Adeptra

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Adeptra

I have an interesting story to tell, along with a company whose technology I recently discovered, that may help prevent the embarrassment and inconvenience I suffered as a result of my credit card being declined. It all started just the other day when I attempted to use my Sony VISA card to make a purchase at a grocery store and the clerk told me that my credit card was declined. How embarrassing is that? (Embarrassment #1) I knew I had plenty of credit available, but rather than hold up the line I simply paid with another card. My wife also told me the Sony card was declined earlier in the day. I then called Sony VISA and after entering in my account number the auto-attendant told me that I was being transferred to Sony's Security and Anti-Fraud division. "Great, what's this? Did someone steal my credit card number?" I thought to myself. The automated system spoke a few transactions to me and asked if they were valid or not and using speech recognition it determined if I said "yes" or "no". On one of the transactions, it said "SUNOCO, category Automobile Fuel for $1". Hmmm, I never charge gasoline for only $1 or make any credit card charges for $1, for that matter. I know credit card scammers often "test" credit card numbers with small amounts to see if the number is valid, so I thought for sure my credit card was stolen. Well, as it turns out that after speaking to a Sony representative, he told me that gas stations do things a little differently -- that they only charge a small amount, such as $1 to make sure the card is valid and then batch process the actual amount at the end of the month. So that $1 charge was indeed valid for a $40 gas purchase I recently made. So if it's not fraudulent activity on my card, then why was my card blocked twice? So I asked him why my card was declined and he then proceeded to ask me about several purchases, including a Dell PC (business expense), a Sony PC (personal expense), and a few others. I told him they were all valid purchases and he said, "Ok, you're all set". I said, "What do you mean I am all set? You mean my card will work now?" "Yes sir, you are all set now." Great, thanks a lot Sony VISA. Thanks for calling me to tell me you were blocking my card from any purchases! I was a little annoyed that they setup their "fraudulent activity filters" just as aggressively as I set my Outlook spam filters (inside joke). Now, I understand the need to prevent fraud, but if you're going to put a block on my card, then at least call me. I've received similar calls from other credit companies in the past wanting to verify transactions. Well, here's the problem. Credit card companies do not have the call center resources to contact every customer of theirs any time they detect fraudulent activity. It's very cost prohibitive to have enough call center agents to make those outbound calls. They have to pay for the labor of the call center agents as well as the cost of the call. I guess they're damned if they don't call me to check for fraud and damned if they do since it affects their profit margins. It seems now that some will err on the side of caution and decline your card until you contact them. Not very nice if you ask me. Now if only an automated system would make proactive outbound calls to notify me when they detect fraudulent activity on my card this would have never of happened. (Reminds me of the quote from Woody Woodpecker: "If Woody had done 'such and such' this would have never of happened") Maybe it could even try email, or SMS, if I cannot be reached by phone? Ahhh, but such a product exists! And of all people, my wife brought this company to my attention. Boy, I cover VoIP and the CRM/call center industry for a living and my wife finds this company? Embarrassment #2! adeptra wink Ok, I wasn't really embarrassed, since my wife is one smart cookie. Besides, even with my big Irish pride, I can't know everything, right? The really funny thing is that Adeptra is in the same town that I work in - Norwalk, CT. Boy, they were right under my nose the whole time and I never knew about them. I should just hang up my journalistic cap now in shame. (Embarrassment #3). Anyway, the company she told me about is called Adeptra. They have an automated outbound system with speech recognition technology that they like to call, "Leading the revolution in auto-resolution". If Sony had used this technology, I would have received an automated call and I could have resolved the issue immediately as opposed to waiting for my card to be declined and call my credit card company. Adeptra delivers time-sensitive information to customers not only via voice but also via text (SMS), fax, as well as e-mail, to help credit card-issuers push information out to their customers on any personal communication device. Several major bank companies have implemented Adeptra'ss two-way interactive program including Bank One, Chase, Fleet, and Wells. According to Adeptra's website, only 80 to 90 percent of the flagged-for-verification transactions are proven legitimate, according to Adeptra President Vytas Kisielius. However, it's the speed in which the verification process can be completed that makes the managed service appealing to credit card companies. Adeptra states that the process is completely automated which alleviates the credit card-holder of any possible embarrassment if/when he or she does purchase something about which they may not wish to discuss with a live operator. They even cite an example: "kind of like the way that a Playboy subscription arrives in an indiscernible brown packet by mail". On the collections side, it also saves possessors of delinquent accounts from feelings of judgment, responding to an automated voice or e-mail rather than to a live agent. This results in a reduction of collections calls hang-ups, and it limits the time spent by live employees trying to track down delinquent accounts. Instead, according to Kisielius, Adeptra will do it more quickly and more cheaply. Adeptra is a great solution not just for detecting possibly fraudulent credit card activity and contacting the credit card customer, but it has other applications as well, including payment collections, travel information (flight is delayed), or performing proactive marketing offers. Adeptra claims 65% increase in fraud found per day with the ability for card issuers to reach twice as many cardholders to verify transactions. They also quote a 900% increase in small balance collections on their home page and reduce delinquencies by 55%. A list of benefits of Adeptra’s Managed Service include: - Reduces costs associated with call center operations - Contacts customers faster, providing resolution sooner - Assures quality, compliance, and consistency of customer contacts - Increases contact rates and penetration into the portfolio - Optimizes human resources by applying them to the correct account profile - Accommodates peak load or contingency volumes effortlessly, on demand - Improves delinquency and charge-off performance, adding cash flow - Mitigates risk associated with technology acquisitions through a managed service approach - Eliminates capital investment and dependency on IT staffing or funding. Representative Applications and Key Benefits in Consumer Risk: Debt collections - Treatment within any delinquency category (based on your segmentation) - Capture of new revenue-generating opportunities (e.g. small balance, over limit) - Handling of peak-load volumes on demand - Providing capacity for contingency or business continuity planning - Handling of bad-debt recovery (first or third party) Listen to a sample collections call. Marketing - Card activation, welcome calls, returned cards, opt-in sales, or cross/up-selling Listen to a sample marketing call. Fraud prevention - Locates customers to verify fraud sooner than traditional methods - Penetrates lower score bands to stop higher-value fraudulent cases - Contacts customers upon card reissue to minimize account take-over exposure Listen to a sample fraud prevention call. According to Adeptra to get started, they will assess your operation and document the ROI and cost justification then they will suggest a pre-production routine with benchmarks and measures. Finally, they integrate your data via AdeptraLink (or you can do this yourselves). If you are the financial sector, whether it's banking, credit cards, etc. or even an outbound call center looking to leverage speech recognition technology to make outbound marketing campaigns, then you should go check out some of Adeptra's multimedia demos on Adeptra's website. You may just be able to add cost efficiencies to your call center. ;) :) :( B)



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