Developments in professional SMS platforms in the last couple of years have reassured banks and cardholders that enterprise SMS systems can be deployed to deliver even such sensitive information as credit card PINs.
Traditionally, application-to-person (A2P) messaging has been used in banking systems for account-related notifications and non-confidential messages.
As a result of intensive R&D and investments made in security, the capabilities of new generation SMS systems have broadened significantly, and they now include the capacity to deliver even the most sensitive cardholder information.
PIN distribution solutions are required to comply with additional security norms; the most prominent of those being the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
As a comprehensive standard developed and enforced by the international payments card industry, it concerns prevention, detection and reaction to risks in systems that handle payment cards data. PCI DSS certification is administered by independent assessors, following an in-depth audit of systems and processes.
What opportunities does this open for financial institutions? Above all, it introduces a new, secure channel for reaching modern-day customers via mobile devices, which are rapidly becoming their preferred means of interaction with their banks, doctors, brands or retailers.
Receiving the payment card PIN on the mobile phone is convenient for several reasons. It’s faster, more immediate and ultimately more convenient for the customer.
Banks print PINs to secure envelopes that are sent by standard mail. Many people are involved in the process, increasing the risk, cost and time needed to deliver the PIN. Meanwhile, the client who already has a new credit card can’t use it until the envelope is delivered, which has negative impact on user experience.
Since this process takes about a week, direct loss of waiting for the PIN can be estimated at 2% of expected annual spending per each newly issued card.
Also, the price difference between using the SMS PIN delivery solution and traditional printing and postal services ranges between US$ 3 – 10 per card issued.
In the SMS scenario, the process can be initiated by the user sending a part of the credit card number via SMS, which is then checked against the database, and the PIN delivery process can be initiated very quickly.
PCI DSS certified PIN delivery process does not involve any intermediaries. The message cannot be intercepted or read even by the staff handling the process.
This results not only in a better experience for the customer, or reduced costs, but also in an optimized process in the bank itself.
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