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Thousands of online and mail order retailers have been hit by technical problems at payment service provider Protx.

The BBC reports that sites were left unable to receive payments today after an upgrade at the company went wrong.

The problems apparently began at 6am, but had been solved by 2.30 pm, according to a Protx spokesperson.

"We apologise wholeheartedly for the performance... throughout the morning and afternoon," the firm said.

Protx manages credit and debit card payments for around 10,000 retailers.

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Published 1 August, 2007 by Richard Maven

529 more posts from this author

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John Mac

Although Protx claim to have their systems back up and running at 2.30, there were still issues being raised at 6 pm (and possibly later). Protx claims would appear to be an attempt to pour oil on the waters. Very few efforts have been made by Protx to keep their clients, and in turn those clients own customers, informed of a) the details of the outage b) what they were doing to resolve the issues and c) the time-scales involved. Considerable amounts have money has been lost in consequence of the outage, and Protx's rather disdainful approach to their clients has been nothing short of disgraceful.

about 9 years ago

Jon Bovard

Jon Bovard, Director of eCommerce at A well known Telco

Unfortunate I feel bad for the little merchants but perhaps not so for the mid-large players who got hit by this.

A good ecommerce manager should be able to switch payment processors quickly.

No online retailer with any serious volume, can afford to be without a permanent, paid-for and fully setup secondary payment provider. Even if you had somethnig cheap and cheerful like Worldpay setup and idle and doing nothing for 12 months of the year then so be it. The cost of a secondary idle payment processor is probably worth it in most instances.

about 9 years ago

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DaveB

An attempt to contact support today resulted in the greeting 'Sage' then beeeeeep.

Summed the whole fiasco up really.

about 9 years ago

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Stuart James

Yes as unfortunate as it is for Protx to be down for the day, I do agree with the above post by Jon as any mid to large size company should have a backup. You can easily get a backup with Secpay or Datacash for quite cheap, and i believe more companies should do this, even for the smaller retailer. The only real expense is the time spent doing the extra intergration or the cost of a developer to do it for you.

One thing i don't understand is the VPS monitor, although it shows uptimes for servers, which most all say 100%, it doesn't actually tell you properly if the service is available. Every hour of the day is about .01%, so they would now be at only 99.90% not including any of the other downtime suffered this year.

Stuart James
Systems Engineer
SECPay Ltd.

about 9 years ago

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Jeremy Gumbley

I've always been puzzled by the VPS Monitor status page - under PCI DSS you have to patch systems with the latest hot fixes and service packs within a given window of time which will often require a reboot under Windows or Linux so I don't see how some of the system components can have been "up" for hundreds of days.

I agree with Stuart from SECpay, having a backup payment processor is very essential.

Jeremy Gumbley
CTO
CreditCall/eKashu

about 9 years ago

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Richard Wheeler

AOL and SBC/Yahoo have had major outages this week, also.
Similarly, I've found nothing in the news about it. Nothing!
Could more services have been affected this week?
Could there be a common cause?

about 9 years ago

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Stuart James

I doubt Protx issues had anything to do with anyone elses, it was just a very unfortunate badily planned upgrade of their core systems which seems to have still had outages even this morning and even worse are the smaller businesses that are unable to process with the new system. At a minimum the new system should be backwards compatible with the old to accept the old integrations.

Stuart James
Systems Engineer
SECPay Ltd.

about 9 years ago

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Mark

It's a shame SECPay want to charge £100 per month ontop of the card fees otherwise we would jump ship today!

about 9 years ago

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Colin Tilson, Director at Tilson Consultancy

I have a small business which runs an OSCommerce website with Protx as the payment module.
We were unaware there was an outage (perhaps I should watch more TV!).

I did find however payments taken on the 1st,2nd,3rd,4th & 5th were delivered late. But this I understand is probably down to the fact that we take MOTO & On-line payments and our merchant number wasn't activiated for MOTO transactions.

Colin Tilson

about 9 years ago

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Paul Wilson

I've had a very simple query which I logged with Protx on Monday afternoon. I received no response and have been trying to call them and been stuck in a telephone queue for a number of hours. It appears they are in crisis and I wouldn't trust my business with them in future.

about 9 years ago

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