Debugging the Postgres query planner

At GoCardless Postgres is our database of choice. Not only does it power our API, Postgres is used extensively in a number of internal services. We love it so much we just won't shut up about it, even when things go wrong.

One of the reasons we love it so much is how easily you can dig into Postgres' implementation when there are issues. The docs are great and the code exceptionally readable. These resources have been invaluable while scaling our primary database to the ~2TB we now run; no doubt they will continue to provide value as our organisation grows.

We at GoCardless believe that failure can be a great learning opportunity, and nothing proves that more than the amount we've learned from Postgres issues. This post shares a specific issue we encountered that helped us level-up our understanding of the Postgres query planner. We'll detail our investigation by covering:

We conclude with the actions we took to prevent this happening again.

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in Announcements

Announcing our $75m funding round to open up access to our global bank debit network

We’re incredibly excited to announce a new investment round of $75 million, led by new investors Adams Street Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Salesforce Ventures, as well as existing investors: Accel, Balderton Capital, Notion Capital and Passion Capital.

This Series E investment takes the total amount we’ve raised to $123 million and enables us to take the next steps on our mission to take the pain out of getting paid, so businesses can focus on what they do best.

A broken payments landscape

Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen the rise of the subscription economy and the boom of the business services sector.

We’ve seen more and more businesses develop long term relationships with customers, through subscription and instalment plans and through professional services agreements and retainers.

We estimate that around 18% of global payments are now recurring.

But while business models have moved on: payments haven’t.

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The rise of bank to bank payments
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in Business

FAQ Friday – How can you improve your accounts receivable process?

Accounts receivable. We’ve all heard the term before, but if you’re not part of a finance team, it can be tough to fully understand what impact it will have on your cash flow and the health of your business.

In this week’s FAQ Friday, we break down exactly what accounts receivable means, why it’s really important and share a few tips on how you can improve it to benefit your payment collection and overall cash flow.

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Optimise your accounts receivable
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in Business

Duty to report on payment practices: What do the first 10,000 reports tell us?

Last year, GoCardless covered the duty to report on payment practices and performance legislation.

In our article, we noted that, whilst the regulations came into force in April 2017, the reporting obligation was linked to each company’s financial year, so not everyone within scope was required to take action immediately. And it wasn’t entirely clear that all involved were fully aware of that fact, as the regulations had not been particularly widely publicised.

Several high-profile cases, such as Carillion (which collapsed while owing £2 billion to 30,000 suppliers) and House of Fraser (which went into administration, owing its suppliers £484 million, according to documents from EY), have put the issue of prompt payment further into the spotlight.

What, then, is the current state of play now that the regulations are fully in force?

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Take control of your business' cash flow
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in Business

SCA: What the new European PSD2 law means for subscription businesses

For the most up-to-date analysis and guide to SCA, view The complete guide to SCA for businesses

In September 2019, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), a new regulation for authenticating online payments, will be rolled out across Europe, as part of the Second Payment Services Directive (PDS2).

One of the key aims of SCA is to reduce the incidence of payer fraud and increase security, by introducing two-factor authentication on electronic payments.

What kind of transactions are affected?

The regulation comes into force on 14 September 2019, and will affect any businesses offering online access to payment accounts in Europe, or taking electronic payments, where the payment is initiated by the payer.

SCA does not currently apply to GoCardless’ Direct Debit payments service. That’s because payments through GoCardless are initiated by the payee and payment mandates are set up without the payer directly interacting with their bank.

So, what transactions are affected by SCA?

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The complete guide to SCA
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in Business

Looking for a resolution for 2019? Improve business cash flow and beat late payments with these 10 tips

As small and medium-sized businesses wake up to 2019, many will be looking at their financial goals for the year ahead.

Plans for growth can quickly be undermined if businesses can’t collect the money they’re owed. Britain’s small businesses are owed a whopping £6.7 billion in overdue invoices, according to Bacs Payment Schemes, the organisation which handles inter-bank transactions. This has soared from £2.6 billion in 2017, with one in three firms now waiting more than two months beyond agreed payment terms to receive their money.

The effects are real – if businesses were paid on time, 50,000 more UK companies would survive every year, the Federation of Small Businesses calculates.

So, with more companies being left out of pocket for longer periods, here are our 10 tips for prompt payment in 2019.

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Take control of payments with the Cash Flow Academy
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