Web Server Load Balancing with NGINX Plus


PhonePe is India’s leading digital payments company with 50 crore (500 million) registered users and 3.7 crore (37 million) merchants covering over 99% of the postal codes across India. On the back of its leadership in digital payments, PhonePe has expanded into financial services (insurance, digital gold, mutual funds, stock brokering, and lending) as well as adjacent tech-enabled businesses such as Pincode for hyperlocal shopping and Indus App Store which is India’s first localized app store. The PhonePe Group is a portfolio of businesses aligned with the company’s vision to offer every Indian an equal opportunity to accelerate their progress by unlocking the flow of money and access to services.


PhonePe is a technology-first company. It has always been at the cutting-edge of technology to deliver exceptional customer experiences. A key reason for its ground-breaking success is its payment business. However, a surge in transaction traffic and volumes over 3 billion per month revealed that PhonePe’s existing architecture had limitations impacting its performance and scalability.

The platform engineering team highlighted that the existing architecture NGINX open-source software (OSS) was performing pure load balancing functionality. In addition, another layer of traffic was conducting the reverse proxy and service discovery. The two layers created high latency in the overall architecture. To overcome this challenge, PhonePe required a solution that optimized the current architecture and provided PhonePe with immediate savings and heightened performance. PhonePe turned to F5 to achieve a win/win solution without disrupting the overall system.


The F5 product team took their understanding of PhonePe’s technology architecture to the complex challenge of enhancing the architecture for a seamless customer experience. F5 instituted a re-architecture of the current system and identified advanced capabilities to help improve the application experience. The team solved the existing latency and performance issues by incorporating F5 NGINX Plus into PhonePe’s architecture, using nixy integration for reverse proxy and load balancing with dynamic configuration management. F5 had to ensure frictionless nixy integration with NGINX Plus as it was extremely crucial and anything less could hamper the overall technology stack for PhonePe.

PhonePe reduced the latency and improved performance by removing one of the two layers from the company’s technology architecture. NGINX OSS and Traefik were retired from the existing architecture and were replaced with NGINX Plus. NGINX Plus came with reverse proxy integration that was vital for PhonePe. With this change, NGINX Plus has become an integral part of PhonePe’s UPI architecture where every transaction is front-ended by NGINX Plus.

PhonePe’s technology team is very thorough with their evaluation and conducts complete due diligence before taking any technology into their data center. The entire process from the initial introduction of NGINX Plus to PhonePe staff to the day the solution was deployed took more than a year. However, this extensive investment in time was essential to ensure that teams from both F5 and PhonePe could conduct multiple rounds of brainstorming with various stakeholders. This process ensured seamless consolidation of the two layers into one effective layer that drives a seamless payment experience for PhonePe customers.


Improved Infrastructure, Application Uptime, Performance, and Resilience

Removing one of the two layers from PhonePe’s technology architecture helped reduce the time to complete every transaction by a few milliseconds, which improved performance, decreased latency, and aided transaction scalability as the company’s business continues to grow.

Dynamic Configuration Management

Nixy integration with NGINX Plus for near real-time configuration management was very crucial for both F5 and PhonePe to prevent hampering the entire technology architecture.

Second to None Support

F5 provided premium support for NGINX Plus, ensuring smooth deployment of the architectural change and consistent service to customers without any interruption.

About PhonePe

PhonePe is a mobile payment platform solution allowing customers to send or receive money while also fulfilling a range of other financial needs. The app works on the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) system by linking it to the customer’s bank account and creating a UPI ID.


Hypergrowth in PhonePE’s digital payment business was pressuring the payment platform with increasing transaction traffic, resulting in latency and performance issues in its double-layered architecture and requiring a solution that eliminated the high latency and improved the platform’s performance.


As India’s leading digital payments and financial technology company, PhonePE processes over 3 billion transactions each month. Its Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-enabled mobile app modernizes the payment experience by allowing customers to pay digitally for groceries, utilities, travel, and entertainment.

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Founded in 2015
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