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With the development of omnichannel payment requests, customers still expect companies to offer secure payment methods via telephone, which remains the most popular channel for customer service.
While we are seeing an increase in the number of financial transactions made by phone, there is still apprehension surrounding them. Selvame Viginie-Calviac’s book Sociologie de l’argent (The Sociology of Money) teaches us that, for a large number of people, “cash is the only real money.” Things such as credit and debit cards are an abstraction for many, a kind of invisible money that generates anxiety. This fear is amplified when dealing with phone-based transactions, and explains the increased need for security on the part of the customer. They want to be assured that the transaction goes through without error, that the services they purchased will be delivered and that the right amount has been deducted from their account. Interactive voice response (IVRs) are at the forefront of this.
Payment by bank card is the most popular method of payment and has been growing for many years. In the United States, payments by bank cards (where they are also known as debit cards) and credit cards are the most common consumer payment methods, whereas in Europe card payments account for 49% of all transactions. With this growth, the risk of fraud is also increasing. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this was due to the deployment of remote agents who were not equipped with a secure solution, and were taking banking information without proper supervision. This risk is controlled by compliance with the PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), which governs contact centers that take card payments.
PCI-DSS designates all data security requirements applicable to the credit card industry. At the initiative of five players in the ecosystem — American Express, Discover, JBC, Mastercard and Visa — this global standard has become a reference for customer data protection. It commits the provider to intervene in the storage, processing or transmission of cardholder data in order to protect it, maintain a vulnerability management program as well as monitor and test the networks regularly. The objective is to protect the customer and to reassure them in the processing of IVR payments and other transaction methods.
The contact center is at the crossroads of personal data, between the obvious need for knowing the customer better and recording of conversations for the purpose of regulations and improving service quality. Payments made by phone, through an interactive voice response, are no exception to the rule. Through contact center IVR technologies, a brand can offer its customers a smooth and secure payment experience, deepin trust and provide an overall better customer experience.
IVR payments can be fully automated for self-service. Everything from greetings tailored to your brand to intuitive phone menus can help ease customer anxiety as it guides them through the payment process. However, agents can also assist customers through the automated process without interrupting it, adding the human touch and improving conversion rates all while still complying with PCI-DSS requirements.
Once the customer agrees to initiate payment for goods or services, the agent transfers them to the secure payment IVR. The agent then sees, in real time, the customer’s progress through the secure voice payment tunnel. At no time will the agent hear the DTMF (Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency) tones associated with the customer’s credit card number, which removes a potential access point to cardholder data. The transaction is then processed and validated by a payment service provider (PSP). At the end, the customer and agent are reconnected. It is also possible to notify the customer of the payment confirmation by the channel of their choice, such as e-mail or SMS.
There are many ways your customers can benefit from an IVR payment system, such as booking a vacation, making a payment for a late invoice, or setting up an automatic draft to prevent future lateness. Your brand will not only be able to offer an adapted payment solution to customers, but they also have the option of doing so via self-service, without the need to contact an agent. The customer is reassured to be able to settle their transaction with the highest level of security. Nothing less should be accepted for a successful customer experience.
Despite the development of omnichannel customer service, companies are still expected to offer secure payment methods via telephone. Therefore, having a properly-optimized IVR delivers value and provides assurances for your customers that your brand is worthy of their trust. Odigo’s PCI-DSS-compliant CCaaS solution boasts IVR technologies for contact centers that are compatible with advanced features such as natural language processing, as well as expert advice on matters like how to design your IVR payment menu for optimal CX. If you need an IVR payment system to do more for your customers, get in touch with our team to arrange a demo.
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