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Securing Payments in the Modern Workplace

Computer half open on a desk. Feature image for Descoping Your Infrastructure for Improved PCI Compliance blog

It’s a little over a year since the instruction ‘work from home if you can’ was given across the world. As countries locked down at the beginning of the pandemic, businesses faced the mammoth task of moving their operations online and enabling their staff to work remotely. Prior to 2020 the concept of working from home was not new, the past 12 months, however, has seen a number of organizations such as Salesforce, Google and Facebook make the decision to offer flexible working to its staff permanently. Most recently, CEO of Capita, Jon Lewis, said they planned to move their contact center operations to a hybrid work model, stating that “Call centers are to some extent, a historic capability today. There’s no reason why you need to put 2,000 people in a warehouse in the UK. Those people can work from home.”

Many organizations are making the decision to embrace the modern workplace. However, how do you secure payments when your agents aren’t all in the same location?


The PCI compliance problem

PCI Compliance can be a challenge in a remote working situation because compliance is difficult to achieve when the remote employee is in a variable environment. For instance, when working from home, a contact centre manager cannot ensure that a clean room environment exists where the employee is conducting business. There is nothing in place to prevent the employee from hearing credit card numbers over the phone and writing it down, typing it into a blank spreadsheet, or repeating the number out loud back to the customer. In a home working environment, there is no assurance that the pausing and resuming of a call recording is taking place during card transactions. These are some of the leading factors in why remote working isn’t conducive when it comes to checking the PCI Compliance box.


So, what’s the solution?

The implementation of a PCI Compliant technology solution for remote agents when taking payment is the straightforward answer. With a cloud hosted, DTMF masking solution such as Agent Assist, the agent can focus on the customer and their needs, not the processing of information, mistakes in manual entry, or risk the PCI Compliance nightmare of recording, transcribing or retaining sensitive card data. Moreover, a solution like this can guarantee a consistent experience across both in-office and remote working employees.

Flexible working is a trend which is going to stay in a post-pandemic world. Organizations who fail to recognize the value proposition of offering its employees a choice of where to work risk losing out compared to those who do, and contact centers are no different. With the end of the pandemic in sight, organizations need to look forward to and prepare for the workplace of the future, whether it’s in the office or at the dining room table.

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