IT & Business Analytics

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The Problem

The provider of a credit card payment processing clearinghouse received reports that some user transactions were processed multiple times which was causing those users to get double billed. The merchants were reporting the problem to the provider, but were unable to determine how many users were affected, how much money was involved, when the problem began, etc. The provider needed to determine the cause of the issue and whether it impacted only specific merchants, or all of them.

Because the order information was present in the XML payload, the application server logs didn't contain the details necessary to determine what was needed, and the environment couldn't afford the added overhead from agents. This left the IT department with limited visibility into the problem and complicated the process of resolving the issue.

Desired Outcome

  • An audit that can determine which merchants and users were impacted by the duplicate orders.
  • Diagnose the cause of the issue.
  • Guidance to customer service about which customers were double charged, and by how much, so they can issue refunds.

Some merchants are experiencing incidences of being double charged by a payment processing service. The IT operations team needed a way to identify when this issue was occurring, if it was a widespread issue with their service or customer side, and what the extent of the issue was so that their company could correct the issue.


The Solution

Using the ExtraHop Discover and ExtraHop Explore Appliances, the service provider performed a simple query of the past order transactions and was able to quickly identify the full scope of the issue. The relevant merchants were notified and they likewise addressed the problems with the affected customers. Since it was clear that the problem transactions occurred more than once with a small number of merchants, the provider was able to conclude that the duplicate orders were being generated by the merchants rather than a bug in their own service, and that it was not an issue impacting the entire service.

User Impact

By being able to respond so quickly, the processing provider was able to minimize the issues associated with their merchants and reduce the impact to their customers. More importantly, the ability to respond quickly and audit incidents like these allowed the processor to absolve themselves from the blame while strengthening the merchants' loyalty in their service. After they were notified of the issue, the merchants then audited their own internal systems to discover what was happening, and rectified the issue with their double-charged customers.

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