Network services provider to offer hosted version of Semafone’s software, giving customers flexible and cost effective PCI compliance
Surrey, 18 September 2013 – Semafone has announced a partnership with voice and data communications specialist, Gamma, to provide a fully hosted secure payments solution for contact centres. Companies will now be able to use Semafone’s patented technology via a hosted service, taking contact centre telephone payments entirely out of scope from Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) regulations. In addition to helping to eliminate fraud, this also further reduces the cost of compliance compared to the price of CPE (Customer Premise Equipment) deployment.
The secure telephone payments software will be available alongside the Semafone-enabled SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) presented by Gamma, and will offer customers a cost-effective and flexible solution that can be scaled up or down according to business requirements. Gamma’s secure hosting facilities ensure that the system is resilient and that multiple – on and off-shore – sites can be protected quickly and easily at relatively low cost.
Using Semafone’s technology, customers are able to make a payment using their telephone keypad to transmit credit card data directly to the bank, so no sensitive details are held in the contact centre’s infrastructure. Card numbers are not spoken aloud and individual key tones are masked by the Semafone application so that they cannot be recognised by their sound. Throughout the transaction the contact centre agent can neither hear nor see sensitive card information, but remains on the call to deliver a high level of customer service.
”As the UK’s leading provider of SIP trunking solutions , we are increasingly supporting contact centre implementations where the features of SIP trunking, including flexibility in number routing and scalability, are really benefiting those businesses both in cost effectiveness and in overall service availability,” commented Alan Mackie , head of voice services at Gamma. “Contact centres are looking for additional services from SIP connections, and we are delighted to work in partnership with Semafone to provide a solution for PCI compliance to businesses in a hosted model that is both scalable and easy to deploy and support. We see this as a significant addition, allowing Gamma’s channel partners to provide a more complete network solution to their contact centre customers, using Semafone’s market leading software,” added Mackie.
“Gamma’s expertise, relationships and reputation in the voice and data space makes them an ideal partner to host our secure telephone payment solution,” commented Tim Critchley, CEO of Semafone. “It is vital that merchants ensure that card data is always secure, not only to protect the consumer, but also to avoid the damage to brand reputation that can result from a breach. We hope that together with Gamma, we can help even more companies achieve straight-forward, cost effective PCI compliance, keeping sensitive information secure.”
Founded in 2009, Semafone is fast being recognised as the global leader in secure voice transactions. The company provides an innovative solution which takes contact centres out of scope of PCI DSS regulations for telephone payments.
How it works
Semafone allows the call – and the call recording – to continue as normal while the customer enters their credit card information using the telephone keypad. Card data is sent directly to the bank, avoiding the need for contact centre agents to hear or see card details. Semafone’s clients include the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Aviva Canada, BetFair, The Cartridge People, Family Investments, Embassy of the United States of America, Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS), The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), Markel, Nemo Personal Finance, The Post Office, Quadrant, Response, Registration Transfers, Sky, Swift Advances, TalkTalk, TVG, Virgin Atlantic, Yorkshire Water.
Semafone is working with a number of industry leading partners to extend its solution further into the global market.
Funding and accolades
Semafone received a £1.9m investment from Octopus Ventures in 2010 and a further £1.5m, primarily from existing investors, in 2012. The company received the European Call Centre Award for the most innovative product in 2010 and the Emerging Technology award in the 2012 METAwards, organised by the Merchant Risk Council (MRC). In November 2012 Semafone was selected by Real Business magazine as one of the Wonga Future 50, “the bold, disruptive new generation of entrepreneurial businesses.”
In June 2012 Semafone secured UK patent #GB2473376. The patent covers a number of aspects related to the use of dual tone multi-frequency signalling (DTMF) to capture payment card data from a call centre customer during a live phone call and pass it to a payment system. Semafone is now actively pursuing US patents.
Further information about Semafone is available at www.semafone.com.
Gamma (www.gamma.co.uk) is a next generation network operator that creates simplified communications and software services for business. With a broad range of fixed voice, mobile and data services designed specifically to take to market through channel partners, Gamma leads on network strength, products that are easy to use and provision and quality through automation.
Switching in excess of 800 million minutes a month and serving over 650 Channel Partners, Gamma is one of the UK‘s largest providers of voice services and related applications carrying 8% of the UK’s fixed telephony.