Brian Graham – Senior Vice President, Enterprise Sales for North America
Imagine that when you wake up it’s a morning in January of 2003. You reach for your smartphone on the nightstand and it’s not there. Instead you find a cellular device the size of a small radio that only makes phone calls. Don’t panic yet…it gets worse! There’s no Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Snap Chat available for your review. Heck there is no agreed upon definition around what “Social Media” really is. Fortunately in the next 36 months Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and a handful of other smart people come along and change the way we communicate forever.
In 2003, when I joined Monster.com, it was an emerging company that was trying to tell employers and job seekers that posting/finding a new career online was a better option than the traditional source of the newspaper. Monster’s stated noble purpose was, “Bringing people together to advance their lives.” How cool was that! But here was a challenge…employers didn’t think the candidates they wanted to hire were using the Internet. They thought the best ways to find future employees was by advertising in newspapers or putting a sign in their window to advertise that they were hiring.
During those 36 months starting in 2003, Monster changed the way employers looked for qualified applicants and candidates changed the way they marketed themselves. The company used the new technology and social medium to attract millions of resumes onto Monster.com. The career site went on to assist all types of job seekers, from the recently graduated and the returning military veteran, to the millions of other hourly and skilled workers looking to accomplish their career goals.
Fast forward to March 2016, and Semafone is beginning its emergence in the North American market. Each week on the news there is story after story regarding a data breach or fraud that has taken place. In fact, 43 percent of companies will have experienced a data breach in the last year, accounting for more than 61 million records with either payment card data or personally identifiable information (PII) being stolen. The breaches occur with credit and debit cards, health care records, Social Security numbers and on and on. While we have each likely felt the impact of these breaches, surprisingly we are still none too cautious about spreading that info around publicly. When was the last time you read out your personal details or have overheard other individuals sharing this information over the phone in offices, taxis, trains, restaurants and other non-secured areas? We also seem to be inherently trusting of the individuals on the line taking down the information, simply hoping that they have our best interests in mind – even when there have been a number of incidents to the contrary. Is this the definition of insanity, or what?
Semafone is diving into an unparalleled opportunity to assist the markets we work with to eliminate breaches and fraud that impact our customers’ customer. With this technology we are addressing the tremendous problem that exists; Semafone is poised to change the way data is processed, while redefining the secure payment transaction experience. Dumping a customer over to an automated robot voice isn’t the answer, because it does nothing for the experience between a company and their customers on the telephone line. Instead, Semafone is inventing new ways to enhance the customer discussion, reduce compliance costs, and making the exchange of personal information much more secure by simply removing that PII and payment information from the call center. With this patented technology, agents can do what they are really there to do: act as brand ambassadors and engage customers. Like Monster, we have the opportunity to offer a game-changing solution that will alter how payments are made and how data is shared, forever.
Does anyone even know if the newspaper has a “Help Wanted” section anymore? If we all do our job correctly you’ll be able to say, “remember when people used to say their card information over the phone?’” Or even more importantly, when the next generation of consumers asks, “what was a payment data breach?”
Are you ready to be part of history?!