A positive customer experience and PCI compliance are no longer mutually exclusive in the contact centre courtesy of new technology from NewVoiceMedia, a global provider of cloud contact centres. The company has launched a new mid-call IVR service that enables agents to take card payments securely from customers by transferring them to an agent free IVR service to take the sensitive card data. Following payment the caller is automatically transferred back to the agent to conclude the call ensuring customer service is maximised.

Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia, commented, "Many of our customers use our stand-alone PCI compliant IVR service; the next logical step was to integrate that level of security within the day-to-day running of their contact centres. Our customers are really excited about this approach as it allows the agents to deal with callers throughout the transaction, providing a personal touch, but not having to take their sensitive card data. It is just like handing the customer the in-store chip and pin device and looking away as they put in their PIN number. You can now combine the security of an automated payment solution with the improved customer experience of dealing with an agent."

Any company that takes credit card payments over the phone has to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), effective since October 2010. Failure to comply can lead to penalties of up to £200,000 per breach. As a result, contact centre infrastructure is being updated to ensure compliance. ContactWorld is the first integrated contact centre solution to deliver mid-call IVR functionality, operating entirely from the cloud, allowing PCI Level 1 compliance for card payments.

Traditionally, businesses have had a tough choice to make regarding PCI compliance; either heavily invest in training and implement processes to enable agents to take payments themselves, or purchase a fully automated stand-alone service that provides a more disjointed customer experience. With the NewVoiceMedia cloud based mid-call IVR service callers can now have peace of mind that their payment details have been processed securely but also feel comfortable that they are speaking with the same agent before and after the transaction has been processed.

Agents have a technology that is easy to work with and can offer the customer assistance with the payment process in the event of any problems. They also do not have any exposure to risk as sensitive card data is never disclosed. Finally, the contact centre has a fully integrated and cost effective solution that reduces risk for callers and agents while maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.

"Because our service is completely cloud based, it can be deployed quickly, scaled up immediately and just requires an agent to have a phone line and Internet connection. We're pioneering a revolution in the way contact centres operate so that service can be more personal and agents can be turned into real ambassadors rather than be shackled by cumbersome technology" Gale said.

Jag Tucker, Global Front Office Operations Manager at SHL, a global leader in talent assessment solutions, said: "We needed to become PCI-compliant for two reasons; to ensure we could operate in full compliance with regulations, and to enable our contact centre agents to process smaller payments seamlessly and compliantly. This has improved our cash flow and frees up our credit control department to chase the larger invoices. We worked closely with NewVoiceMedia to create a PCI-compliant contact centre that works seamlessly for our business."

"We're now able to take payments in 25 different countries working with diverse currencies, safe in the knowledge that we are fully compliant with PCI regulations. What's more, we've made sure our customers still get the best service possible by enabling our agents to make use of the mid-call technology, meaning they can take payment as part and parcel of giving customers the support they want."

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