Improve the Customer Experience With DTMF Masking

Switching to DTMF masking for phone keypad payments not only benefits the company taking the payments, it also has significant advantages for end customers. Peace of mind is the main one.

Internal research conducted by Syntec shows that several companies switch to DTMF masking to comply with PCI-DSS guidelines, but quickly find it also enables them to offer an improved service experience. And there are several reasons why.

Security Concerns
Consumer concerns about the risks of paying merchants by phone in the mail order/telephone order environment are greater than ever. Nearly two-thirds of consumers report they didn’t buy something because of security concerns. And this number has grown to 63% — a nearly 20% increase in two years.

Similarly, 31% of consumers now say they never make payments by phone, up from just 19% in 2016. It’s also clear that consumers are increasingly reluctant to hand over their card details; 65% report they’re reluctant to make payments over the phone and 60% state the risk of call center fraud prevents them from doing so at all. Companies that don’t address these concerns risk losing business.

Customer Reassurance  
When a company switches to DTMF masking, it shows customers that they take card security seriously.

“An added benefit [of DTMF masking] is the customers’ perception,” said Carlos Moreno Tobon, Project Manager at Locus Telecommunications. “Obviously, they feel a lot better because they no longer have to speak their card details over the phone. They no longer have to wonder if their card is going to be compromised. It gives them a good sense of security that their card is being handled with no human interaction.”

Error Reduction
Reading card details over the phone to a call center operator not only opens customers up to security issues, it also increases the likelihood of errors. According to Moreno Tobon, “Before, we had to rely on customer service representatives to listen to customers giving their card numbers and there was always room for error. There was always the issue of having to repeat information. Now, the customer has the ability to enter [their card details] directly we no longer have that possibility of human error.”

Obviously, customers could enter an incorrect card number, but this happens much less frequently. “If you’ve ever read out a card number over the phone, you’re usually doing it twice because it’s a long number and people rarely take it down properly the first time,” noted Kevin Dowd, cybersecurity and payment security expert.

Accelerated Transactions
Giving customers control over transactions and letting them enter their own card details using their telephone keypad also speeds up transaction times. Customers don’t have to repeat themselves to call center agents. Instead, they can enter the whole number themselves directly. Essentially, this is quicker and more efficient.

This also frees up call center agents to handle other tasks. “Anytime you free up five, six, seven seconds, and you multiply that by our call volume, you are saving quite a bit of manpower,” said Carlos Moreno Tobon.

“In a call center, time is money,” added Laurie Gablehouse from Ingenico ePayments. “They literally measure the number of seconds on every call. If you’re having to take a lot of information over the phone — all of that takes time. Call centers are interested in doing anything they can to reduce the call time without adding to the risk of fraud.”

Added security
The CardEasy keypad payment by phone DTMF masking solution from Syntec adds security features that reassure users and merchants — and speed up the process. The BIN lookup and LUHN check that are performed while customers enter their own card numbers identify who issued the card, where it’s from and which type of card it is (as a double check and fraud-prevention measure). It also distinguishes valid numbers from mistyped or otherwise incorrect numbers — and that reduces the number of denied transactions.

CardEasy also mutes the voice path from customer to agent for the middle six digits of the PAN (long card number) as well as the three of four digits of the security number. Therefore, if a customer reads out the numbers while keying them in, the spoken numbers can’t be overheard or captured in voice recordings.

PCI-DSS security concerns are just one reason to consider DTMF masking technology; alleviating customers’ security concerns is another. To find out more about CardEasy from Syntec, visit the listing in the AppFoundry Marketplace, available in PureCloud, PureEngage and PureConnect. You can also watch their webinar hosted by Genesys AppFoundry on-demand at your convenience.

This blog post was co-authored by Simon Beeching. Simon serves as the Business Development Director at Syntec. After studying modern languages at Oxford and business administration at INSEAD in France, Simon joined the executive board of the Thomson Holidays Group. As managing director of three well-known travel businesses he gained client-side experience of contact contact centre management in this fast-moving consumer industry. Simon was appointed at Syntec in 2011, to support growth and strategic development in leading-edge contact centre management solutions and payment security systems.