Low cost - High Value, Call Recording in an IP environment

Comms Business Magazine talks to Phil Reynolds, Joint CEO at Oak Telecom, about compliance and the key issues surrounding call recording in an IP environment.

Phil Reynolds, Joint CEO at Oak Telecom, believes that the guidance given by the Financial Service Authority (FSA) and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) is not exactly crystal clear when it comes to matters of call recording.

“In fact,” says Reynolds, “The advice can be seen as contradictory. Firstly, the need to undertake call recording where money changes hands is not a legal requirement, it is just a guideline but on the other hand you can’t make the transactions without call recording. Secondly, there is a requirement not to record the CVC number (the last three digits on the back of the card) of the credit card being used for payment but the advice goes on to add, ‘except in circumstances of ...’.

If you need to stop/start the call recording of the CVC number then you need extension side call recording, or line side recording with a CTI interface. That in turn works out to be a more expensive solution. The original guidelines for compliance also noted that the solution had to be ‘affordable’.

There are of course workarounds but these are not entirely elegant and involve the agent pressing keys to stop/start the recording. Taking the solution to the next level, via automation, when the agent is taking the card details would involve a screen based application where when the CVC field is clicked the recording stops and would start again when clicking somewhere out of that field. It’s complicated and the future requirement for mobile call recording will not make matters any easier.”

Reynolds says Oak is investing considerable sums in developing solutions for PCI and mobile compliance.

“We have produced a software developer kit (SDK) for third party software vendors to call our start/stop commands which actually makes the process a simple ten minute job. The SDK is the obvious route forward as it does not require and non-standard technology or methods to be used that may be considered by operating systems as malware.” 

Market Trends:

Oak Telecom believes that there cannot be a single business that would not benefit from having call recording in place.

“If explained well to a prospect there’s no reason for them not to buy call recording. It’s the ‘you said’ scenario instantly solved and besides which call recording is so affordable these days. Every year that passes you get more technology for less money and more and more institutions such as FSA/PCI demanding call recording be used.

If a business is running a customer service centre you should have call recording and what business does not have a customer service team – even if it is only one or two people.

Cloak & Dagger:

We have renamed our Agent Evaluation application as ‘Call Evaluation. The term ‘Agent’ can be a bit confusing to many companies. We tend to use it extensively in our industry but for others the word is more often associated with the likes of James Bond.

Interestingly, customer service levels improve immediately staff know there is call evaluation software being installed. However, the more forward thinking companies that deploy the application ensure that they evaluate the calls together with the agent and with Oak Call Evaluation, scoring the call is a simple process.

Call recording is not an application just for call centres. The cost is low and the value is high for every business that uses it.

Reynolds says that as legislation affecting call recording changes or is introduced Oak Telecom has always been swift to respond with solutions for their channel partners.

“Now, with our SDK and 64-bit technology we are another step or two ahead of our competition. We have been reluctant to do workarounds for PCI compliance as we are nervous that workarounds are not good enough as long term solutions. It’s comforting for our users however to know that any Oak Telecom call recording solution bought today will be automatically upgraded to latest software as it is released.”


This article was originally published in Comms Business Magazine.

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