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August 29th, 2019

How One Utility Addressed PCI Compliance Initiatives AND Achieved Lower Call Handling Times

We recently worked with a new utility client on a secure payment handling initiative. Preliminary conversations were focused around the need for a DTMF solution for secure payment handling and PCI compliance initiatives.

Dual-Tone Multi-Frequency solutions, or simply DTMF, allow customers to enter their credit card details via their touch-tone phone while remaining in constant connection with an agent and preserving a personal customer service experience.  This eliminates the verbal exchange of sensitive data between customers and agents, facilitating full call recording for quality control purposes.  By eliminating the verbal exchange of data, telephony environments can be significantly descoped by eliminating the number of systems that credit card data traverses.

During deep dive technology sessions and whiteboard discussions, there was also an opportunity to integrate different contact center locations and telephony systems so that agents could cross-care products during peak call times and handle overflow calls when needed.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is the foundation for IntraNext’s product platform, so we readily accepted the challenge.

This utility client provides services to millions of customers and has multiple data centers that support geographically separated contact centers.  Their telephony systems are complex, and agents work with multiple billing systems.


The goals of this initiative were very specific:

  • Deploy a DTMF solution that could work within both Cisco UCCE and Cisco UCCX telephony environments

  •  Facilitate customer payments with minimal changes to current business processes

  • Integrate with multiple CRM and billing systems

  • Provide significant PCI scoping improvements


IntraNext’s SmartSIP® was implemented on customer-provided servers in the data centers, and the appropriate VoIP SIP messaging was configured to route through the secure servers for credit card data capture.  The system was installed with a High Availability configuration, CTI connectivity was established without incurring any additional ACD fees, and SmartSIP-to-payment systems were configured.

Our development team customized two payment interfaces, one that used IntraNext’s DTMF API and created a “zero footprint” environment – no desktop application was required.  The CRM payment workflows were virtually unaffected –the field where agents normally entered credit card information was replaced with a “status window” showing customer progress as they touch-toned their information.  Data validation included MOD-10 for the credit card as well as expiry checks. 


The goals for live-operator secure payment handling were met.   Due to system integration and CTI efficiencies of the new system, contact centers are now able to securely handle cross-product calls for peak times and overflow.  This has resulted in lower call handling times with minimal impact to agent workflows, and the call center ACD and agent workstations were removed from PCI DSS scope.