Thumbzup now processes card transactions in Azure Cloud

Thumbzup now processes card transactions in Azure Cloud

Thumbzup entered into a partnership with First Distribution and Microsoft to provide increased capacity and reduced cost while having the agility to instantly spin up instances in any global hub.

“First Distribution focuses on helping the channel grow their cloud practices by utilising next-level technologies and hyperscalers like Microsoft,” explains Natasha Bezuidenhout, Microsoft executive at First Distribution. “The support we offer our partners is therefore positioned at driving Azure consumption through software that can be delivered with scale, agility and rightsizing the underlying platform aligned to their customer requirements.”

Businesses are transforming using Microsoft Azure as the cloud foundation to drive new levels of organisational productivity, create intelligent data-driven experiences and deepen business trust. Azure provides the flexibility and access that we require while maintaining a security focus. The acquiring banks are exposed to the Azure platform via a cloud connect link and into our cloud-based switch with a cross-connect link into their data centres.

The Thumbzup Card Processing in the cloud solution offers many benefits, including:


Microsoft offers unique data security with industry-leading capabilities like “always encrypted” capabilities in SQL Server, meaning that data is protected, even when in motion, and built-in threat detection intelligence in Azure SQL Database that uses machine learning to automatically identify and prevent potential security breaches. Azure, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint Online are certified as compliant under PCI DSS version 3.2 at Service Provider Level 1 (the highest volume of transactions — more than 6 million a year).

Availability / usability:

Highly available, scalable and secure cloud services ensure access is offered anywhere and anytime on systems that are fully tested and durable. Azure is helping companies to digitally transform and move their businesses into an AI-driven future

Azure DevOps:

This allows us to continuously deliver and integrate code across our services in a secure and measured manner. The Azure console also makes it simple for our own DevOps team to monitor and manage our entire estate in a unified view.


Azure allows us to scale up environments in peak retail periods such as weekends, Black Friday and festive peak trading seasons. For example, Azure can automatically scale resources as needed and hence contain costs.

Thumbzup is not bound to the constraints that conventional co-hosted environments have to meet their peaks.

DR and redundancy:

Business continuity is ensured by using real-time mirroring of databases and with computed snapshots over multiple geolocations. Moving into the Azure Cloud affords Thumbzup the ability to instantly divert our services to another region.

Immediate global presence:

Microsoft’s global footprint allows us to have a presence in a location within seconds. Local presence ensures a good customer experience as there is no latency.

In addition to increased speed, some countries legally require locally hosted infrastructure for card present payments processing and Azure supports this in the territories where we seek to expand.

Thumbzup is proud to lead the payments industry in South Africa with financial cloud processing and delivering the benefits of this to our customers.

(*PCI-DSS and PCI-PIN certifications ensure that all customer card data and the PIN entry is secure. P2PE certification adds an additional layer of security to reduce cost and complexity for merchants.)

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