By Rich Hamilton, Director of Marketing & Product Development
Many associations use a third-party telemarketing services firm to place outbound calls to place reminder calls to lapsed members or members which are about to lapse in the near future. Most associations don’t have the internal manpower to make the calls themselves and turn to outbound call experts to get the job done and to ensure a maximum membership retention rate from their existing members.
One area of concern for all associations is the security of their data and the security of the payment information. To ensure the highest security, there are three primary reasons to pay a little extra for Telemarketing Services firm with a PCI Level 1 Service Provider certification
First, what does PCI Level 1 mean? In a nutshell, it means that the telemarketing service provider has undergone an extensive data security review and has demonstrated that payment card information is protected from loss or theft. The payment card industry has defined different levels and Quality Contact Solutions offers PCI Level 1 which means that a third party qualified security assessor (QSA) has reviewed our security policies, our networks and has tested our systems based on rigorous minimum standards established by PCI DSS.
Security of Data and Payment Information is Critical for Your Association Membership Retention Program
Does your association membership retention strategy include offering payment by credit card as an option? It should, and if so, you want to make sure your outbound telemarketing call partner is a PCI Level 1 Service Provider.
Why? We live in a day when theft is prevalent everywhere. The news is full of stories where credit card data and personal information is stolen. Remember the Equifax breach in 2017? An estimated 143 million consumers had their personal information compromised.
Because credit card companies understand the risks and want to maintain consumer and business confidence in using credit cards as a payment mechanism, the major credit card companies created security standards known as PCI DSS to ensure credit card data breach are less likely to occur.
If your credit card merchant processor does not require you to collect credit cards using a PCI compliant method, then just know that it is good business to protect your members’ data and payment information.
Here are some of the potential issues if there were a breach of your member data or payment information:
- Severe penalties/fine
- Loss of credit card merchant account
- Loss of member confidence
- Diminished membership renewals
- Fraud Loss
- Higher subsequent costs of compliance
- Go out of business
Efficiency of Membership Renewals Process is Enhanced By Collecting Payment Information Using a PCI Compliant Service Provider
Sometimes associations decide not to use a PCI Level 1 Service Provider. If a PCI Level 1 Service Provider is not used, then the outsourced telemarketing partner is unable to process credit cards. So instead, the association asks the outsourced telemarketing partner to pass the call or member information to the association in order to collect the credit card. This creates added work for the association and potential inconvenience for the member.
The right PCI Level 1 Service Provider will be able to integrate with your payment processor. This way credit cards are processed the same way, whether done by the service provider or the association. The association saves that time for other important work and only needs to download a file to reconcile all the renewals!
Taking Membership Renewals by Credit Card Results in Higher Renewal Percentage
By choosing an outsourced telemarketing partner that is PCI Certified Level 1 to process credit cards, you will also see an increase in renewals. We have experienced from renewing thousands of association members that being able to take the credit card on the spot while the member is engaged is much more successful. A lot can happen if the credit card is not taken immediately. The member may be very difficult to get ahold of again, delaying the renewal, or the member may lose interest. Better to strike while the iron is hot!
Taking credit cards is an important part of any association membership retention program. Finding the right PCI Level 1 Service Provider will give you the security needed while boosting efficiency and increasing renewals. What more could you want!
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Rich Hamilton is the Director of Marketing & Product Development for Quality Contact Solutions, a leading outsourced telemarketing organization. Rich works tirelessly to bring new products to the teleservices and call center market. Rich is also the creative powerhouse behind executing on a wide spectrum of marketing initiatives for the organization. In addition, Rich is a telemarketing compliance guru with a Customer Engagement Compliance Professional (CECP) certification to back it up . Rich can be reached at [email protected] or 516-656-5105.