Cloud-based dial tone suppression and communications data management can remove up to 90 percent of compliance scope for payment processing

Cognia, the leading provider of cloud communications intelligence solutions (, is urging UK contact centres to embrace cloud solutions for PCI DSS-compliant payment processing if they are to meet the stricter security and data protection demands of PCI DSS 3.0. The PCI standards lifecycle runs from October to October with organisations just entered Year 2. From January 1st 2015 all validation efforts for compliance must follow the new standards.

Three quarters (74 per cent) of UK contact centres now take card payments over the phone[i], yet a recent study shows that two-thirds fail to meet more than 80 per cent of the PCI DSS requirements[ii].

Cognia Live, a solution that supports live agent payment processing with a revolutionary cloud implementation of dual-tone-multi-frequency (DTMF) suppression, is ideally suited for firms struggling to meet PCI DSS requirements. It forms part of the world’s first QSA-validated PCI DSS compliant for cloud telephony and payment services – taking a significant burden of compliance away from the contact centre.

Cognia Live uses keypad tone masking instead of voice for the input of sensitive payment card data. Because these keypad tones are distinct and standard across landline, mobile and Internet calling devices, Cognia Live’s DTMF solution automatically separates the voice and DTMF channels so the agent only hears the voice channel. The DTMF tones are never exposed to the agent or the call recording system. With DTMF suppression, the conversation between the agent and customer continues without disruption, while keeping call recording simple and PCI compliant.

“Fraud is a very serious issue for the credit and debit card industry. PCI-DSS was introduced by the top 5 credit and debit cards in 2004 to help companies mitigate this risk,” said Donna Fluss, president of DMG Consulting LLC. “The challenge for a company is to select and implement a solution that helps them comply with the regulations, without negatively impacting the customer experience or agent productivity.”

Cognia Live requires no on-premise equipment or software, and deploys quickly and cost-effectively across sites in any location. Cognia’s legacy archive data cleansing solution also ensures that contact centres can cleanse archived recording and move it to a cloud-based storage model at a far lower cost than traditional PCI compliance or recording storage solutions.

“Becoming – and remaining – PCI compliant is a demanding and resource-intensive process for many contact centres,” said Curtis Nash, Chief Executive Officer at Cognia. “Contact centres understand the central importance of keeping customer payment data safe, but struggle to achieve this if it is at the expense of customer service. Many have had to introduce inadequate workarounds or expensive and inflexible on-premise solutions. Cognia Live helps companies turn PCI compliance into a business asset, reducing the number of requirements of the PCI DSS that must be addressed by contact centres up to 90 per cent for live agent payment processing and improving the protection of their customers’ information, as well as their own brand reputation.”

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