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.

PCI Compliance Standards, which are mandatory for any organization processing credit card payments, are more widely adopted to protect consumer’s credit card information. Organizations are turning to automation, specifically IVR Payments, to remove live agents when handling consumers credit card information.

Recently the City of Cape Coral announced it has entirely phased out the use of live agents to process payments for utility bills with a much more secure and cost effective method, IVR Payments (link to IVR Payments page) but consumers can still speak to a live agent to address billing questions. However, to make a bill payment, consumers interact with a PCI compliant IVR Payment system which provides both the security and convenience of making 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, choosing to employ live agents can translate into hundreds of staff hours, significant changes to computer network environments, complex changes to procedures, and tens of thousands of dollars each year to maintain PCI compliance. PCI standards can be complex to navigate, therefore, it is always wise to use the counsel of a credit card payment standards expert when credit card processing is a part of an organization’s business operations.

With On-Demand Pay-By-Phone, organizations can shift staff time to automation helping address many of the credit card industry security requirements, while realizing huge productivity-related cost savings.

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Anne Pennell, VP, Customer Services Operations, Standard Life

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Kim Pace, Director Patient Accounts and Revenue, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance