secure payment

Why IVR Automation Allows for More Secure Phone Payments

Data security. Without it, and without your systems unerringly maintaining it, your business could fail for the simple reason that your customers expect data security above everything, even ease and convenience. Adding to the complexity is that health data must now be kept secure in addition to identifying data such as social security numbers and every possible type of financial data, including banking and credit card information.

However, let’s face it – cybersecurity is breached in massive ways almost every day around the world. In January 2019 alone, IdentityForce chronicled data leaks affecting 142.2 million people, involving data going back to 1986 or further. The industries exposed by the leaks included online videogaming, payroll/HR, retailers, manufacturing, managed health services, online betting, criminal justice, mortgages and banking. No surprise, then, that The Conference Board has reported that U.S. CEOs place cybersecurity as their number one external business concern, ahead of new competitors and a recession.

While most of your customers may not be aware of the global state of data security, they would surely be concerned to learn that 1 in 3 victims of a data breach later experience an identity crime. So any assurance you can provide them as to the security of their personal data can only benefit both them and you.

So what is the most secure, reliable payment option for your business?

Concerns About Humanity

By now you’ve likely heard enough in the news and from your networks to know the best option is not necessarily your own contact center staff. Adoption of the EMV chip credit card hasn’t cut down on fraud attempts; it’s just rerouted the criminals toward easier channels – and, due to the sheer amount of personally identifiable information (PII) flowing through, your contact center is considered to be a prime target. Consider the following sobering points from Semaphone’s report on the state of data security in contact centers:

  • Agents experience and witness breach attempts by both company insiders and outsiders, yet 42 percent don’t report it.
  • Four percent of U.S. contact center agents have said they’ve been approached by someone from outside their company with a request to access or share PII.
  • Even with the best intentions in the world, 72 percent of agents who collect PII over the phone still require customers to state their information aloud – which exposes this data not only to the agent, but to call recordings and anyone who happens to be within earshot of both your agents and your customers.

No wonder that companies that understand data concerns seek to limit employee access to sensitive customer information.

The Benefits of IVR

Studies have shown that customers are generally aware of the need to keep their information private, and therefore most prefer to handle sensitive transactions without human facilitation. Enter interactive IVR as a more secure option. Depending on how the application is set up, it can:

  • Allow your customers to transfer away from your agents to make a self-service payment
  • Totally remove your agents from the payment process by allowing customers to go straight into a self-service transaction
  • Even remove the need for your customers to speak their information out loud.

As you’d expect, the original design of the payment-processing IVR itself is important. Some pre-built IVR solutions, like those provided by payment processing companies, may seem like a good idea at first glance; however, if the IVR is not optimized to provide the best service to both your customers and your operations, it can negate all the good work done by your other customer service efforts and have a negative impact on your bottom line.

PlumVoice, however, analyzed hundreds of payment apps that have handled billions of phone calls over the past fifteen years to create an optimized IVR payment application right out of our box. The pre-built payment app on our Fuse platform gives you a dedicated payment channel that is PCI-DSS (level 1) certified and is built on top tier telecom infrastructure.

Not only that, but you can customize our apps to tailor-fit the needs of your company and your customers. For instance, Fuse immediately handles payments via credit/debit card or directly from an ACH account because these are the most common payment options, but it can also support any payment system as long as it has a way to authenticate users.

Know Your Standards

Speaking of certification, how you do ensure the safety of the data once it’s inside your IVR? This has been a major concern for most of the 21st century, and back in 2004, the major credit card companies formed the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council with the purpose of creating the PCI Data Security Standard, now widely known as the PCI-DSS. Since October 2010, any organization that processes or stores PII in the context of debit, credit, prepaid or other payment cards must comply with the PCI-DSS.

These standards oversee how customers’ confidential information is exchanged between two computers in a PCI-compliant environment. Not all IVR technology is PCI-compliant, but PCI compliance is the gold standard companies seek to reassure their customers that their data will remain secure. Not having a PCI-compliant payment process can increase your transaction costs even more.

From the beginning, PlumVoice has chosen to focus on data security in all our applications. In fact, our entire Fuse platform is PCI-compliant – and we are the only custom IVR vendor to offer this level of data security. And we didn’t stop there: Our systems are also certified to meet the standards for HIPAA, SOC2, Cyber Essentials, and Visa & Mastercard Verified. So no matter what kind of data your customers provide, it will remain secure.

Wondering how it works? Quite well, actually. In one of our case studies, MIC found that using Plum’s PCI-compliant platform garnered additional savings, among other outcomes: by keeping customer financial information out of human hands, they reduced potential costs associated with security breaches, and they didn’t have to incur the costs of annual compliance audits.

Feeling more secure about talking to us about your payment processing needs? Contact us today.