Brief to implement new telephone card payment system to secure and streamline collections 24/7
Vivid Homes Housing Association is one of the largest providers of affordable new homes in the South of England. To maintain its high quality services, it not only works closely with its residents, but also relies on lean and effective business processes to achieve its goals of efficiency savings and excellent customer service. First Vivid recognised that the payment options it offered to its residents were falling short of these goals.
To overcome this problem and ensure systems were in place to help maximize its rent collections, it needed to offer residents a hassle free way to pay rent. It was vital to introduce more flexibility and efficiency to its collection processes. A solution was required, one with security and ease of use at the forefront of its design. After careful investigations, it commissioned BCH Digital to consult and deliver the ‘best fit’ answer.
Meeting potential problems: inefficient and limited payment options – how to cope with new payees
With the introduction of Universal Credit being paid directly to residents themselves, Vivid Homes could no longer rely on rent being paid directly to it by local authorities. It didn’t want to encourage its new payee residents to use cheques or cash because of respective admin and handling issues. As a commercial operation, it was critical that its rental collections were not compromised by any processing inefficiencies. It needed maximum rental income with minimum arrears. BCH, with its Level 1 PCI approval status, proposed that payments be streamlined by implementing two separate solutions: one for inbound calls and one for outbound calls. The proposed combination would be effective in de-scoping Vivid entirely from PCI DSS requirements.
A ‘Best Fit’ telephone payment solution: Live and Automated services, working together to securely streamline collections and maximize revenues
BCH provided Vivid with two separate inbound and outbound call solutions: .
Assist is a fully automated, PCI approved payment solution for Vivid callers. It securely accepts payments 24/7 and provides a simple and convenient way for residents to pay their accounts using their debit or credit card, anytime and from anywhere. Previous to Assist, staff were inefficiently using their time to manually process payments and were only able to do so during working hours. Now, BCH's new automated payment service takes callers swiftly and securely through the payment process, intelligently identifying each caller to validate his or her account.
Complementing the efficiency of Assist, Collect allows Vivid to process payments with outbound calls. Agents simply connect to Collect’s secure platform before entering a resident’s contact number. Once connected, the payment is processed in the same way as with inbound calls. As with Assist, the process is completely secure and no sensitive card data ever comes within reach of an agent or any call recording equipment.
Both Assist and Collect are hosted within BCH's secure PCI approved Level 1 platform, ensuring the highest level of PCI compliance.
The Benefits: flexible payment options to secure timely payments
The flexibility of the service has proved highly successful. Residents make payments on time and often out of hours. Assist and Collect combined have helped Vivid maximise its collections using the most cost effective means. Both solutions were installed with no downtime, minimum agent training and were easily integrated with existing PSPs. With the services providing swift and convenient payment options as well as live balance enquiries and immediate receipts via SMS or voice, staff spend less time on unproductive tasks and increased time on more profitable concerns and customer service tasks. Targeting staff efforts in this way has enabled First Wessex to meet its aim of securing lean and effective business processes to safeguard its continued drive towards efficiency and excellent customer service