The sixth-largest water company, serving over three million people in Wales
Industry: Utilities Employees: 3,000 Revenue: £738 million
Business: The sixth largest water company, serving over three million people in Wales. The company is responsible for providing a continuous, high-quality supply of drinking water and treating and properly disposing of wastewater.
Challenge: To reduce the call queue and increase the efficiency of their payment systems.
Solution: EckohPAY for automated, self-service secure payments and PCI DSS compliance.
- Customers have a choice of payment channel
- Agents have been freed up for more complex inquiries
- Flexibility to scale up, or down
Welsh Water is fully committed to delivering the best quality services at the least possible cost to its customers. They were looking to increase the efficiency and security of paying a water bill to their customers.
Welsh Water wanted to achieve the following to align with their 2010 operational objectives:
- Reduce call queue times to their contact centers
- Increase the efficiency of paying a water bill for their customers, and meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliance
- Reduce their operational costs to leverage cost savings where automation was available
The company also wanted to explore other payment channels that customers could use to pay their water bill. For instance, creating a bespoke payment website for Welsh Water would not only reduce calls into the contact center but would avoid using third-party websites that are expensive and direct payments away from the company.
In partnership with British Telecom (BT), Eckoh implemented its EckohPAY solution - a real-time, secure, PCI DSS-compliant processing service. It provides callers with the ability to pay their water charges using debit or credit cards on a no-wait, no queue basis without having to speak to a contact center agent.
This service enables contact center agents to transfer calls back to an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) for customers to make their payments. It also handles payments from collections for those customers who are in debt.
EckohPAY's web service was introduced to provide a multi-channel solution. This offered Welsh Water customers an additional way to pay their water bill. BT and Eckoh provided a hosted website, linked from the company's existing site and appropriately branded to ensure continuity. A customer number is validated, the customer details are then entered, and then they select the amount they wish to pay. The customer can pay the full amount with their credit or debit card details. As EckohPAY is a fully PCI DSS-compliant solution, it includes the option to store card details for repeat payments and provide an SMS or email transaction receipt to the customer.
In accordance with Welsh Water's requirements, EckohPAY's phone and web services are available in both Welsh and English, with the language option being offered at the beginning of the payment process.
The PCI DSS-compliant Welsh Water service was one of the first multi-channel payment solutions created by Eckoh. It gives customers a secure and efficient means of paying their water bill and has led to increased customer satisfaction. Welsh Water has benefited from reduced operational costs and repetitive calls to contact center agents. Juan Boo, Senior Project Manager, Eckoh
Welsh Water now offers customers a choice to how they can pay their water bill, quickly and securely. This has led to improved customer satisfaction and reduced operational costs. Contact center agents are now free to deal with more complex, higher value or urgent inquiries and customers are now benefiting from reduced queue times.
As a solution unique to Eckoh, we recognize that this example is likely a challenge many other enterprise organizations struggle with when they begin tackling payment security within their contact centers. Some organizations may even feel their only option is to either deploy hardware on-premise – likely disrupting long-term cloud transformation strategies – or only achieve partial PCI DSS de-scoping.
As a result, the methodology innovated for The Client is now part of the Eckoh architecture. In fact, multiple other clients have also taken advantage of this solution, allowing them to maintain their existing telephony architecture while maintaining the strictest possible standard for payment security.
To learn more about how Eckoh secures payments across all engagement channels, please contact one of our trusted advisors.
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