Sycurio was founded in 2009 as Semafone. The business’ foundations and first product were conceived by a successful UK based outsourced contact center who were wrestling with how to solve an important and growing security problem – taking card payments over the phone securely and in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
The standard was introduced in 2007 and had started to gain traction as a structured way of reducing the increasing levels of payment card fraud. The founders’ insight and invention were quickly rewarded with the first of many patents (the first granted in 2012) relating to secure data capture methods and technologies that enabled organizations to take payments without being exposed to the sensitive data.
Semafone’s use of DTMF masking technology and its patented payment methods became increasingly important as the needs of contact centers evolved, and the PCI DSS became more stringent and complex.
The move away from analogue to digital telecommunications and the transition from a self-hosted infrastructure to cloud-based computing created new opportunities for Semafone to innovate.
First with payment protection solutions deployed directly in the customer premises, then embedded directly in the telecommunications carrier infrastructure. This path progressed to a hybrid model of cloud-telephony and on-premises deployment – maximising the benefits of each of the deployment technologies.
In 2016, the business established its North American headquarters in Boston, MA, USA - which significantly expanded its operational capabilities in both the US and Canada, and saw the company become the pioneering vendor of PCI DSS compliance solutions for contact centers taking phone payments in the region.
The company continued to experience steady growth as Semafone’s Cardprotect solutions were deployed by brands who understood the importance of security as well as the cost-saving and customer experience benefits of removing card data from their contact center environments.
“We chose to work with Semafone because we could see a young company with an experienced team and a unique new product. We liked the company’s approach and were confident that the team would be able to deliver on its promise.”
During 2018, with a view to the future, Semafone began to invest heavily in new technologies for cloud-based contact center services (CCaaS).
The transition to fully digital omnichannel payments spurred a new wave of technologies to protect payment card information and ensure PCI DSS compliance in complex contact center environments. Working with CCaaS industry leaders, new telephony payment architectures were created and the concept of digital payment links delivered via SMS and email became a reality.
The COVID pandemic and the global shift to homeworking proved the flexibility, resilience, and scalability of Semafone’s services.
In parallel, the rapid adoption of digital payment links enabled organizations of all sizes to continue to take payments simply and securely no matter where their workforce was located – ensuring PCI DSS compliance without the complexity of managing their own payments infrastructure.
Anticipating increasingly distributed workforces using cloud contact center and customer relationship management solutions, Semafone began to roll-out it’s ‘pure-cloud’ compliance and payment experience technologies during 2020. With the new solutions architecture engineered to embed transaction security into the heart of CCaaS and CRM platforms, PCI compliance became easily achievable for all enterprises transitioning to the cloud.
Early in 2022 Semafone rebranded to Sycurio.
The name change to Sycurio reflected that the business had grown from its early roots in protecting and securing contact center phone payments to becoming a leader in the wider world of enterprise PCI DSS compliance solutions, transaction security and delivering enhanced payment experiences.