Feeds

Sage payment processor suffers 24-hour outage

Transaction history repeats itself (again)

Boost IT visibility and business value

SagePay - the payments processor serving 25,000 companies in the UK and Ireland - experienced a major outage on Monday evening, and as problems dragged on late into Tuesday, one of its biggest competitors claimed a significant uptick in business.

Caused by a "database-related" issue, the outage began at 7:48pm London time on Monday, and though credit and debit card payments processing resumed two hours and 22 minutes later, users were unable to access historical transaction data for another 22 hours. Service was completely restored at about 8:30pm on Tuesday night.

"Urgh. I am extremely annoyed by this, we had our first failure at 19:06 [Monday] and are now down £000's worth," another user wrote on the uk business forums at 22:16 that day. "Of course it would have to have happened at the busiest time! I'm surprised the issues have lasted this long, not impressed at all."

Historical data was unavailable, so users were unable to use several secondary services, including the ability refund transactions, void them, and authorize them against any archived transactions.

After the primary service was restored, users continued to report that transactions were failing. "Looks like it is still down. Have done a few test orders on ours but it keeps saying the cards have been declined," one user said. "Maybe a lesson to get a secondary payment installed such as paypal now."

According to Simon Black, managing director of SagePay, historical data was unavailable for such a long stretch because the company chose to rebuild its entire database from scratch. "The cause of the outage was database-related," he says. "We made the decision to prioritize restoring all data, if we could possible do that. What that meant is that we had to painstakingly do a rebuild, which in the end took the best part of Tuesday."

All data was indeed restored, Black says. After primary service was moved to a new data center on Monday evening, the database was rebuilt separately, and on Tuesday night, the two were merged back together.

Originally known as Protx, SagePay was renamed in 2006 after it was acquired by Sage, the Intuit-like business and accountancy software firm. And as the company struggled to restore service on Tuesday, conspicuous Sage competitor KashFlow didn't miss the opportunity to point the finger.

KashFlow was originally a Protx customer, but once the service was acquired by Sage, it switched to IridiumCorp for payments processing. But according to KashFlow's chief executive and founder Duane Jackson, the company was still affected by the outage because its VOIP provider, Voipfone, is a SagePay user. "We couldn't use any of our phones because we couldn't add credit," Jackson tells The Reg.

Meanwhile, Iridium tells us that during the outage, nearly 200 businesses contacted the company to switch their payment processing from SagePay to Iridium. Iridium CEO Sean Brietsche says the company picked up about 50,000 transactions a month from 189 merchants.

Iridium offered to provide free service fees equal to the amount of time remaining on a customer's SagePay contract. So, if you had six months left on your service, six months would be free.

SagePay experienced similarly conspicuous outages in August 2007 and April 2008. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.