data and how efficiently it was processed was another sticking point with PicPay. The previous data tools weren’t able to clean and organize the data quickly enough, which resulted in data pipeline delays and increased overhead for maintaining existing pipelines. For a company that needed to hold its data to a high standard — especially as it started providing more end-to-end solutions beyond just payments in the app — it was clear that the previous tools simply weren’t doing enough to help PicPay understand how to best address its customers’ desires. That’s why PicPay turned to Databricks. “Nailing the data fundamentals was an important first step for us,” said Neto. “And Databricks Lakehouse gave us exactly what we needed.”

Lakehouse enables a collaborative, data-first mindset

The Databricks Lakehouse Platform immediately proved to be the gold standard in helping the data team break down data silos and effectively process the large volumes of data to uncover insights — including basic transactional information such as transaction success rates, types of transactions and fraudulent activity. PicPay’s efforts to improve the customer experience across their platform has resulted in more engagement, allowing them to promote new services like their marketplace, transportation payments and social network.

By simplifying their data architecture with the Lakehouse, PicPay has been able to eliminate the complexity and costs that made it hard for them to move their data and AI initiatives forward. One such initiative was to create a self-service platform for internal analysts and business users to gain untethered access to data to generate visualization dashboards with tools like Tableau to monitor operations across the company, from financial planning to marketing performance.

“The democratization of data has led to better collaboration,” explained Neto. “For example, now it’s common for our analysts to share insights with our product managers that can lead to better products for our consumers.”

With the Lakehouse at the core of PicPay’s data and AI strategy, their data teams are ready to tackle new challenges that will catapult the company into rare air. “We are making Databricks the first option for anyone in the company who wants to work with data,” said Raphael Dayan, the Head of Data Analytics at PicPay. “This has empowered us to create a more data-driven culture at PicPay, which will serve us well as we continue to evolve our platform into a full-fledged super-app.”

PicPay leverages various customer and operational metrics to generate dashboards via Tableau to better understand how their platform is being used. Today, their data analyst team has 50+ dashboards running — all powered by Databricks Lakehouse.

Reducing costs and increasing customer value

Because of the sheer amount of data that PicPay has to process, Databricks Lakehouse has made the largest impact in the company through its ability to effectively unify their data and make it easily accessible by anyone in the company — increasing adoption by 25%, all while reducing IT operations costs by an incredible 20%.

With data pipelines sending accurate data downstream, PicPay’s credit card team was able to use ML to improve customer engagement and ultimately margins. For example, they can now automate the analysis of customers using their credit cards and make informed decisions to adjust the way cash-back incentives are being handled, eliminating cash-back waste. By segmenting customers based on their usage patterns, they are able to serve the right cash-back promotions at the right time, lowering the marketing effort to target and engage with a customer while fueling their desire to keep spending for additional rewards. The company’s ability to predict how customers are likely to use their reward points and, accordingly, market its reward programs more effectively has led to an operational savings of $10 million.

All these benefits have led to Databricks becoming the go-to solution to help PicPay drive meaningful impact in the payments industry while also branching out to provide truly end-to-end experiences as Brazil’s first super-app. “Databricks Lakehouse is helping us to evolve our business beyond payments by rolling out new services, from gaming to a marketplace that sells everything from food to electronics,” added Dayan. “Fully harnessing our data and AI has accelerated our ability to meet our goal of becoming a super-app that our customers love.”

PicPay leverages various customer and operational metrics to generate dashboards via Tableau to better understand how their platform is being used. Today, their data analyst team has 50+ dashboards running — all powered by Databricks Lakehouse.