Sage Pay: e-Commerce Website Card Processor of the Year?

Sage Pay ReviewI have just had a really good customer experience with Sage Pay and I thought that this was perfect for a Friday afternoon blog. I had a call from a customer with an e-commerce website in Stafford. They were having issues with chargebacks and they wanted me to investigate what could be done to reduce them. This is a bit outside the usual areas a support contract would cover but being a flexible type of company, I thought I would do what I could.

Note: For anyone who is unfamiliar with this e-commerce issue, a chargeback is where you take a card payment over the internet and send out the goods only to find a month or more later that the cardholder claims they didn’t make the purchase. You get the money taken from your account without much further a do.

Sage Pay Support Call

The call was answered quickly and professionally. We initially discussed the transaction with the chargeback and why the chargeback had occurred. In this case it was a pretty clear case of fraudulent card use and the customer had simply missed it. If they had gone into their My Sage Pay customer area and checked the fraud score they would have seen the high 3rd Man fraud score and they could have held the order and contacted the customer. Doing this two or three times a day is going to be a pain and easily forgotten, but an email to let them know there was a high score would help. Unfortunately this functionality isn’t available.

There were other security measures, but these could throw a false positive, where a genuine transaction could be rejected incorrectly. It really is a juggling act that does rely on the customer going into their My Sage Pay area a couple of times a day, and there is no way round this

Installed Security Measures

CV2 Check – The CV2 number is the number on the back of the card. If you can’t put this in or you get it wrong for any reason then you can safely reject the payment

Postcode and Address Checks – If you reject against these then you can often loose genuine sales. We decided it would be better to allow them to go to 3rd Man Fraud checking. So the check is requested but the payment is not rejected if this check fails

3D Secure – This security measure takes the website customer to a new area to enter a password that they have set. It is a bit like asking the customer to enter their pin into a chip and pin reader. As the website owner you can allow this step to be skipped but I we decided to  ask for at the very least


The support we received from Sage Pay was first class. It is the first time we have had an e-commerce website customer on Sage Pay, but they will be the only company we’ll recommend in the future. We have mostly used World Pay in the past, but I’m moving to Sage Pay for our own e-commerce websites and for any customers who want to move across.

  12 comments for “Sage Pay: e-Commerce Website Card Processor of the Year?

  1. Matty Wilks
    19th August 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Hmmm, I’ve been using WorldPay and getting increasingly frustrated, I think I might have a look at SagePay then.

  2. Zed
    7th December 2010 at 8:28 am

    I have been using them for nearly 5 years now and they have just broken down on the busiest day of the year, again. Compensation? What a proportional refund of their monthly fee of £1? It cost us £3,500. Thanks Sage pay.

  3. shirley
    10th December 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Im glad someone rates them. Perhaps once you do finally get an account up and running with them the customer services people are Ok. I have been trying to get my application up and running with them for nearly 6 months. The merchant services team are understaffed, overrun, and seem to send emails off to the merchant banks and then wait till you call again to check if they ever got an answer. I was told 3 weeks to wait for my application to process, and it’s still not right. They constantly blame ‘new systems’ for anything which is not done, they are a joke. I’m off to go elsewhere.

  4. make money online no investment
    26th February 2011 at 9:59 am

    Thanks for your blog! I’ve just subscribed to your news feed.

  5. Nick Sherratt
    4th March 2011 at 9:16 am

    Since its upgrade SAGE PAY has had major issues.
    avoid using this terminate at all costs. It will prove to be a very expensive decision for your business.

    • 4th March 2011 at 10:32 am

      I have to ask, what is the alternative here? When people are saying that SagePay is down I think we have to be clear on what is down. Is it the Sage Pay payment gateway or is this the My Sage Pay web interface? I am not aware of full 24 hour outages on the payment gateway, we have been taking payments consistently? I am definitely not aware of any 3 day outages of My Sage Pay or the payment gateway, even last October during the rollout it was spotty but was anything actually down for three days?

  6. TRP
    4th March 2011 at 9:40 am

    Sagepay down again, this time its the third day in row! Pathetic!

  7. Adrian
    4th March 2011 at 11:00 am

    Another big outage 24 hours and counting and their tech guys have not got a clue what has happened. Sagepay are terrible.

    • 5th March 2011 at 12:28 pm

      The responses from customer services are pretty vague these days. You used to get firm answers to questions which always gave you confidence. I agree that now you seem to always get ‘yes, you’re right, there’s a problem, we’re working on it’ which doesn’t give us any faith and leaves our customers wondering what the flip is going on?

  8. Yunus member
    6th March 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Saage pay: The new systrems are a joke: they tend to loose your payments and if you trust them you would be loosing a lot of money. they have replaceda robust well runiining PROTX sytem with an ill, less reliable system


    • 7th March 2011 at 12:18 pm

      I haven’t lost any payments or heard any customers talk about loosing a payment. We have one or two issues with integration on inherited sites but not sure that is Sage Pay? I agree that when they bought protix it was bulletproof and now it is flakey. The real question here is what is the alternative? Is it time to try worldpay?

  9. 18th April 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve posted a new update article today and I think that it would be better to post new comments under that post.

    Find it at

    Sage Pay had a new round of issues with third man last week and we are now signing customers up to WorldPay. Read the article for more info on our new stance.

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