We live in an age of cyberthreats, causing companies to implement tighter regulations to ensure that their customers’ vital data is safe and secure. In 2018, a number of high-profile companies fell victim to data breaches and millions of people saw their personal data – credit card details, passwords and account information – compromised. Companies including T-Mobile, Quora, Google, British Airways and Facebook are now dealing with the consequences, as are their customers.
While the breaches were resolved and customers were informed, the impact on these companies’ brands remains. These incidents serve as a reminder that companies can’t afford to just react to cyberattacks – they need to think ahead and implement security strategies that will safeguard their customers financial data. This is especially true when it comes to consumer payments. Many of today’s consumers still interact with businesses over the phone to make payment transactions. Therefore, it is crucial that companies extend security strategies to calls when sensitive information, such as payment details, is being exchanged, while still delivering seamless payment experiences.
The potential risks of phone payments
Unlike current online payment systems that already have a high-security level because payments directly go through a financial service without input from the company receiving it – phone payments often don’t have the same level of transparency and security. By making payments over the phone, customers risk divulging their sensitive financial information without fully knowing what happens to it, how it is used and by whom.
For many, particularly older generations, making a payment over the phone is still the preference. Therefore, contact centers must be at the forefront of financial security strategies and work to implement systems similar to those used by online platforms, ensuring regulatory compliance and the safety of their customers’ personal and financial data.
Investing in secure phone payment systems
To offer maximum protection to their customers and themselves, companies must equip their contact centers with privacy-friendly payment systems. Doing so means enabling customers to directly connect to a card payment network when making a phone payment, inputting their credit card details through the phone’s keypad and sharing that information with the financial service provider, eliminating the risk that exists when companies hold their customers’ credit card information. However, it’s also crucial that while making a payment, customers stay connected with the contact agent through voice to ensure they can flag any issues and complete their payments securely while on the call.
On top of this, empowering companies with the ability to record calls with their customers adds another layer of security and compliance. This not only gives companies full transparency into what is happening during customer calls, but it also reveals how call agents are handling the customers’ data that is being shared over the phone.
As we begin a new year, companies know that they simply can’t afford the financial or reputational loss that a hack or data breach could cause – this is especially true for those who have already fallen victim before. In addition to the heavy fines they would be subjected to, customer turnover could have a serious effect on a company’s bottom line. To avoid this, companies must work to become more knowledgeable and invest in phone payment systems that are as robust and secure as their online payment systems. Only then can companies be assured that they will be able to retain their customers’ trust.