About the Organization

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is an organization that provides care and guidance for anyone affected by sight loss. Its main aim is to make daily life better for people affected by sight loss, by campaigning to raise awareness of sight problems, providing much needed services and advocating for a more inclusive society.

The Challenge

The RNIB relies on fundraising to be able to carry out its important work. Therefore, it is key that supporters and donors can make donations quickly and easily over the phone. The contact center team works closely with colleagues in fundraising to execute campaigns, which yield an annual gross income of around £6.5 million.

Donations are given through numerous channels, one of the most popular being card payments made over the telephone.

The Complexity of Homeworking and PCI Compliance

To take payment card transactions over the phone, RNIB needed to ensure its contact center complied with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). However, as the charity uses 140 home-based telephone fundraisers working from separate locations all over the UK taking CNP (cardholder-not-present) payments from donors, there was an additional level of complexity around PCI DSS compliance. Homeworking solutions are extremely difficult to implement, as not only do they require specific systems to be able to prove regulatory compliance, but they also have to integrate with the individual worker’s phone and IT system. Semafone’s patented payment method ensures the requisite security is in place to secure all home workers to the highest standard, while also sitting seamlessly within the existing telephony environment.

Taking Data Security Seriously

RNIB takes the security of its supporters’ personal data seriously, and wanted to protect them to the highest possible standard when making telephone payments. With the rise of CNP payments and the ever-increasing requirement to provide a fully compliant contact center system, combined with the logistical difficulties of using homeworkers, RNIB wanted an industry-leading solution that was also economically viable. The organization also needed to maintain its cost per transaction to ensure that donations were not eaten away by administration costs.

The Solution

The charity began working with a specialist consultant to define the business case and the technical integration needed within the telephone fundraising and telephony systems. In early 2016 the implementation of the system began, and one team of homeworking telephone fundraisers was trained to start taking Semafone card payments on one of the smaller campaigns several months later.

The pilot was enormously successful and required very few changes, which meant that the RNIB could roll out the Semafone payment system across all 140 of the homeworkers’ sites quickly and efficiently. By September 2016, all the telephone fundraisers had been trained and could take secure card payments from RNIB’s valued supporters.

The implementation of Semafone’s solution means that RNIB’s supporters are now able to input payment card details directly into their telephone keypad. The numbers are obscured using dual tone multi frequency (DTMF) masking, so the agent cannot see or hear the numbers and can stay in full communication with the customer at all times to help with any issues that may arise during the payment process. The patented payment method also sends any payment card numbers straight to the payment service provider (PSP), so that they completely bypass the internal contact center IT system.

The Benefits

Thanks to the increased security of DTMF masking and the transfer of payment card numbers directly to the PSP, RNIB is now PCI DSS compliant, which has ensured that its homeworking program can continue to support its fundraising efforts. This means the charity can provide the services needed by blind and partially sighted people, such as delivering independent living, helping those who are losing their sight rebuild their lives, campaigning for a society that includes blind and partially sighted people as equal citizens, and helping to raise awareness about prevention of sight loss, ultimately leading to fewer people losing their sight.

Catherine Lloyd, senior telemarketing manager at the Royal National Institute of Blind People commented: “An increasing number of RNIB donors have high expectations when it comes to data security. As such, supporters have been impressed with the difference made by having a secure payment method via the phone; they have reported being happier with not having to verbally supply their card details when paying using the telephone. Many donors are elderly, while some are blind or partially sighted, so the simplicity of Semafone’s solution has been essential for the charity as we wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to support the work we do here at RNIB.”

With a home-based team of 140 staff, compliance with the PCI DSS had always been a significant challenge. Securing homeworkers across the UK can be a complex task. However, unlike many other options on the market, Semafone’s simple and intuitive payment method protects an environment that is notoriously difficult to secure. Thanks to this, the solution considerably reduces the numbers of PCI controls that must be adhered to by the charity. Ms. Lloyd continued, “Semafone’s solution has made a huge difference to us. With many of our employees being homeworkers, we were very concerned about compliance. With Semafone’s solution, RNIB can meet the data security demands of the PCI DSS, while also providing the best possible customer service. It also reinforces to our donors that we take the  security of their data seriously.”

RNIB
Semafone