- By Sherril Hanson
- March 3, 2023
KDDI Corporation, a Japanese telecommunications provider and operator of the “au” mobile phone service, has chosen to work with Oracle to modernize au’s mobile payment and customer loyalty systems. KDDI will be leveraging multiple Oracle solutions.
Au’s revamped infrastructure will improve customer experience by enabling faster payment processing and will support KDDI in its efforts to develop new services and applications.
au PAY is a payment app that allows customers to pay with their phone and earn “Ponta points” that can be redeemed to take money off their purchases. It has approximately 31 million customers. The au Ponta Points Program is one of Japan’s most popular customer loyalty systems. Both au PAY and au Ponta Points Program have seen solid growth with Japanese consumers increasingly using mobile payments and migrating to a cashless lifestyle. This growth has resulted in heavier data volumes and transactions, leading to the need for system infrastructure improvements.
Specifics of the Oracle solutions being used include:
- Oracle Database is supporting au PAY and the au Ponta Points Program. au Pay payment processing is now five times faster than before, while au Ponta Points Program’s processing performance has improved by 200%.
- KDDI deployed Oracle Real Application Clusters and Oracle Data Guard to achieve high performance and high availability.
- Oracle GoldenGate, which enables smooth data migration and synchronization and supports third-party databases, was used to ensure no downtime during the migration. The full migration was completed within a year, enabling KDDI to release and update new services through the upgraded platforms in a short period of time with no disruption.
- KDDI chose Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) to build au Ponta Points Program’s disaster recovery system.
- KDDI will use OCI to integrate internal and external processes for au PAYU. OCI, along with Oracle Autonomous Database, will also be used to store transaction settlement details and to analyze data.
“au PAY and au Ponta Points Program are indispensable services in our customers’ daily lives, especially when digital money becomes a form of compensation starting in April 2023. Since these services must be available 24/7, we decided to redesign and build the IT architecture from the infrastructure up,” said Nobuaki Kamada, general manager, DX Architect Department, Information System Division, Technology Sector, KDDI CORPORATION. “KDDI selected Oracle Database for its proven reliability, scalability, and security, and to form the foundation of our infrastructure. In addition, Oracle Database provides a data platform for our Java application development resources and allows us to reduce application release times by more than half without any downtime. Now we are able to quickly develop and deliver services that meet the ever-changing needs of our customers.”
“KDDI’s payment and customer point program are an important social infrastructure for consumers in Japan. The success of this implementation is a result of the optimal performance of the Oracle database products, the high reliability provided by OCI, and the talented team of architects at KDDI. We are honored to work with KDDI to ensure the secure operation and management of its mission-critical data infrastructure, on-premises and in the cloud,” says Toshimitsu Misawa, member of the board, corporate executive officer and president, Oracle Japan.
KDDI’s investment in the infrastructure to support its au mobile payment and customer loyalty program is good timing as Japanese consumers start to move away from cash-based retail transactions. PYMNT’s 3Q 2022 ConnectedEconomy Index, “How the World Does Digital,” showed rapid adoption of mobile wallet use for in-store transactions in Japan. Japan’s adoption of cashless payments has been slower compared to other Asian countries, but the Japanese government is working to support a move to cashless by introducing a system for companies to pay salaries digitally by 2023. With this system, companies can transfer salaries to workers using smartphone payment apps. Making mobile payments, as well as loyalty programs, easy to use and more efficient can help take out some of the friction points, resulting in increased usage and better customer experience.
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