Semafone today announced an agreement with payment services and technology provider Servebase.

Under the terms of the agreement, Servebase’s customers will be able to access Semafone’s secure voice payment technology through Servebase’s hosted payment page and gateway service, ANYpay.  The Semafone technology holds a patent for its method of securing card payments made by telephone.

By using Semafone’s technology in this way, Servebase will be able to grant consumers the same confidence and security when making payments over the phone that they would experience in traditional retail and ecommerce transactions. Semafone allows customers to use their telephone keypad to transmit card data directly to their bank so no sensitive details are held in the contact centre’s infrastructure.

Card numbers are not spoken aloud and individual key tones are masked by the Semafone application so that they cannot be recognised by their sound. The contact centre agent can neither hear nor see sensitive information, even though they will remain on the call. In this way, Semafone essentially eliminates fraud in contact centres while also dramatically reducing the cost and burden of Payment Card Industry Data Security (PCI DSS) regulations.

“Semafone is offering a simple, robust and unique solution to the problem of security for telephone payments,” commented Ritz Steytler, CEO of Servebase.  “Our customers include some of the biggest names in a wide array of sectors, from hospitality to financial services.  They rely on us to provide reliable and secure payment services for every channel they use and the partnership with Semafone means that we can remove another headache for them.”

“We are very pleased to be helping Servebase provide merchants with cost effective PCI-DSS compliance,” commented Tim Critchley, CEO of Semafone.  “Consumers still value the level of engagement offered through telephone payments, so it is important that we ensure contact centres provide the same level of safety that customers take for granted in traditional bricks and mortar or ecommerce environments. We hope that through Semafone’s partnership with Servebase, we will be able to offer their merchants and their customers peace of mind, by adding this extra security.”

 About Semafone

Founded in 2009, Semafone is fast being recognised as the global leader in secure voice transactions. The company provides an innovative solution which takes contact centres out of scope of PCI DSS regulations for telephone payments.

How it works

Semafone allows the call – and the call recording – to continue as normal while the customer enters their credit card information using the telephone keypad.  Card data is sent directly to the bank, avoiding the need for contact centre agents to hear or see card details.  Semafone’s clients include the Foreign & Commonwealth Office,  Aviva Canada, BetFair, The Cartridge People, Family Investments, Embassy of the United States of America, Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS), Markel, Nemo Personal Finance, The Post Office, Quadrant, Response, Registration Transfers, Sky, Swift Advances, TalkTalk, TVG, Yorkshire Water.

Semafone is working with a number of industry leading partners to extend its solution further into the global market.

Funding and accolades

Semafone received a £1.9m investment from Octopus Ventures in 2010 and a further £1.5m, primarily from existing investors, in 2012. The company received the European Call Centre Award for the most innovative product in 2010 and the Emerging Technology award in the 2012 METAwards, organised by the Merchant Risk Council (MRC). In November 2012 Semafone was selected by Real Business magazine as one of the Wonga Future 50, “the bold, disruptive new generation of entrepreneurial businesses.”


In June 2012 Semafone secured UK patent #GB2473376.  The patent covers a number of aspects related to the use of dual tone multi-frequency signalling (DTMF) to capture payment card data from a call centre customer during a live phone call and pass it to a payment system.  Semafone is now actively pursuing US patents.

Semafone and Servebase Join Forces to Make Telephone Payments Secure

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