The costs of Pause and Resume in your contact center

The costs of Pause and Resume in your contact center

Pause and Resume (or stop/start) recording solutions are commonly used in contact center operations to achieve PCI DSS compliance while avoiding recording your customers’ sensitive payment card data. While pause and resume can appear to be a simple, quick fix for PCI compliance, it hinders your customer experience (CX) efforts, leaves your business vulnerable to costly data breaches, and can have a negative impact on your overall operational performance. If you’re already using or considering it in your contact center, there are a few important costs you should be aware of first:

Cost #1: Diminished agent and operational performance

Whether manual or automated, Pause and Resume solutions can significantly slow down contact center productivity and impact your overall operational performance. With manual Pause and Resume, agents are required to manually start and stop the call recording when taking phone payments. As is natural with human error, busy agents can forget to pause and subsequently resume a call at precisely the point when important details are being discussed with a customer.

Automated Pause and Resume solutions aren’t a foolproof way to safeguard your organization from operational inefficiencies either. The technical complexity of automated Pause and Resume is dependent on the seamless integration of call recording, agent desktop, and call management systems, possibly resulting in the introduction of confusing workaround processes to get the array of systems working in unison.

Regardless of manual or automated, when it comes to PCI DSS compliance with Pause and Resume, proving a continuous recording becomes challenging, making PCI audits and wider investigations more complex as well as resource and time-intensive. Using Pause and Resume requires a SAQ-D, the most comprehensive, costly, and complex SAQ involving around 438 controls.

Long story short: interacting with clunky, inefficient Pause and Resume solutions often hurt contact center productivity and can create unhappy agents who are not as empowered to carry out tasks efficiently, which can result in longer average call handling times (AHT) and failure to deliver the consistent CX your customers expect.

Cost #2: Substandard customer experience (CX)

In our rapidly changing digital world, your customers expect fast, seamless service in every transaction. With Pause and Resume, the more time you waste asking customers to read numbers aloud and have them wait while an agent types them in, or transfers them to a machine mid-call, the more likely you are to lose them. Additionally, customers that struggle when transferred to a separate payment process may abandon the call – and may not ring back, especially in debt collection scenarios.

Pause and Resume solutions create a disjointed experience for both agents and customers, with agents having to read back and input payment details or passing customers to automated systems and other departments during a call just to make a payment.

The potential for human error with Pause and Resume also puts your organization at risk for lower customer satisfaction scores (CSAT) from frustrated customers who have to repeat information to be recaptured or corrected by agents. This impacts customer retention and loyalty – which will have a direct effect on your bottom line.

Cost #3: Increased risk of expensive data breaches

It’s no secret that data breaches are costly and can be catastrophic to an organization. Even if call recordings are paused when taking phone payments, that sensitive payment card data is still entering your organization - leaving you vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches.

A common misconception of Pause and Resume is that it saves you money compared to other PCI security and compliance solutions. But with sensitive credit card data still flowing through your contact center environment, the cost of a potential call center data breach far outweighs the initial investment in more robust PCI DSS compliance solutions. With automated Pause and Resume, only the call recording is excluded from PCI DSS compliance scope. Agents can still see and hear customer’s payment card details – leaving your contact center vulnerable to a cyberattack and opportunistic agent fraud.

Did you know: the global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million USD. On top of that whopping cost, call center data breaches also carry the risk of regulatory sanctions and fines, as well as reputational damage to your brand that will cost you customer trust and loyalty. In a recent survey, 69% of consumers said they would avoid doing business with a company that had suffered a data breach, even if it offered a better deal than competitors.

Cost #4: Reduced opportunities for global talent

If your organization has remote, hybrid, or outsourced contact center agents, Pause and Resume solutions simply aren’t enough to protect you from the risks that dispersed teams inevitably come with.

Remote locations and homes are almost impossible to effectively secure, with shared living spaces and housemates also presenting unpredictable security challenges. With Pause and Resume solutions, sensitive payment data is constantly entering your organization – and your remote agents’ homes. Agents are still able to see and hear the customer’s payment card details being relayed verbally, with the potential to note them down for their own malicious use – increasing your organization’s risk of insider fraud and data breaches.


Sycurio: The cost-effective choice

Added together, the sum of all these costs equals a PCI compliance and security solution that is far too expensive to safely consider. Pause and Resume is a risky solution that is detrimental to your organization’s operational efficiency, agent satisfaction, and CX efforts.

Fortunately, there’s a better choice. Sycurio.Voice offers a proven and award-winning PCI DSS compliance solution that prevents sensitive data from ever entering your entire organization. Customers simply enter their payment card numbers directly into the telephone keypad or use the integrated Speech Recognition feature. These numbers are sent straight to the Payment Service Provider, so sensitive card details never enter your contact center infrastructure. And while the call recording captures all voice communications, all Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency (DTMF) tones are masked so only a flat tone is recorded – making it impossible for agents to recognize numbers or reverse engineer any card data from the call recording itself.

Sycurio’s comprehensive approach allows your organization to significantly reduce your PCI DSS burden, reduce compliance costs, lessen the risk of data breaches, improve CX, and protect your bottom line–all while recording calls in their entirety.

Here are a few cost-saving benefits you can enjoy with Sycurio:

  • Shorter average handling times (AHT): Sycurio reduces AHT by 7-30 seconds
  • Reduced time and cost investment of PCI DSS compliance: Sycurio.Voice requires SAQ-A - a simpler, much more cost effective SAQ that reduces PCI DSS scope to just 6 controls
  • Increased agent retention rates and new global recruitment opportunities: Sycurio is the contact center phone payments solution for all your agents, wherever they’re located
  • Lowered cyber insurance premium costs: organizations with reduced PCI DSS scope may benefit from lower cyber insurance premiums compared to those that are simply compliant
  • Better call outcomes and improved customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores by keeping agents engaged with customers throughout the entire interaction
  • Improved first time resolution (FTR) by automatically carrying out early verification BIN and Luhn checks during the call

Imagine what you could do with the extra saved costs and gained productivity. Learn more about Sycurio.Voice and why it’s the safest, most cost-effective solution to boost productivity, increase CX, and maintain PCI compliance in your contact center. Speak to an expert today.