Moving Money
with Internet Insights™

About the Company

The industry's leading choice for payment solutions for more than three decades, this global provider touches hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of consumers through its payment tools for credit, debit, prepaid, mobile, chip, healthcare and merchant acceptance. It has a presence in more than 80 countries on five continents.
Industry: Financial Services Use Case: Internet Insights™, Digital Experience Management
Download PDF

Moving Money Seamlessly and Securely

This leading global payments provider offers seamless, secure and innovative solutions across the payments spectrum—for issuers, merchants and consumers. Each year, it processes billions of transactions, big and small, and moves almost $4 trillion around the world. It is a cornerstone of the payment industry, trusted with more than 88 million transactions every day, enabling consumers to pay bills online or to receive their paychecks.
Global payment network

Money Is Moving Faster than Ever

The relationship that consumers have with their money is evolving. Traditional ways of issuing payment with cash or check have given way to more convenient, electronic payment methods in the form of credit and debit cards. Yet, even those physical cards have seen their share of change with the rise of mobile wallets and payment services, which make it simple to transfer money to a friend or loved one. Today's tech-savvy consumer need only a smartphone and an associated bank account to purchase from many merchants.

That's where this payment processor comes in. By facilitating transactions on a global scale, it provides full-servicing on those transactions from beginning to end. The Enterprise Service Management (ESM) team is responsible for the service management and availability of those systems through monitoring and service management principles. This organization strives to maintain the most reliable, most stable and most available systems in the world.

The convenience of digital payments that consumers have grown to expect is not without its challenges. As consumer transaction preferences gravitate toward digital methods, the infrastructure that underpins these transactions is increasingly reliant upon the Internet—and that makes it particularly vulnerable to unpredictability caused by ISP outages or routing issues (as well as a number of other issues that occur across transit paths). This unpredictability can have significant negative consequences for both consumers and merchants. Whether a consumer is trying to pay their bill online or swiping a card for a transaction at a merchant, the impacts of not being able to reach the processing service can be devastating.

Not only is the Internet incredibly fragile, but the complex and interconnected nature of the Internet can make it difficult to understand the source of a problem if an issue were to occur. Across at the Internet fabric itself, there are thousands of different vendors that touch the Internet—from local exchange carriers to last-mile vendors, to major ISPs and major circuit carriers. This means that there is no clear way to ensure performance from endpoint to endpoint as a transaction crosses through the Internet. And that can pose a major problem when trying to diagnose and solve issues that prevent transactions from processing. Internet Insights™ dashboard
Figure 1: Internet Insights™ overview dashboard displaying recent and ongoing outages.

Regional Storms Reveal a Major Blindspot

One such incident occurred when a significant weather event impacted ISPs in the southwest United States. Merchants were not able to reach the payment processor's facilities, which left the ESM team scrambling to determine the source of the problem. To complicate matters, internal reporting and tools indicated their systems were up and available—so they were unsure why some customers couldn't connect to them. External sources were not much help either. They would use tools like DownDetector, which is only as good as the data people report to it, and aside from things like social media, they were really unable to understand what was going on.

At the end of the day, it turned out to be an ISP that had suffered damage due to the storms, and it didn't have a way to route traffic or communicate that there was a problem. As a result of this event, they came to the realization that they had no insight because the ISP wasn't necessarily a supplier for them—so they had no visibility into what the ISP was doing or any evasive action they were taking. The team quickly realized it was a huge blindspot.

Gaining Unprecedented Visibility Across the Global Internet

Even though the payment processor doesn't control all of the networks between themselves and customers, they are committed to providing excellent transaction experiences. To ensure the highest level of service for its customers, they needed visibility into Internet outages that could impact customers, even across ISPs that they have no commercial relationship with. They selected Internet Insights™, ThousandEyes' unique collective intelligence dataset, to gain unprecedented visibility into external networks far beyond its own facilities.

Internet Insights™ detects and tracks traffic disruptions across billions of Internet paths measured every day and then alerts and visualizes these outages based on the location and the ISP where the issue is occurring. With Internet Insights™, they can see network outages across the global Internet that could affect the reachability of their service. Internet Insights™ error correlation
Figure 2: Internet Insights™ correlates outages from collective ThousandEyes service-level tests.

Accelerating Issue Resolution, Saving Time

This deep insight would soon be put to the test when another major ISP in the U.S. had a regional problem that impacted a front-end hosted system. Within a matter of minutes, they were able to identify the problem and notify the affected ISP to help them resolve it.

For the team, the difference in troubleshooting these ISP-related incidents was night and day. During the incident that resulted in their need for Internet Insights™, they spent countless man-hours, anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours and 10 to 20 people searching, scrambling and scratching their heads to figure out why customers couldn't connect. In comparison, the second issue that arose took one person and about 10 minutes to find out what the problem was.

With Internet Insights™, the large payment processor is able to see network outages immediately and know where and which ISP is involved. When an issue is detected, the ESM team can drill down into the affected service path and actually see changes as it is routed around slow areas or areas of impact.

Before ThousandEyes active monitoring and Internet Insights™, the World Wide Web was a big black hole for them. They were reliant on multiple parties that touch various aspects of a network fabric globally that they had no control over or visibility into. They now have visibility that they never had before. Topological network paths and routing
Figure 3: Topological view correlates network outages to impacted locations and services .

We Help Leading Companies Thrive in a Connected World