What Do You Do When Your Payment Gateway Goes Down?

Edit: 2014/10/10 7:35 – I saw a slew of error messages again, and sure enough they went down last night. That makes it 11 times in 8 months.

So yesterday has marked the 10th time in 8 months that the payment gateway Authorize.NET has gone down.

They are (gathered from the Authorize.net twitter page)

  • 02/26/2014
  • 03/03/2014 (Test environment)
  • 03/05/2014
  • 04/04/2014 (Test environment)
  • 04/30/2014 – 5/1
  • 06/02/2014 – 6/3
  • 07/22/2014
  • 08/19/2014
  • 09/19/2014 (CIM only?)
  • 10/08/2014
  • 10/09/2014

We have 4 large products, and 1 “lemonade stand” (It generates revenue and serves a very niche purpose, but it’s just not at the same level).

Well, at roughly 3:21PM Mountain, we received our first error message of not being able to contact the payment gateway, and have been getting an average of 1-2 per minute.

When you can't accept payment, you're losing money.

When you can’t accept payments, you’re losing money.

This is becoming such a habit, that the URL I used to check twitter was still easily accessible. I just did a search for anyone who was tweeting Authorize.net. I have to admit, that even though I don’t fully condone the use of foul language, this one by Zachary Parton was one of my favorites.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about it, other than ride out the storm.

When this happened back in June, I wanted to write some code that could flip a switch that would do one or more of the following:

  • On the payment page, let the user know that our credit card gateway is currently down, and disable the button
  • Offer another way to pay
  • Capture the details and batch them when they are back up

However, that is our busy season, and were guided into thinking that it’s not a consistent enough problem to solve as there were other priorities.

4 months later, and this seems to be “a consistent enough problem” that we should at least attempt to mitigate.

Are you affected by the Authorize.net outages?

What do you do when it goes down?

Let me know in the comments below, or by my contact form.

Code On,

RJ writes custom Windows and Web applications using the Microsoft .NET framework, and enjoys solving problems with code, often while listening to a techno soundcloud stream. He hopes to one day write an application that many businesses will use.


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