In December, GoCardless who handles our Direct Debit subscription payments via PC Protect website upgraded their systems. Their new API (the API is the communications link between GoCardless to PC Protect website) was also changed.
In response to this change, we upgraded the server that hosts the PC Protect Website as well as the PC Protect website updated and upgraded giving the very best security available. At the same time as the server upgrade, we also added a SSL certificate to the site to ensure your personal data is even more secure by being encrypted before it is transmitted.
Since the upgrade, payments via GOCardless started showing issues, some were cancelled, some got out of sync (some are ok!).
This issue was not immediately noticed because monthly renewals processed fine, but then following month it failed. About a month after the upgrade we noticed some subscriptions didn’t renew. At first we believed this was the customer cancelling their subscription. We contacted the customers in person, and they were not aware of this! strange. So we started looking into this. Since January, more and more subscriptions failed or became out of sync.
After two months of tests and working with the developers at GoCardless=, it seems the issue was caused because Gocardless no longer gives back an immediate response to a new subscription payment request from PC Protect. Thus, PC Protect was seeing this as “no payment received” and cancelled the subscription. A few server tweaks later, we partially resolved this.. but instead of cancelling the subscription, PC Protect would now out the subscription “On Hold” because payment was confirmed as processing, but not received (Direct Debit takes approx 5 days from initiating the request to making the payment!).
We could have simply hardcoded a “payment received” response into the site, however this would cause issues further down the line meaning we could not stop, suspend, cancel or process subscriptions the same way.
After deliberation, we came to the conclusion to drop Direct Debit payments from our website until this issue can be 100% resolved or another means of accepting direct debits is found.
After testing many different payment providers (such as Paypal, Sage Pay etc) we have now found a global payment provider called Stripe. They handle billions of dollars of transactions every year are the leading global payment providers. Using them, we can now accept payment by Debit or Credit Card (we have been told they are also looking to accept direct debit payments in the future).
We have not integrated and tested Stripe which works really well.