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How Securing Payment Channels
Improves Customer Trust and Confidence
in an Age of Increasing Cyber-threats

Every business leader knows the important roles trust and confidence play when it comes to customer experience. Businesses want their customers to feel confident doing business with them and not have to worry about anything else other than enjoying the product or service that they bought. The moment a customer has doubts, then more than just the immediate sale is at risk, but also repeat business and the goodwill that comes from the positive customer experience.

With the rise in Cyber threats, building this trust has become more important than ever. 2019 was a year in which many brands both large and small as well as cities and healthcare providers alike were victimized by cyberattacks and internal data breaches, resulting in significant financial losses, operational disruption, degradation in brand value, and erosion of consumer confidence. It is the opinion of many experts that the threats are not going away any time soon, and in fact, we may see even more in 2020.

A recent study by the Sitel Group and CallMiner found that:

  • Almost all Americans (92%) think the risk of fraud is increasing in our day-to-day activities
  • The majority of Americans (65%) would not feel comfortable making a purchase via a smart assistant like Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa
  • More than half of Americans (55%) would not continue doing business with a brand if they found out that brand does not use technology (e.g., artificial intelligence) to monitor for fraudulent activity on their accounts

If this is indeed the case, then business leaders need to take charge of this clear and present risk to their organizations. They need to take a proactive approach to ensure that their organizations’ security practices are effective and up to date as part of bolstering and retaining their customers’ trust and confidence.

Some strongly recommended starting points are:

  • Conducting a Security Gap Assessment providing the organization with a 360-degree view of the potential security vulnerabilities (every organization has them) and prioritizing how to address them, a process that can be easily done by a security expert.
  • Securing ALL Payment Channels specially if the organization accepts credit card as a form of payment. Following PCI guidelines for processing credit card payments is a must!

In the area of Payments, specifically credit card payments, security is paramount. If an organization is processing customers’ payments through multiple channels, this is an opportunity to communicate to customers how serious the organization is taking the security of their information. For example:

  • Consumers expect their web transactions to be secure, so take this opportunity to communicate to your customers what steps your organization has taken/is taking to make this so.
  • Phone Payments – if your organization takes payments by phone employ processes and technologies that provide consumers with the level of confidence that you take their information security seriously.

Unlike web transactions, where your web payment portal can demonstrate that you are taking the necessary steps to safeguard your customers’ security, it’s a more challenging message to convey when they are paying by phone by speaking to a member of your staff. Your customers (new ones and returning) may not be familiar with the security controls you have in place to safeguard their credit card information when they are speaking to a member of your staff. IVR Payment technology, which removes your staff from handling ALL credit card information, is an excellent method of staying current and onboard with ever-evolving PCI Security requirements and demonstrate to your customers that you are serious about the security of their payment information and information security as a whole.

While customers are not without responsibilities of their own when it comes to guarding against fraud, as a business leader, the onus is on you to ensure that your customers are aware of what you are doing to protect their confidential information and how you are keeping up to date on the latest security standards. Not only do you want your existing customers to trust you, in order to grow your business, you have to grow a reputation for trust as well.

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