Great Places Housing Group partners with allpay Limited

Following a review of the market, Great Places Housing Group has procured allpay Limited’s DTMF tone masking solution in order to reduce the risk of fraud and data breaches. The group, which owns and manages more than 18,000 homes across the North West and Yorkshire region, is one of the largest developing housing associations in the North of England.

allpay Limited, the UK’s leading payments specialist, has been providing payment solutions to Great Places Housing Group since 2009 and now collects nearly £23 million across more than 300,000 transactions per annum through its direct debt service, Post Office and PayPoint services and its range of debit/credit card acceptance solutions. This includes online, automated phone, text, mobile payment app and virtual terminal Callpay – the latter allowing its staff to process payments over the phone. All solutions are provided through the Consortium Procurement framework, after allpay Limited was awarded sole supplier status on the Framework in 2015.

In November 2016, following an external compliance review of its payment services, Great Places sought a secure method of transacting card payments over the phone that de-scoped its whole contact centre from PCI DSS. Latest revisions of the PCI DSS standards have tightened security requirements, making the previous solution increasingly unwieldy to control and inflexible to operate.

allpay Limited’s DTMF tone masking solution, provided as part of its exclusive reseller agreement with PCI DSS compliant contact centre solutions provider, Eckoh, removed desktops, IT and telephony systems, agents and call recordings from PCI DSS compliance scope. Great Places’ customers would also be able to type their card numbers into the telephone keypad, rather than saying them aloud to an agent. In addition to being competitively priced, the solution is integrated with Callpay which is already utilised by the group, removing any additional software and payment file integration and providing a cloud-based environment that its agents were already familiar with.

James Bolton, Card Acceptance Product Manager, from allpay said: “As a result of the implementation, we have been able to completely remove Great Places’ contact centre from the PCI DSS audit scope for taking payments and have significantly reduced the risk of fraud and data breaches – which was the group’s primary objective. This allows the group to comply with PCI DSS through completion of SAQ-A only, dramatically reducing its compliance requirements.

“When ringing the automated phone line, Great Places customers have the option to make an automated phone payment, via allpay’s 0330 IVR line, or to be put through to one of Great Places’ agents for the payment to be securely processed by its staff utilising Callpay’s DTMF tone masking functionality.”

Mike Hughes, business analysis team manager at Great Places said: “We looked at half-a-dozen providers prior to partnering with allpay. However with the integration benefits allpay could provide, the assurance that it and Eckoh offered, and also that we would receive payments within the daily allpay files as we currently do now – it was a no brainer to use allpay. Some of the other providers also required the group to be doing a certain volume of transactions, but allpay in contrast was flexible with its approach.”

Hughes continued: “The solution from allpay eliminated the need to carry out a major upgrade of our system which would have required significant capital and ongoing investment, the annual completion of rigorous PCI compliance forms, additional encryption and ongoing maintenance. We estimated this alone would have doubled our investment costs from the solution we procured from allpay and would have been an annual project to ensure compliance.”

Author: Dylan Jones

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