JOHANNESBURG – March 01, 2012 – Local technology solutions and people resources integrator, Intuate Group, has announced its partnership with leader in secure voice transactions, Semafone, a UK-based organisation that offers an innovative solution that eliminates the opportunity for call centre agent fraud in credit card transactions.

The partnership between Intuate Group and Semafone will enable South African contact centres to take voice payments, without agents ever having to hear or see credit card details.

“In South Africa, there are currently 1,500 call centres that employ more than 100,000 agents and process millions of Rands in credit card transactions each year; so it may not come as a surprise that payment fraud in South Africa totalled R403 million in 2011,” says Mark Edwards, director of product and services at Intuate Group. “The vast majority of these payments are currently taken over the phone, exposing the business to the risk of agent fraud.”

The solution that will be offered by Intuate Group and Semafone ensures that contact centres are totally protected from any type of agent data leak via the secure voice transaction system that allows the agent and the caller to remain in voice communication throughout the call.

“Customers simply enter their card data via their telephone keypad instead of speaking it over the phone to the call centre agent, meaning that the sensitive data does not ever enter the call centre environment. The key advantages of the solution are that the agent only hears a single flat tone on keypad entry and that they are able to stay on the telephone to assist the customer throughout the process if required. Call recording systems simply record masked/ unidentified digits and any computer system merely shows asterisks. And, as clients intuitively understand that Semafone is protecting them against the theft of their card/financial data, customer satisfaction levels improve,” adds Edwards.

Simple to use, the Semafone method of inputting card data via the keypad is easier than speaking it over the phone as there are no communication or transcribing errors. Other benefits include: reduced average handling times, increased customer satisfaction and negligible impact to current call flow.

“Intuate Group is excited about this partnership because the solution is so simple, yet hugely effective. Combined with our market-leading contact centre skills, contact centres now have the ability to protect future payment transactions. The partnership will provide our mutual clients with the peace of mind and assurance that their data is protected, while also providing a clear return on investment. Furthermore, the solution positions clients to take many parts of their business out-of-scope for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance, as the card data simply does not enter the call centre saving huge PCI compliance costs,” says Edwards.

“While fraud is a significant threat in the South African contact centre market, Intuate Group is committed to addressing the issue to bring peace of mind to consumers and greater protection to its clients,” says Graham Thompson, sales and marketing director at Semafone. “The company has a great reputation and strong strategic partnerships. We are delighted to join its partner network and will work closely with Intuate Group to help eliminate fraud and to reduce the scope and associated costs of its clients’ PCI compliance projects.”

Following greater demands on customer service and increasing legislation in terms of compliance, Intuate Group and Semafone feel that this partnership is ideally positioned to provide the contact centre marketplace with an effective, secure payment solution with rapid return on investment.

About Semafone:

Founded in 2009, Semafone is fast being recognised as the leader in secure voice transactions. In 2010, Semafone received the European Call Centre 2010 Award for the most innovative product. The company provides solutions for contact centres to take voice payments without agents needing to hear or see card details. Unlike automated payment IVRs, callers remain in voice communications throughout the call. Not only are all contact centre payments PCI DSS compliant, Semafone can also take the contact centre out of scope from PCI DSS, thus saving vast compliance costs for each of its customers. Beyond payments Semafone is able to secure the capture of any numeric data within the contact centre e.g. direct debits or identification and verification information. The company is privately funded and received a significant investment from Octopus Ventures in 2010. Semafone’s clients include the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Careline Services, Markel, Swift Advances, SpecSavers and Family Investments. The company is working with a number of industry leading partners to bring the Semafone solution to global market.

Semafone is one of only three companies to be shortlisted for the startup category of the METAwards, organised by the Merchant Risk Council (MRC). The company will be presenting its solution at the MRC conference in Las Vegas, March 27-29, and at the European Congress in Dublin, April 25-27.

Further information about Semafone is available at


Intuate Group is a privately owned, broad based IT company that focuses on providing professional, integrated technology and people resources solutions. Its services encompass the provision of state-of-the-art contact centre solutions, the supply and implementation of best-of-breed IT solutions, as well as IT strategy and consulting. The company is also a partner of choice for business intelligence, project management, the management and support of IT infrastructure – specifically storage and server consolidation – and the provision of resources.

For more information, please visit


Intuate Group, Mark Edwards, (011) 302-1200,

icomm, Debbie Sielemann, (082) 414-4633,,

Leave a Reply