A vital step in remote payments…
Contact centres are instrumental in ensuring businesses maintain good customer relationships. They help facilitate an easy-to-reach point of contact, provide a human touchpoint, deal with disputes, and importantly provide a traditional and expected channel to process payments.
Internal customer service departments and contact centres remain a vital cog in remote payments and as cyber-crime, breaches and regulations increase, so do the payment challenges these centres face. In this article we outline the top 5 payment challenges that contact centres and organisations that take payments are currently facing and should be aware of.
1: Being PCI Compliant for Card Payments
PCI compliance applies to all contact centres and organisations that transmit, store, handle or accept payment data. If you are a business that doesn’t know about or follow this regulation, then it can lead to severe consequences including fines, costly investigations and damage to reputation.
To be PCI compliant, there are over 300 individual regulations that should be considered. In general, these can be broken down into six main provisions:
- Build & Maintain a Secure Network
- Protect Cardholder Data
- Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
- Implement Strong Access Control Measures
- Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
- Maintain an Information Security Policy
PCI Compliance is an ongoing process so it is vital that a focus should be ongoing for those taking payments. PCI compliance isn’t a one-time effort. As a business, you must continually check to ensure that you are using the best practices available.
2: Securing Customer Data
Technically, this is part of your PCI compliance. However, we can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure your customer data is adequately protected. Should there be a data breach that is determined to be the result of negligence or outdated practices, your business can face crippling fines, loss of merchant abilities, and even criminal investigation depending on the severity of the negligence.
On top of these consequences, customer trust will be severely impacted, which will result in a loss of customer retention and ultimately revenue. Under the GDPR, company directors can be held personally liable.
Because of these risks, it makes good sense to make sure that the security of data is made a priority. By handling as little data as possible (which is the case with payment details when using PayGuard, see How PayGuard Works) you have less data to secure. When data is handled it should be encrypted with an accredited algorithm allowing it to be secure during transmission across networks.
3: The Payment Process
Processing payments through a call centre has historically been a manual and time-consuming process to manage. It’s in an organisation’s best interests to streamline the procedure as much as possible. Creating a focus on simplicity for your agents will provide a good user experience on both sides of the transaction, and, of course, it will need to comply with the 300+ PCI compliance measures.
To help with the security aspect of their payment process and the easy recall of customer details, implementing a process called tokenisation will vastly improve security. Using this process, pieces of your customer’s data (such as personal information, card numbers, etc) are turned into random strings of code (called tokens) that will be unintelligible to a hacker in the event of a breach and will help reduce fraud.
These tokens can only be decrypted through the tokenisation system set up in your network, so they are useless to hackers and work well in keeping your payment process safe, secure, and trustworthy.
4: Taking Payments the Way Customers Want to Pay
In the not-so-distant past, taking remote payments was as simple as having a customer call a number and provide their card details to an agent. In the present, it’s clear that customers want more options, and they aren’t afraid to stop buying from a particular business if they can’t pay the way they want.
Providing convenient payment options to customers is an excellent way of building meaningful relationships and retaining the individuals who purchase your product or service, and nothing is more important than that.
Many consumers expect to be able to pay through social media, online, or even being able to pay directly through a web chat. If they do decide to pay through a more traditional contact centre, they want this process to be as simple as possible, so an efficient and easy-to-navigate IVR gives the customers a positive experience, making sure the customer gets to the appropriate department as quickly and easily as possible.
5: The Administration of Payments
Consumers are becoming more accustomed to having control over finances with the ongoing advancements in fintech and new consumer focussed banks. This raises expectations to have easy access to their own data with all organisations and also be flexible in how they can pay.
To examine how easy your system is for customers and representatives to navigate at the current moment, try asking yourself questions like:
- How easy is it to create and amend subscriptions or process refunds?
- What is the average call time on general inquiries, is it too long or too short?
- How many applications or portals does an agent have to use at any given time?
- Are there different payment options for customers?
- Are there multiple gateway options required?
Something to keep in mind while you’re going through these questions and determining how best to address your weaknesses is the concept of Aggregation.
Aggregation describes technology that can solve several problems all in one place. For example, mobile phones are current aggregations of technology. They were used for calling and texting only, but have now evolved to function as phones, cameras, televisions, camcorders, radios, diaries, alarms, wallets, and so much more.
You want your payment system to function in much the same way, where your issues can be taken care of through one portal. This will help streamline your processes and keep both your employees and your customers happier in the long run, this aggregation is all possible with PayGuard and it’s also incredibly simple to use.
Contact centres face no shortage of challenges, especially with today’s technology choices and compliance requirements.
Customer preferences have changed over time too, resulting in contact centres having to adjust the way they process payments and handle customer inquiries.
To remain compliant, efficient and resolve the challenges highlighted in this article might seem complex and unachievable, but the reality is all this can be done through the technology that PayGuard provides. You can find out more about PayGuard here or alternatively contact us for a no-obligation chat to see how we can help you via the form below.