Peak online sales traffic and its payment challenges

What is the link between the Grand National, Black Friday and several other flash online sales? These are all events with traffic surges that challenge the payments infrastructure.

Each year, there are over £200m in bets placed online during Grand National. Our payments data below illustrates how the payment volume has increased over the last year. With such a significant growth, the payment processing infrastructure has newer challenges to face. From a payment perspective, the processing for the Grand National is becoming the same as for Black Friday or any other high volume online sales event.

The recent Grand National is a good example of how traffic can quickly increase

  • Number of transactions processed per second raised up to 118%
  • Value of bets increased by 60% compared to 2017
  • The processing speed of transactions increased by more than 10% compared to last year

The chart below shows a comparison of the number of transactions per second we processed for the Grand National 2018:

SafeCharge's Peak online sales traffic at the Grand NationalMore and more sales events trigger high-volume transaction and peak online sales traffic. This year, bookmakers predicted £250 million would be spent on betting. Also, massive online sales events such as Black Friday are getting more popular in Europe. In 2017, the online spending rate increased by 509%. With the expansion of peak online sales traffic, the technical processing architecture is challenged.

Certainly, this means there’s a need for strong payment infrastructures to handle the payment volume surge with a zero downtime and an always-on approach.

How can payment infrastructures support peak online sales traffic?

Let’s have a look at how payment processing architecture working in the background can provide a seamless experience for users during high sales traffic events.

 The hidden power or 9s

A 99% uptime rate sounds promising but in fact, it equals to 7 hours of downtime on a monthly basis. If these 7 hours happen on payment peak sales session, it becomes a disaster. It is, therefore, a good idea to request more 9’s even after the comma in your SLA. The more, the better.

Peak online sales traffic uptime rates

Scalability to grow together

All in all, a payment system has a backbone that keeps everything together. SafeCharge infrastructure has been designed to handle a fast increase in traffic and enable its customers to process transactions in a seamless way during high traffic sales events.

We love data

Keeping data safe and up to date plays an essential role in maintaining high availability standards. That’s why we use data centres at two different locations which are completely redundant. So, in case one of them is down, there is an immediate backup without any lag. We constantly synchronise data to avoid any losses. We also monitor the entire infrastructure 24/7 for each day of the year.

Payments is probably not the first thing a sales organisation would focus on when organising a massive online sales event. It’s nevertheless a key pillar to manage successfully an online peak sales traffic. It can bring a huge risk of disruption without a well-prepared payment architecture.

For more information on how SafeCharge can help you with maximum uptime and conversion, please get in touchYou can also dig into more details in our “Payments Zero Downtime: Myth or Reality?” whitepaper.

SafeCharge Limited is an Electronic Money Institution authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Cyprus and is a principal member of MasterCard, Visa and Unionpay International (CUP). SafeCharge Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a Payment Institution. Both SafeCharge companies are wholly owned by SafeCharge International Group Limited.