British Heart Foundation signs with Gamma and Semafone to secure phone donations

The UK’s largest independent funder of cardiovascular research, the British Heart Foundation, will implement payment security software from Semafone to protect supporters of the charity who make donations over the phone.

The new system, hosted by Gamma, will enable the charity’s Birmingham-based contact centre to become fully compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and to secure donors’ payment card data to the highest standard.

Semafone’s patented payment method lets people donate to the charity by entering their credit card numbers directly into their telephone keypad. From here, the numbers are transmitted directly to the payment processor so no details are stored on the British Heart Foundation’s computers. The keypad tones are disguised so that numbers cannot be identified by their sound, leaving the agent free to continue the conversation with the caller while they make the donation.

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“As an organisation that receives no government funding and relies solely on donations from the public, being able to provide multiple payment options is vital to raising funds to support our research”, commented Ashley Bennett, IT Project Manager at the British Heart Foundation. “But PCI compliance is becoming more and more costly, so we had to consider the best way to continue using our contact centres to collect donations. Implementing Semafone will completely remove our operations from the scope of PCI DSS, allowing us to significantly reduce the cost of compliance and keep the phone channel open for our supporters.”

“Looking long term, we see Gamma as a key technology provider for the charity, so our choice to use Semafone made sense. The technology can also adapt to our need for additional contact centre agents if and when they are required, for example during a specific fundraising campaign,” Mr Bennett said. “The team’s flexibility and commitment to meet our project deadlines was another big differentiator for us. At every stage they have treated us an implementation partner, rather than just a contract to complete.”

Semafone CEO Tim Critchley said “The telephone is still an incredibly important payments channel, especially for charities, as they need to ensure it’s as easy as possible for supporters to make donations. We are thrilled to be able to partner with the British Heart Foundation and support its important role in helping prevent and treat heart disease in the UK. Working alongside Gamma and the charity to deliver a cost-effective, scalable solution has been an incredibly smooth process, and we are looking forward to completing implementation in the coming months. ”

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22 April 2016 | Cem Ahmet

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