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Surrey: Nemo Personal Finance Limited, the secured loans provider, has implemented technology from Semafone to ensure that customer payments by telephone are compliant with Payment Card Industry (PCI) security regulations. Nemo reports that the new technology has already brought about a reduction in the lender’s monthly transaction costs, customer confidence has improved and staff are enthusiastic about its adoption.


Nemo chose Semafone to solve the problem of conflicting requirements from the Financial Services Authority and from PCI Data Security Standards. While the FSA recommends that companies record all customer calls as a best practice approach, compliance with PCI regulations prohibits the recording of sensitive card data. Semafone solves this problem by using the telephone keypad to transmit card data directly from the customer to the acquiring bank. Not only does the card data bypass Nemo’s IT and telephony infrastructure completely, but individual key tones are masked so numbers are not recognisable by their sound and no details are spoken aloud. The agent, who remains in voice contact with the customer throughout the call, is thereby removed from the responsibility of handling card data.

Nemo did consider other options which would enable them to take on board the best practice approaches, but none of them were able to remove the contact centre entirely from the scope of PCI regulations while integrating seamlessly with the company’s call management, recording and customer relationship management systems. Semafone’s patented technology alone met these requirements.

“The response from both customers and staff has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Paul Strinati, Head of Change Management and IT at Nemo. “Customers understand how much more secure the new method is, and lose none of their personal interaction with us because they can remain in voice contact with an agent throughout the payment process. For our staff, the process of taking telephone payments has been made easier, as the integration of Semafone into our IT infrastructure has streamlined our processes. We had originally planned a phased implementation, but after only three days the team trialling the system found it so easy to use that we decided to roll it out to the rest of the department immediately.”

“We are delighted that the integration has gone so smoothly,” added Graham Thompson, Sales and Marketing Director at Semafone. “We worked with four other third parties, along with Nemo’s own team, to complete the project for them and the result is a seamless solution that removes the headache of PCI compliance for Nemo while providing a better and more secure solution for its customers.”