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This Thursday 5th July our CTO Ashley Unitt will be delivering an educational seminar at PCI London. This annual event is run in association with Visa Europe and aims to help organisations to reduce the risk and complexity involved with taking payments securely.

In preparation for his session Ashley has put together a document entitled “Contact Centre to Profit Centre” and we wanted to summarise his key points here on the blog.

PCI LondonIn recent years we have experienced significant changes in how we, as consumers, can use our credit and debit cards.

  • In stores we have seen the arrival of Chip and Pin
  • Online we’ve seen the emergence of Verified by Visa and Mastercard SecureCode

With both Chip and Pin and the new online authentication services just having the card is no longer enough – you need to know additional information and this has resulted in reduced fraud via these channels.

The criminals don’t go away though – they move to the path of least resistance, and today that is the MOTO channel – Mail Order/Telephone Order – behind both of which sits your contact centre.

There are two primary forms of risk associated with taking card payments in a contact centre:

  • The people taking the payments (using or selling card details)
  • The recordings of the payments (being used, sold or stolen by anyone with access)

Technology is available today to re-engineer processes and remove both of these risks from your business, whilst at the same time giving you some additional benefits.

Faster payments

For many smaller businesses receiving payment has relied on sending an invoice and waiting 30, 60, 90 days or longer to see the money in the bank. Taking payments over the phone has either not been possible, or the cost associated with PCI compliance has seemed prohibitive. Working with a trusted third party means many payments can now be taken instantly at the point of purchase significantly improving cashflow.

Enable every department to take payments

Invoices also present the problem that only those in Finance departments are able to issue them. Enabling a cloud based payment system gives every member of your contact centre the ability to take payments in real time. You can now start to look at the types of calls you have coming into the contact centre and see whether you can add additional revenue streams for your business. Perhaps customers that don’t have a support contract still ring in with questions. How about offering them an instant paid upgrade to get the answer they need?

Give your customers peace of mind

Consumers today are wary, they know the risks of card fraud and what this might mean to their credit ratings. You can use your technology and processes as a point of differentiation. The fact that none of your employees have access to you customers’ card details, or even any recordings of card details, can be used to give your customers peace of mind and build trust in the marketplace. If two suppliers are offering the same product at the same price but one offers you confidence in your card security which would you choose?

Improve your employee’s experience

If you take card details in your contact centre, or if you have ever visited a contact centre that does you’ll know the entry and exit procedure is not toodissimilarto a prison visit – no cameras or phones, no writing or recording, no pens or paper on desks. This can help with the PCI audit, but it doesn’t give a great work experience for your employees.

By removing your employees from the equation they can concentrate on delivering amazing customer service, and not feel like they are a potential criminal every time they turn up for work.

Work from anywhere

Byseparatingthe risk from the physical location you can now be more creative about where your employees work. If you were taking payments yourself and mitigating the risk with clean desk policies and secure entry and exist procedures then that requires your employees to be taking calls in your contact centre.

If you use a trusted third party then you can start to implement flexible or home working strategies. Once comfortable with home working, you can then start to look at broadening your recruitment horizons and hire team members that are geographically distant, or want to work shorter split shifts to fit around their personal lives.

Changing your attitude to PCI can ultimately change the entire strategy for delivering customer service.

No down-time

Additionally, by removing the fixed connection between location and taking payments you reduce your exposure to disasters that prevent employees working in your contact centre. If payments can only be taken from your ‘secure’ contact centre, then if that is out of action you take no payments. One day out of action is 0.5% of your working year.

Enabling payments to be taken from anywhere will make you feel a lot more relaxed when you see the snow start to fall!

These are some of Ashley’s thoughts on how taking payments via a trusted third party can improve the way your business runs and turn a contact centre into a profit centre.

How have you handled the move to taking payments over the phone? What do you see as the main areas of risk?

If you are visiting PCI London on 5th July come and say hello to Ashley at his educational seminar starting at 10.20!

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About Charlie Cowan

Charlie is passionate about cloud computing and how it can help real businesses to run more profitably.

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