About Avon

Avon is part of the Natura & Co family. Natura & Co represents four iconic beauty brands united by purpose. Together, Natura, Avon, Aesop and The Body Shop form the fourth largest beauty group in the world, with a global family of 40,000 employees in over 100 countries. The group is connected by a shared commitment to sustainable and ethical business practice.

The challenge

Avon takes a significant number of payments by phone each year via its self-service IVR and contact centers. Following a formal procurement and competitive tender process, Avon deployed CardEasy in 2018 to allow the handling of ‘over the phone’ payments utilizing DTMF masking technology. Using CardEasy, callers enter their payment card details via the keypad of their phone, enabling payments to be taken without the card details being exposed to the contact center environment, including advisors, IT infrastructure  and applications such as call & screen recording.

The driver behind this decision was the wish to fully descope Avon’s contact centers and systems from PCI DSS and significantly reduce the substantial administrative and financial burden of the annual PCI audits.

“Our aim was to try and make the yearly process a lot simpler and to reduce the large number of requirements that we needed to meet as part of our annual PCI audit. To do this we decided to remove the card data and move to SAQ A.”

Jason Earnshaw, SSC Technology and Projects Manager

Why CardEasy?

CardEasy was selected because it works seamlessly with Avon’s existing IVR and telephony platform and is completely agnostic to systems and payment processors.

“It was very important for us to find a solution that would work with our existing telephony environment and investment. We didn’t want to have to change our IVR or telephony platform in order to get the benefits of DTMF masking.”

In the three years since Avon began using CardEasy there have been several significant changes, motivated by Avon’s desire to get closer to its customers and further improve both its customer and representative satisfaction. During this time it has not had to make any changes to CardEasy in order to facilitate these changes:

  • Introducing a new outsourced contact center vendor on a different continent
  • Moving to a new SIP based cloud telephony platform
  • All Avon staff, including outsourced contact center advisors, have switched to working from home as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic.

The benefits of using CardEasy

Seamless transition

“The fact that we had CardEasy meant that we were able to make these changes almost seamlessly. Using a cloud based CardEasy solution means that it does not matter where our advisors are located across the planet – the process is the same. It just all works.”

IVR or agent assist mode

Although the majority of Avon’s payments are processed online, customers sometimes need to make a payment over the telephone, for example after discussing their balance or any returns with a customer service advisor.

CardEasy offers two modes of operation for Avon – Avon’s automated IVR system enables callers to make a payment without speaking to an advisor, and Agent Assisted mode enables a caller to make a payment during a conversation with a live agent.

For maximum convenience, Avon offers its reps both options. When a caller first makes contact with the contact center they are presented with an IVR which offers the five most common actions plus the option to press zero to talk to an agent. Callers can use the IVR to make payments as well as a whole range of other common tasks from placing new orders and ordering replacement products through to requesting account information and checking delivery details. Using CardEasy, it’s possible to switch seamlessly from Agent Assisted to AutoPay and vice versa quickly and easily if the caller’s requirements change.

“We wanted to make sure that the experience of the caller would be consistent and not disjointed. The last thing we wanted was for a caller to be re-routed halfway through the call to a different IVR that had been set up just to process payments. With CardEasy it all happens within the same system.”

The switch to working from home

The pandemic has meant that more people are signing up to be reps and so Avon has been processing a significantly higher volume of calls. At the same time Avon’s workforce and outsourcing partners have moved to working from home.

“Because we were already using CardEasy it made the transition to working from home a lot simpler.  The fact that our advisors do not see or hear any card data is much more secure and allows us to record 100% of our calls without any pauses of audio or screen for additional behavioural monitoring.”

Quality monitoring of calls

Avon performs regular quality monitoring of calls and screens.

“One of the benefits of CardEasy is that there’s no card data on any calls or call recordings. This means that team members can listen back to calls without the risk of them being exposed to payment card data. Unlike ‘pause and resume’ on call recording, you don’t need to worry about the advisor being exposed to payment card data either. This is because CardEasy automatically blocks the voice path towards the advisor during capture of the middle six digits of their PAN and for all digits of the CV2, so even those customers which read their PAN or CV2 digits aloud whilst entering them using their telephone keypad (which is very common) will not be captured in call recordings or heard by advisors.”

Reliability

“Every call made or received routes via CardEasy before it connects to our infrastructure. In all the years that we’ve been working with Syntec I can count on one hand the number of times there’s been any kind of problem. I haven’t phoned Syntec once in the last year with technical issues.”

Flexibility

“Syntec has a range of cloud-based functionality that we regularly use including busy divert – a selection of routing options that automatically route calls to alternative locations in the event of an Avon or 3rd party technical outage. The Syntec portal can be accessed from anywhere and functionality can be amended in seconds.”

Reporting and analytics

“We get everything that we need from Syntec’s reporting portal including obtaining Syntec’s yearly PCI Certificate.”

Competitive pricing

“CardEasy was selected following a formal procurement and competitive tender process. Naturally, we looked at other options at this time and found that CardEasy was not only a leading solution from a technical and compliance standpoint, it is also extremely competitively priced, whilst also offering significantly enhanced functionality compared to the alternatives.”

Integration with existing systems

“We found that some vendors that provide a similar solution to CardEasy will not work with your existing systems and require you to rebuild an IVR in the cloud. At Avon we had invested in our IVR and telephony platform which is fully integrated with our backend platforms and we really didn’t want to have to rip that out and start again. Using CardEasy allowed us to leverage our existing systems with minimal changes.”

No need to have any equipment onsite

“With CardEasy has everything hosted in the cloud, There was no requirement to have any equipment located on premise, this reduces the yearly audit scope and helps us achieve SAQ A.”