Cooperative Response Center

Cooperative Response Center, a 24/7 contact center with offices in Austin, MN, Dunlap, TN, and Abilene, TX, adopted CallGuard On-Site, which provides a solution to allow their contact center agents to take payments without any interaction or storage with consumer payment card data.


Cooperative Response Center (CRC) is a nationwide, cooperatively owned and operated, 24/7 contact center, and alarm monitoring center. Providing services to electric utilities, CRC currently serves over 350 members and associate members in 42 states, representing over 5.6 million consumers.


With thousands of calls coming in from customers relaying credit card details, CRC needed a method that would comply with PCI Data Security Standards across the enterprise, but maintain their high level of customer service. CRC wanted to change the process of capturing credit card numbers from being spoken by the caller and then entered by the agent, to being keyed into the phone by the caller and captured by the agent's PC.

The solution also needed to be:

  • Implemented quickly
  • Compatible with the existing IT infrastructure
  • Flexible enough to meet client's customer service standards


CallGuard On-Site was presented to CRC who needed to know how it was going to work operationally from a contact center perspective. They also needed to know how well it would integrate with other IT and Telecoms within the business.

After the proof of concept was approved, CRC implemented CallGuard across the entire enterprise, across multiple desktops and programs.

A Decoder was installed on each desktop and phone which encrypts the card details before they enter the agent's screen. The agent only hears the sound of the numbers being keyed in (DTMF tones). A Filter was also installed next to the CRC call recorder to remove the DTMF tones made through the keypad and replace them with flat tones.

Finally, DataShield was uploaded onto the agents' desktops to mask the card data from appearing on the screens as the Decoder interprets the pressed keys into numeric data entry. These fields cannot be accessed by agents and ensures that the information cannot be communicated, stored or written down.


CRC rolled out CallGuard in a very short time of just three months. The solution now enables contact center agents to take sensitive information from customers without seeing or hearing any data being verbally relayed to them.

The biggest hurdle we have had to overcome was finding a solution that would allow us to continue offering 100% caller/agent interaction as well as 100% recording of payment calls. Both high level caller/agent engagement and call recordings have been viewed by our members as valuable cornerstones of CRC's services and we believe they will continue to be important in the future. Our answer was found in CallGuard.
Paul Thompson, Vice President of Administration/CFO, Cooperative Response Center, Inc.