Semafone Secures U.K. Patent on Call Center Payment Technology
June 11, 2012
Semafone, a London-area company whose technology reduces call center agent fraud by enabling consumers to make card payments over the phone without disclosing the card number to the agent, has been granted a U.K. patent on the technology. The company says the patent covers a number of aspects related to using its DTMF technology to capture card data from a call center customer during a live phone call and pass it to a payment system.
According to the abstract accompanying Semafone’s patent application, DTMF is a “telephone call processor for processing telephone calls comprising voice signals and data signals, the call processor comprising a first telephone interface and a second telephone interface, the call processor being operable in a first mode and in a second mode. In the first mode, the call processor is adapted to receive voice signals and data signals at the first telephone interface and to transmit voice signals and data signals via the second telephone interface. In the second mode, the call processor is adapted to receive voice signals and data signals at the first telephone interface, to block data signals from being transmitted via the second telephone interface and optionally to transmit voice signals via the second telephone interface.”
The technology enables call center agents to take sales calls, but when the time comes to accept payment details, the consumer keys in the card number, which is accepted by the system rather than the agent and transmitted to the payment processor automatically.