All major internet browsers (e.g. Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox) are changing the way that they validate website security certificates to ensure the highest security level for users when making payments.

As a result of this change, our customers may see security warnings (e.g. browser errors, security certificate warnings) on their web browsers when using a secure website. This will only happen if the website they are visiting is using an older security certificate.

Practical Surfaceware use Sage Pay as our payment gateway for customers making an online purchase payment. To address this issue, Sage Pay (along with the majority of other payment gateways and online banking web sites) are updating web certificates for all payment pages and forms. This change will not impact the majority of customers unless you are using very outdated browsers on old computers e.g. Internet Explorer XP or Version 6, early versions of Safari or Firefox.

If using an old – outdated browser you will not be able to make an online transaction on any payment processing or online banking facility which has made these industry-wide changes. If you find that you are no longer able to make an online transaction through either our website or other website’s/ banking web sites it may be that you have been impacted by this change, in which case you need to upgrade to an up to date internet browser, which is strongly recommended to address this issue as well as for a number of other security and usability reasons. If we can help you by taking your order over the phone, then please just call us on: 01494 772 956.

 If you would like to know more, here’s the technical stuff……

SHA is otherwise known as "Secure Hash Algorithm" and is the method used during the validation of a websites security certificate. Up until now SHA-1 has been the accepted method of doing this. Developed back in 1995 SHA-1 has been the preferred method of validation. This is also the method that most payment gateways and banking sites use for their security certificate.

Now due to the major web browsers withdrawing support for SHA-1 it is being phased out. SHA-256 or SHA-2 as it is known is the newer more secure version of the algorithm and the preferred method for all security certificates. Over the coming months all browsers will phase out SHA-1 and replace this with SHA-2 (SHA-256). To address this issue, Sage Pay (along with the majority of other payment gateways and online banking web sites) are updating web certificates for all payment pages and forms.