NWG Business.

Northumbrian Water Group taps into PCI DSS compliance and data security.

The background.

Offering direct-to-consumer policies, the company works in affinity partnership with leading insurers and is a pioneer in the development of telematics-based products that enable insurers to calculate risk and premiums based on actual driving behaviours.

Passionate about delivering high-quality customer service, the company has designed its systems to ensure it offers a great customer experience.

The challenge.

Recognized by industry regulator Ofwat as one of the top three companies in the UK for customer satisfaction, NWG took the decision to launch a new division – NWG Business – to serve the newly de-regulated water market for business customers.

Committed to providing business customers with a consistent, high quality service across all channels including phone interactions, NWG Business needed a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliant solution that would allow its customer experience team to take customer payments securely over the phone – without disrupting customer conversations.

Along with meeting stringent regulatory requirements, the solution also needed to give customers the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their sensitive payment card information is fully protected and secure.

    “We recommended Semafone because of its robust compliance with PCI DSS requirements and its ability to integrate seamlessly with the Genesys platform.“

    Simon Gresswell
    Solutions Director
    Connect Managed Services
    Sycurio.Voice

    The solution.

    NWG turned to contact center technology provider Connect Managed Services to implement a private cloud-hosted, multi-vendor solution on the Genesys Customer Experience Management Platform. To securely manage telephone payments, Connect recommended that Sycurio.Voice be deployed and integrated seamlessly alongside a number of other technologies.

    Sycurio.Voice allows agents to take payments over the phone in line with PCI DSS requirements. Customers simply input their payment card details using their telephone keypad – these numbers are obscured using Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) masking technology, so that agents cannot see or hear the digits.

    Sycurio.Voice’s patented payment method sends these card numbers directly to NWG’s Payment Service Provider (PSP), ensuring that this sensitive payment card data completely bypasses the internal IT infrastructure.

    The benefits.

    Delivering scalability

    Implemented within a private cloud environment, the Genesys Customer Experience Management Platform is completely scalable. This means that NWG Business can add additional staff at a moment’s notice and instantly cater for increased caller demand – confident that each and every payment transaction is rigorously secured using Sycurio.Voice.

    Solutions Director, Simon Gresswell at Connect said “We recommended Sycurio because of its robust compliance with PCI DSS requirements and its ability to integrate seamlessly with the Genesys platform. Sycurio’s culture and approach was complimentary with both our own and the needs of the customer - meeting the speed of deployment, being adaptable, agile and responsive during the programme”

    Ensuring data security and reducing the cost of PCI DSS compliance

    By employing DTMF masking technology and sending customer payment card details straight to the PSP, Sycurio.Voice descopes NWG Business’ entire technology systems and the customer experience team for PCI DSS.

      “We exist to serve our customers, and part of our service mission is providing the best possible customer experience, no matter how they choose to interact with us as a business. The integration of Sycurio.Voice within the Connect Managed Services solution means that NWG Business’ customers have the option to pay over the phone, with the confidence that their sensitive details are being secured to the highest standard.”

      Lissa Balmer
      Head of Customer Experience
      NWG Business

      In stark contrast to approaches like Pause and Resume, Sycurio.Voice completely removes agents from the equation.

      Unable to hear or see any sensitive payment details during the call, they can get on with the job at hand – helping customers. By eliminating this data from entering the internal IT infrastructure in the first place, Sycurio.Voice significantly reduces the risk of a data breach. Additionally, because the payment card numbers aren’t stored, they’re not able to be hacked or stolen.

      As a result, Sycurio.Voice has reduced the number of PCI DSS controls that NWG Business must adhere to from 406 to just 14.

      Maintaining high-quality customer service

      Sycurio.Voice allows the customer experience team to remain in full voice communication with customers at every step of the call. This means that they are always on hand to help if a customer types their payment card number incorrectly or needs to start the process again.

      Deployment plans for household

      To further bolster the company’s payment card data security, the household arm of the group – Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) – will also benefit from the market-leading PCI DSS compliance solution, offering domestic customers the same excellent contact center customer service and secure telephone payment options as its retail accounts.

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