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Issues with BigPay on the 11th of March: here’s what happened, and how we’re fixing it.

Updated: Mar 13, 2020

What went down

You may have experienced issues with your BigPay last night after 7 pm:

  • Difficulty logging into the app;

  • Difficulty with card payments;

  • A continuous ‘loading’ symbol on your home screen;

  • Failure to send or receive money.

When it comes to your money, these problems are unacceptable - we get that. We appreciate the trust you place in us to manage your money and we know that this trust needs to be earned 24/7.

We would like to emphasize that at no point was your account compromised and your money was always safe.

We fixed the issue last night, but we know that's not enough. In the spirit of transparency, we’d like to share what went down and what we are doing to make sure situations like these don’t happen again.

Why did this happen

The build-up to last night’s events was caused by a combination of factors.

We rely on third-party internet service providers to route information to other global systems. 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.

Moving forward

Our circuit breaker performed as intended, and while this may be inconvenient in terms of customer experience - we still believe this is an important safeguard to protect user accounts. However, we are looking into the sensitivity of this to see if we can allow minimal services to operate in events such as these (and bring back services faster). We have also talked to our third-party internet service provider to put in additional measures to ensure there are more redundancy and flexibility in their systems. This is an ongoing discussion we have with all providers we work with to ensure we are communicating and problem-solving at all points.

Your trust and loyalty mean the world to us. To gain and retain it, we’ll continue to practice transparent communications to ensure that you are always in-the-know (and we explain things as best we can). Whether it’s an unexpected experience or a happy review, we’re all ears.

Please reach out if you have any other questions or feedback. Team BigPay

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