The payment ecosystem is complex and consists of multiple players. There are Acquirers, Issuers, Banks, Networks, Gateways, Aggregators, and so on. As a merchant, it is a huge headache when it comes to accepting online payments. This is where Payment Aggregators like Razorpay come in, helping merchants avoid the complexity of having to deal with multiple players.

Razorpay helps with aggregating multiple gateways and methods into a single offering for merchants. In doing this, Razorpay also takes on the role of becoming the face of the ecosystem for merchants. This means that if an ecosystem player is experiencing issues or goes down, from a merchant’s standpoint, Razorpay’s performance has deteriorated. The Payment Aggregator has to face questions for issues that in many instances may be completely out of its control.

But at Razorpay, we don’t say, “This is not our problem.” To help merchants, we have built a downtime detection mechanism that continuously monitors the ecosystem players at multiple dimensions in real time and generates signals which are then consumed internally and externally by merchants to take preventive action. We make sure that success rates for merchants are as high as they can be.

The downtime system at Razorpay analyzes payment traffic every second in real time against intelligent thresholds to evaluate if a particular ecosystem partner is not behaving in the expected way. It is able to do this at varying granularities according to use cases and generates signals as per the severity of the issue. Hypothetically, if there is degradation in performance for a particular bank’s credit card, our downtime service will be able to detect it, double check it for false positives and generate a downtime signal, all within 3 minutes.

This signal can then be consumed by internal systems like Standard Checkout to surface messages for customers on the checkout page warning users of degradations and nudging them to use a different payment instrument. Alternatively, the signal can be consumed by merchants directly via APIs or webhooks where they can automate workflows disabling the methods or diverting traffic to other instruments themselves. This messaging helps achieve a 0.5-0.6% bump in success rate.

In the spirit of complete transparency, Razorpay makes these statistics available via the Merchant Dashboard where they can see ongoing as well as past downtimes on a visual dashboard. The Dashboard also provides an estimate of the potential impact that a specific downtime would have on the merchant.

With the latest addition to our capabilities, we are now also able to generate signals for acquirer-side downtimes, which are scenarios where the Bank from which your terminal was procured is down, hampering payment acceptance from one or more instruments. We have evidence that in such a scenario it is better to disable the said instrument and allow customers to pay via another. We witness another 0.5% uptick in success rate due to this.

However, despite the best efforts, mistakes do occur at times. We have a public dashboard which documents any outages that would have been seen in the last 90 days. The same dashboard is used for tracking and issuing updates on any ongoing issues with Razorpay systems.

We work with a promise of total transparency to the merchants and aim to notify them about any issues, be it internal or external, in the fastest time possible.

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    Author Chidananda

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    Disclaimer: Banking Services and Razorpay powered Current Account is provided by Scheduled Banks