Over half of UK and US businesses are worried about payment card data being stolen

Over half of both the UK (52 per cent) and the US (60 per cent) companies have said that they believe an attack on payment card data is likely or very likely, according to a recent study conducted by Semafone, which provides secure payment software for contact centres.


On the phone

According to the company, contact centres have seen an increase in the number of payments made over the telephone.  In fact 84 per cent of US and 87 per cent of UK respondents stated that the volume had increased or remained level over the past two years.  Only 14 per cent of all respondents suggested that the number of telephone payments has declined.

However, despite the increase in telephone payments and companies’ fear of an attack, they still appear to be under-prepared for such an event. Only 46 per cent of respondents said that they have implemented and maintain a full set of Payment Card Industry (PCI) controls to reduce the risk of an attack. More surprisingly, 81 per cent admitted that they ask their customers to say their card details out loud.


Out loud

“It’s astonishing that so many companies still ask their customers to read their card details out loud over the phone,” said Tim Critchley, CEO of Semafone.

“Both card and telephone fraud are on the increase in the US and the UK, but it’s clear that there is more work to be done to put the right security measures in place. It’s good to see that organisations are waking up to the threat of attack and recognising the reputational damage a breach can bring, but we all need to move faster if we want to avoid more large-scale incidents,” he added.

Reputational damage biggest concern

Eight out of ten respondents in total (79 per cent US and 86 per cent UK) felt that loss of customers or brand/ reputational damage would be the most damaging effect of a payment card data breach.

Seven out of ten UK businesses have said they have a crisis communication plan in place in the event of a payment card data breach, whilst only 51 per cent of US companies said the same.

Just over 80 per cent of US respondents and ight out of ten UK respondents occasionally or always ask their customers to say their card details out loud to the agent when they make payments. In fact, 52 per cent of US respondents always ask them to do so, compared with 54 per cent of UK respondents.

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