Yesterday, BigPay was down for close to six hours. All BigPay services was offline on both the physical prepaid card and the app, which affected all users regardless of their geographical location. As it turns out, the downtime was not due to a security issue, but rather a more basic one: an internet service provider problem.
In a blog post shared today, BigPay went in detail to explain what caused the outage of its services. Essentially, a series of events led to the automatic deployment of BigPay’s internal “circuit breaker” – ultimately taking the entire service offline as a precautionary measure.
“Yesterday that third party provider experienced an error that resulted in interference to our remote access. They were unable to recover seamlessly creating a time delay. During this period messages that confirm your BigPay card should be accepted by merchants did not go through – and so your payments were rejected. Our application – and more importantly your money – was not directly affected by this.
However, as a precaution, we employ a circuit breaker when we see multiple errors occur – to prevent cascading effects. This circuit breaker kicked in as expected – but as a result, the BigPay app became inaccessible. Once the provider fixed the issue we switched off the circuit breaker and restored all services gradually.”
You can read the blog post in full for more details, which also includes its efforts to ensure such episodes do not happen in the future. BigPay decided to publish the reason for the outage yesterday “in the spirit of transparency”, which should be applauded.
BigPay’s services are currently functioning normally.