Your customers want more secure telephone payments

By: John McGarvey

Date: 28 July 2014

Making a telephone card payment{{}}New research suggests that 60% of consumers are reluctant to purchase a product or service when faced with paying over the phone. And just 1% of people feel that making payment over the phone to a call centre is secure.

The research, from telecoms firm Syntec Telecom’s third annual tracker survey (PDF link), suggests high-profile data breaches have increased consumer demand for new payment technologies.

If the findings are accurate, 75% of consumers think organisations should be doing more to prevent credit and debit card fraud.

That should give some food for thought to any business that takes payments over the phone. Are potential customers looking elsewhere because they don’t trust the payment process? Could introducing new ways to pay help them win more business?

Telephone fraud is a problem

It’s not as if these consumer fears are groundless. Sophie Keen, from CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service, confirms call centre fraud is a real problem:

“Over 20% of the internal fraud cases reported by CIFAS members in 2013 were committed in contact centres with many of these offences involving staff disclosing customer or commercial data to organised criminal, third parties.”

According to the research, 46% of consumers feel technology should be used to hide card details from call centre workers. What’s more, 67% feel that — as a general rule — companies should not be allowed to keep card details on file.

The weakest link?

Card payments made over the phone are a weak link because the customer has to read out all the information required to make fraudulent payments. It’s all too easy for an unscrupulous customer service agent to take a copy of the details for their own use, too.

There are lots of ways to reduce this risk in your business. You can educate employees about fraud, make sure you comply with PCI-DSS payment regulations, and make check the security credentials of any key partners.

There are also ways to shield your customers’ card details from the ears of your staff. Tools like Syntec’s own CardEasy service allow you to hand customers over to an electronic system when payment is required.

The customer can make payment by entering card details via their telephone keypad, before returning to the call to confirm their order. As the card details are never shared with another person, the risk of fraud is reduced.

Has your company lost business due to fraud? What did you do to set things straight?

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