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Automation Replaces Agents to Meet PCI Compliance

By Barnard Crespi

City-operated utility companies are replacing live agents with automation to meet PCI compliance requirements and improve efficiency

PCI Compliance Standards, which are mandatory for any organization processing credit card payments, are adopted to protect consumers’ credit card information. In order to remove agents, organizations are increasingly turning to automation, specifically IVR Payments, to avoid handling consumers’ credit card information

For example the City of Cape Coral announced as many others have entirely replaced live agents with a much more secure and cost-effective method to process utility bill payments – IVR Payments. Consumers can still speak to a live agent to address billing questions, but to make a bill payment, consumers are seamlessly connected to interact with a PCI compliant IVR Payment system, providing them both the security and convenience to make a payment 24/7 over the phone.

PCI standards do not mandate the use of IVR Payments to replace live agents for credit card processing however there is increased effort and cost associated with employing life agents to meet PCI standards. Employing live agents can cost hundreds of staff hours, require significant changes to network environments, security training, changes to physical working environments, procedures, and result in tens of thousands of dollars if not more in added costs. PCI standards can be complex to navigate, therefore, it is always wise to use the counsel of a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) when credit card processing is a part of an organization’s business operations.

With IVR Payments, organizations can shift staff time to automation, thereby helping address many of the credit card industry security requirements (PCI), while realizing huge productivity-related cost savings.