The Definitive Guide to Secure Payments in your Contact Center

In an increasingly digital world, e-commerce sales are booming, with many consumers preferring the convenience of paying online or over the phone. According to Statista, global e-commerce sales are forecasted to hit 7.4 trillion USD by 2025.[1] As the backbone of customer service, contact centers handle a huge amount of customer data, including credit and debit card payments. However, this makes them a major target for financial fraudsters. Here are the key points organizations must consider to provide secure payments in the contact center and protect their customers’ financial data.

PCI DSS compliance: The key to secure payments in the contact center

It is crucial that contact centers implement security procedures and technologies to prevent breaches of cardholder data. Compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) enables organizations to bolster their defenses against financial fraud and protect customer data.

PCI DSS is a set of technical and operational requirements that protect cardholders and their data when making card transactions. These standards apply globally to all organizations that store, process, or transmit cardholder data. The founding members of the PCI Security Standards Council – American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, and Visa – enforce these standards.[2]

To ensure organizations meet these requirements, they must adhere to the six major PCI DSS objectives:

  • Building and maintaining secure networks and systems, with adequate firewalls to protect cardholder data.

  • Protecting cardholder data by storing it in a secure location and through robust encryption.

  • Managing vulnerabilities by protecting all systems from malware.

  • Enforcing strict access control measures.

  • Regularly monitoring and testing networks, security systems and processes.

  • Implementing an information security policy for all personnel.

But why is this important for your organization and customers?

Customer expectations when making card payments

When customers make a card payment, they expect a seamless payment experience across any channel, without concern for the security of their financial data. A secure and seamless payment process will therefore reinforce trust in your brand, inspiring greater customer loyalty and contributing to your organization’s success.

Any data breaches would break customers’ trust in your organization and damage your brand irreparably. Therefore it is vital that your contact center implements stringent and reliable payment practices, to ensure optimal CX and to protect your brand.

Why PCI DSS compliance is crucial for your contact center

Contact centers that process card transactions must comply with PCI DSS requirements. Failure to protect customer payment data could result in substantial fines. But what does this requirement mean in practical terms?

Not only must an organization meet the high expectations of its customers, but every stage of a transaction must be PCI DSS-compliant.  Transactions over the phone must take place in a secure payment processing environment. Customer card details must also be inaccessible to agents and must not be passed into an environment where cardholder data is stored.

It can be difficult for an organization to comply with the scope of PCI DSS due to its complexity. This is especially true in a contact center where transactions can be made across multiple channels. For this reason, many organizations choose a cloud contact center solution that is PCI-accredited. Doing so helps them navigate these complexities and removes the burden of compliance.

Implement secure payment services with Content Guru

Content Guru’s innovative secure payment solutions (storm® LOCK™ and storm® PADLOCK™) empower organizations to deliver convenient and compliant payments. LOCK and PADLOCK are Level 1 PCI DSS compliant, conforming to PCI’s most stringent requirements.

storm LOCK enables customers to quickly and easily make automated card payments through Interactive Voice Response (IVR), by entering their card details securely into their phone keypad. LOCK takes payments efficiently around the clock, with no agent involvement.

storm PADLOCK facilitates agent-assisted payments in a secure payment processing environment. Utilizing DTMF suppression, agents only hear monotones for each press of a button, and card numbers are disguised as asterisks on the agent’s screen. Customers can rest assured that their payment details are never heard by, or shown to, another person, or passed into an environment where cardholder data is stored.

LOCK and PADLOCK can either work together or independently, depending on your organization’s requirements. LOCK and PADLOCK also integrate seamlessly into your existing billing systems, removing the need for large capital expenditure or disruptive system overhauls.

Find out more about how Content Guru can help your organization implement secure payments in the contact center.

[1] Statista, Global Retail E-Commerce Sales, 2022

[2] PCI Security Standards Council, PCI DSS Quick Reference Guide, 2018