The C&UX Expo logo

18 & 19 MARCH 2020


Ending payment discrimination

There is a fine line between data security and customer experience that contact centres have to walk.  Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is a must for contact centres that take payments, and many offer a dual tone, multi-frequency (DTMF) process to achieve this. 

DTMF – it’s not for everyone

But for the small proportion of callers who are unable to use the telephone keypad, DTMF is not an option.  Up to five per cent of people cannot use – or do not wish to use – manual DTMF technology to make phone payments. 

This could include sufferers of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) such as arthritis, for whom joint pain, particularly in the hands, is a serious problem.  For this group, tasks like using a manual phone keypad can be extremely painful, if not impossible.

Automatic Speech Recognition

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology extends DTMF secure payment capability to callers who are unable to use the telephone keypad to enter their information.  Solutions that offer this use voice-to-text technology to capture, convert and verify the information before processing the payment.  Cardholder data is then relayed to the Payment Service Provider (PSP) via a secure private cloud, without the information entering the contact centre.

Importantly, the technology ensures a good customer experience.  The call is only muted to the operator while the caller gives their details, but strict controls ensure the customer is immediately returned into contact if they take too long, or as soon as their payment details are accepted or denied. 

Ending payment discrimination

ASR technology is essential to avoid discrimination in the contact centre.  Why should customers that are unable to make payments via a telephone keypad be discriminated against if they make a payment over the phone?  Should they have their security put at risk? 

Companies should not be disadvantaging these customers, but this has to be balanced with protecting their data and maintaining a secure card data process.  ASR technology for PCI phone payments is a necessary step for the contact centre.  It may only serve a small proportion of callers, but for those who cannot use the telephone keypad, it makes a big difference.