Deals

Fire takes down Authorize.net, halting e-commerce for many

A fire in Seattle’s Fisher Plaza appears to have taken down Authorize.net, a service used by online businesses to process credit card and electronic check payments.

That’s a big problem for any vendor using Authorize.net, since this basically means they can’t accept payments through their website until the service is up again. I’m told this affects both one-time and recurring payments. With its website down, Authorize has set up a new Twitter account to provide updates and address the many customer complaints and questions. Many of the tweets can be boiled down to, “The team is working hard to get things running again, but I don’t have a timetable”; the company is also trying to reassure customers, “yes we have fully redundant data center” (sic), and also just said, “Transactions are up except for Global processing and Concord. No ETA on those, but we are working on in.”

The service has been down since around midnight Pacific time. I’m also trying to find out how many businesses are affected; TechCrunch says it’s “tens of thousands of e-commerce vendors,” but when Authorize.net was acquired by CyberSource back in 2007, it reportedly had 175,000 customers, and processed 1.1 billion transactions worth $65 billion in 2006.

Meanwhile, TechFlash notes the travel section of Microsoft’s Bing “decision engine” is also down due to the fire. The Bing Travel website says the site should be back up at 5pm Pacific time today.