Blog

01Apr, 2020

Contact Centre Solutions

Securing “work from home” call centre agent payments during the Covid 19 pandemic

There is no question that Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on businesses right across Australia. Call centres are at the front line with companies not only having to manage increased customer calls but also having to transition to a “work from home” model to protect staff and ensure they adhere to strict social distancing requirements.

This work from home requirement for call centres presents unique challenges in terms of call management and PCI security compliance with the home environment being less secure combined with the increased potential for credit card data being compromised.

What are the security (PCI DSS) compliance challenges in a work from home environment?

The variable nature of the working from home environment presents one of the biggest challenges facing businesses.  The key to PCI DSS compliance is ensuring call centre agents are not exposed to credit card information in any form or at least to have it highly restricted and monitored.

For many call centre operations, they don’t have the technology in place to smoothly transition agents to work from home.   At home, there is often little to ensure that employees do not hear credit card details over the phone, typing information into a spreadsheet or repeating the credit card details out loud to a customer.  These can often be heard in the presence of another person within the home environment or copied for fraudulent usage as the level of oversight is dramatically reduced.

Equally challenging is the security of the home internet, which is usually WiFi-based with all household members having access to the network and passwords.  To ensure a home network is PCI compliant, access to a secure VPN is necessary to remove the home network from PCI compliance scope.

All of these challenges are easy to overcome if the business has the right cloud-based contact centre technology in place, which ensures PCI compliance is maintained regardless of the location of the contact centre agent be it within an Australian call centre, overseas or at home.

How can IPSI’s’ AgentSecure service eliminate these security  challenges during Covid-19

The ability to transition to a work from home model is a challenge for many Australian call centres.  Recent industry research conducted in 2019 showed that only 29%[1] of Australian call centres offered work from home options.

A cloud-based contact centre solution like AgentSecure can be implemented and allow the company to maintain PCI DSS compliance as the physical location of the agent has no impact on how payments are accepted using the service.

With AgentSecure no special equipment or infrastructure is required within the home office, the contact centre agent only requires access to the internet and a softphone to connect to the  PBX.

What are the key benefits of AgentSecure when it comes to working from home agents?

The key benefits of the AgentSecure service to Australian businesses are as follows:

  • Allow work from home agents to process payments securely.
  • Convey to your customers that you take the security of their data seriously. This, in turn, will improve customer confidence, payment success rates and cash flow.
  • Maintain PCI DSS compliance.
  • No additional complex equipment or infrastructure is required. The agent only requires a softphone to connect to your PBX and internet access.
  • High levels of customer service are maintained as the agents maintain constant contact with customers regardless of location i.e., unlike traditional pay by phone (IVR) services the agent is in constant communication with the payer throughout the process and can guide them to process payments successfully.
  • The services can integrate with incumbent payment gateways or can be deployed with its own payment service.
  • The service can interoperate with a range of telecommunications carriers.
  • Requires minimal change to the customer experience with call centre staff being able to access it from the home or the office.
  • Staff members/agents will not hear, see or process credit card data, thereby enhancing security while minimising fraud exposure in-home office scenarios.
  • Leveraging Australian technology and support, with Australian data residency.
  • Facilitates compliance with APRA CPS 234 and PCI DSS Compliance.

If you’d like to learn how AgentSecure can help your remote workers while reducing the costs, risks and lead times associated with security compliance please contact us at assistance@ipsi.com.au or call 1300 975 630.

[1] https://cxcentral.com.au/kpis/2019-australian-contact-centre-industry-best-practice-report/

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