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Choose The Right Call Center And The Best Contact Center Solutions of 2019

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Contact Center Solutions

The Ins And Outs Of Business Communication Management

For your business to exist in today’s world, you must know how to serve the “2019 Customer,” whose expectations are much different from a decade ago. They need to receive convenience, high-quality, immediacy, availability, and an exceptional buying experience.

Every interaction that occurs between your business and the customer must be outstanding, or they will switch to the competition.

Make sure you choose the right call center and the best contact center solutions of 2019, to ensure the management of your company’s communications is adequately done.

As a business owner, you recognize the rapid growth in the number of customer communications can cause clients to experience longer wait times, resulting in a lack of quality service and support.

To keep your customers satisfied, you need to act fast.

Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” – Lauren Freedman

At your company, the “customer relationship” is a top core value, and you recognize the importance of having customer management processes in place to build trust and to strengthen client loyalty.

The thought of a communication breakdown is unbearable, but the rise in customer communications has far outgrown the capacity your employees can handle.

As a result of experiencing this high volume of customer calls, text messages, and emails, you notice the communication issue does not only lie with the clients but among your employees, as well.

With having employee-to-customer and employee-to-employee communication management issues, keeping track of conversations and interactions becomes extremely difficult to do, causing vital aspects of your business to become fragile.

You realize your company’s current communication management process needs to change and that the time to act is now, but are unsure of what to do next.

There is no doubt, your subsequent move is a crucial one, for what you decide now will either help or hurt your company further.

You should know, your business is not alone in this matter for many companies experience the same communication issues as you.

According to Sales Hacker, the average call time in January 2016 was 119 seconds, which grew to be 254 seconds per call, in January 2017, an increase of 113%.

For you to lower your average call time, the best route is to use a call center, but first, you must choose which type is right for your business.

The center must be able to meet your company’s shortages and be fully equipped to help with specific communication management issues.

Which Call Center Is Right For Your Business

There are various styles of call centers, but the two main types are in-house and outsourced. The significant differences between the centers involve costs and ownership.

In-house Call Centers:

The in-house call center is owned and operated by the company.

This type of call center is often the more expensive one since the business must deal with all of the overhead costs associated with hiring employees and in buying communication management software, platforms, and systems.

There are several advantages to choosing an in-house call center, but the biggest one is its physical proximity to the core business.

Having your call center nearby allows for a better rapport between the call center agents and the business operation employees. Customer issues can be discussed, reviewed, and resolved faster.

Outsourced Call Centers:

The outsourced call center is often the cheaper option because the company does not own it, but, non-ownership can be a good thing.

The time and money it takes to hire agents, train them, and pay for their overhead expenses, associated with having an in-house call center, is not your company’s problem.

You can choose to have your outsourced call center be international or overseas, and depending on the currency rate and the center’s location; you will have the option to spend less.

There are significant components that will affect your call center decision making,

  1. Company Budget
  2. Call Center Location Preference
  3. Specific Communication Management Issues

The traditional call center uses the Private Branch Exchange (PBX) equipment that the call center operators, own, host, and maintain themselves.

However, with advancements in technology your company now has more selections. You can choose to have a Virtual, Cloud-based, or Web-enabled call center.

The next step is to uncover and breakdown your company’s specific communication issues, which you will need to choose the right call center for your business.

What Does Your Company Need Help With?

Choose if your in-house or outsourced call center will handle inbound, outbound, or omni-channel communications.

Inbound Communication

  • Customer Service
  • Technical Troubleshooting
  • Appointment Management

Outbound Communication

  • Lead Generation
  • Market Research
  • TeleSales

Omni-Channel Communication

This style of communication provides customers with a seamless experience across their devices– desktop, mobile device, telephone, or in person.

Omni-Channel Communication is often the client’s preferred choice, as research shows, companies with omni-channel customer engagement retain 89% of their customers.

However, having a call center alone is not enough, especially when aspiring to meet or exceed the needs of the “2019 Customer”.

How To Decide If Your Company Needs A Contact Center Solution

You want to avoid experiencing the same communication issues your company had before incorporating a call center, and it is best to implement a contact center solution or to choose a center that does.

Otherwise, employees will continue to be dissatisfied with work, want to quit their jobs, resulting in providing poor customer service, and it will only increase over time.

Having a call center and using a contact center solution does not work unless the employee and agents do. Their role is vital in making the entire process work.

There is a 37% rate of attrition among call center employees during the first six months on the job.

Never forget, when employees are unhappy, everyone will feel the effects of it, including your customers.

Clients will still have to wait for service and call back several times due to their issues not being resolved the first time.

Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game. Service wins the game.” – Tony Allesandra

For performance to improve at your business, the communication process must become better, and a contact center solution will help.

Some solutions provide employees with call scripting and other methods on how to perfect phone pitches, which is essential, especially when it is estimated that mobile devices will place 162 billion calls to businesses by 2019.

Take note; the 162 billion calls does not include ones made by landline phones or any other form of communication.

A significant increase in your company’s communications will inevitably be too much for employees or agents to handle, causing more dropped calls, incorrect call routing, and a rise in wait and hold-times.

The longer you put off providing a solution to resolve the communication issues at your company, the harder it will be for your business to bounce back, later on down the road.

It is difficult to see your business in such a state, but denial will not improve your critical situation, and it is critical.

Every minute that passes, while your company’s communications are in peril, is costing your business, customers, employees, sales, and, ultimately, money.

Once your company loses too many people and dollar bills, you will no longer have a business to run, which is why you must find a solution now.

Without a contact center solution for your call center, your communication issues will not change, continuing to cause damage to your company’s reputation, client satisfaction, employee retention, and to its bottom line.

What Happens Now That You Know You Need A Contact Center Solution?

Your company’s two vital relationships, which ultimately hold it together, are falling apart, and understandably, you do not feel completely comfortable with putting the managing of your business communication in just anybody’s hands.

To start bridging the communication gaps happening at your company, you must find the best solution, but first, you need to learn your options to become comfortable with your choice.

Here are the five best contact center solutions of 2019, to help you decide which one is the most qualified to resolve your company’s communication issues, quickly and responsibly.

The Five Best Contact Center Solutions Of 2019

1. Nextiva

Nextiva Best Contact Center Solution 2019

A telephone company with Cloud-based communication services, helps businesses of all sizes, with their communication management.

Here are a few of the products and services Nextiva offers,

  • VoIP Phone Service
  • Business Phone Service
  • Live Customer Chat Software
  • Multi-Channel CRM
  • VoIP Phones
  • Business Intelligence Software
  • Campaigns And Email Marketing Automation
  • Online Survey Software

Nextiva provides businesses with unlimited calling, as well as, multiple useful features that will help build and maintain your company’s relationships.

Nextiva Reviews

Nextiva has amazing reviews across the board:

Some of their features include,

An Automated Greeting

Their automated greeting is an answering service that directs customers to the appropriate department based on their needs, in a timely fashion.

Text Messaging

Nextiva offers unlimited business texting from one platform, and this service makes it easier to text employees, specific groups, team members, departments, and even customers.

You will have the convenience of your text messages existing all in one place, keeping your company organized and connected to each conversation.

Voicemail To Email

When you miss an important client call, and the contact leaves a voicemail, your company can choose to have it sent as an email to a specific phone, keeping you on top of your communication game.

Call Queuing

Professionalism is critical to customers and to your company, which is what Nextiva offers with their high-tech phone system.

Not only will it put callers into an organized Queue, but it also helps in providing each caller with exceptional customer service and care.

An “On-The-Go” Communication Management App

The Nextiva App connects and syncs the company’s devices to make communicating seamless and easy to master, even while on-the-go.

2. VanillaSoft Pro

VanillaSoft Pro Logo

An inside sales software and engagement solution platform, VanillaSoft Pro, offers a variety of services to help manage the sales side of your business along with customer communication.

Here are a few of the products and services VanillaSoft Pro offers,

  • Sales Engagement Software
  • Guided Selling Tools
  • ‘Queue-Based’ Routing Technology That Prioritizes Leads
  • Integrated Communication Tools
  • Content Management

If you feel like your company’s sales team needs a boost to increase profits, VanillaSoft Pro has a suite of helpful sales tools that your business can benefit from using.

Some of their features include,

  • Call Scripting
  • Automated Lead Routing
  • Sales Cadence Management
  • Lead And Sales Tracking
  • A Content And Document Library
  • Personalized Templates

VanillaSoft Pro also provides engagement support to assist your team with various methods of communication, whether it be with clients or one another.

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Auto-Dialing
  • SMS Text
  • Call Logging
  • Call Recording
  • Group Conferencing

You can make the communication process and management at your company much easier to do with the help of VanillaSoft Pro.

3. ChaseData

ChaseData Logo

A cloud-based call center software for sales and telemarketing teams, ChaseData works with companies to make the call center, profitable.

No matter the company’s size, big or small, ChaseData’s software helps companies grow their call centers in a variety of ways.

Here are a few products and services ChaseData offers,

  • Sales Cadence And Strategy Automation
  • Live Chat
  • Call Scripting
  • Pre-Recorded Calls
  • List Management
  • Escalation Management

ChaseData offers cloud-based scalability with sales and marketing support tools to help you better reach and connect with your customers.

Some of their features include,

  • Lead Routing And Integration
  • Productivity Apps Integration
  • CRM Integration
  • Reporting And Analytics  
  • Appointment Setting
  • VoIP

Their software allows your business to track customer sales, order history, and manage contact information, as well as, schedule client callbacks.

You can choose to use their telemarketing services, inbound sales, direct response teams, and sales professionals.

ChaseData helps cultivate contacts, generate leads, and can support your team in closing more deals. They will work with you and the call center agents to create a better customer experience.

4. DialPad Call Center Platform

DialPad Logo

An all-in-one call center platform, with real-time sentiment, DialPad, is designed to power your company’s communication methods, and to efficiently manage it across existing devices through the use of the Cloud.

Here are a few of the products and services DialPad Call Center Platform offers,

  • Voice
  • Videos
  • Messages
  • Coaching
  • Reporting
  • Meetings

Their platform and support will enable your team to continue using their devices, not to disrupt the current way employees work and can keep communicating with their already built client relationships, which exist on their mobile phones.

DialPad Call Center Platform also allows integration to the sites, services, and software your team already uses, such as, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Gmail.

They provide an easy to use phone system with a multitude of features, making your company’s communication, uncomplicated and more manageable for the entire team.

5. Five9

Five9 Logo

A virtual call center solution made to increase your team’s productivity, Five9, uses the Cloud to offer multiple products and features to help your company waste less time and provide more availability to its customers.

Here are a few of the products and services Five9 offers,

  • Sales And Marketing
  • On-Screen Caller Info & History
  • Call Routing & Agent Matching
  • Smart Dialers
  • Intelligent Routing

Some of the features they offer are,

  • Minimize Agent Waiting
  • CRM Integration

After reviewing the five best contact center solutions of 2019, you will need to narrow it down to just one, but it has to be the right one.

There are specific components and factors to look over before deciding on which solution will provide your business the help it needs with providing a better work environment and customer experience.

How To Choose The Best Contact Center Solution For Your Company

Before making any arrangements or commitments, look carefully at the state of your current communication process and its multiple issues to ensure you choose the best contact center solution for your company.

Start by asking yourself, your team, and call center agents, the following questions,

  1. How long are customers waiting to speak with a representative?
  2. Are customers satisfied with the service they receive?
  3. Is the company’s customer communication organized or all over the place?
  4. Do customers have to call in multiple times for the same reason?
  5. How often are customers placed on hold?
  6. Are customers reaching the right department and representative every time?

You and your team may need to conduct the screening of phone calls, and other forms of communication, to get accurate responses.

The next important component in finding the right solution is to learn what your employees or agents customer management capabilities are and what areas need improvement.

The questions below will help you in making this assessment.

  1. What are the top three items employees struggle with the most when communicating with customers?
  2. What is the current employee-to-customer communication ratio? Break it down by methods.
  3. How long does it take for your employee to respond to text messages and emails?
  4. Do employees sound professional and confident when speaking to customers?
  5. Are employees struggling to close deals?
  6. Do employees find it difficult to communicate with other team members?
  7. Is the sales team regularly hitting or missing their quotas?

To receive real answers from call center agents and employees, you may need to conduct anonymous questionnaires or one-on-one meetings.

Some of the information you are searching for can also be found amoung company reports, analytics, and in speaking with management.

The last important factor to review before choosing the right contact center solution, are your company’s finances.

Learn if your company can financially afford and sustain a long-term agreement to use a contact center solution.

To avoid causing future interruptions in the service your customers will become accustomed to receiving from your call center is why you need to make a realistic budget.

Having a deeper understanding of what is required to meet client expectations and what areas are causing your business communication issues, will help you find and choose the right solution.

The very moment a potential or existing customer communicates with your company, the buyer’s journey begins and is why you need to make a good impression.

Although you need to address a communication breakdown immediately, do not rush the process of choosing a contact center solution.

When conducting your online research, you will discover there are plenty of solutions floating around the internet, but you want only the very best for your employees and customers.

Therefore, you must be one-hundred percent sure of your decision and the fact that not all contact center solutions are equal, makes the process far from being a “one size” fits all situation.

To help with your decision making, you will need to review your call center needs, online searches, research results, and the five best contact center solutions of 2019.

The more information you gather, the better it will be to grasp the full scope of what requirements your company, the call center, and contact center solution will be; thus, it is time to create a list.

To narrow down your search of all that is needed, write down what it is you are looking to gain from using a contact center solution and your expected outcomes.

Take the necessary steps to shop around for solutions and make comparisons, until you find the one that checks off most, if not all, of the boxes on your list.

The time to open your checkbook is close, but before grabbing a pen or swiping the company’s card, reach out to speak with a representative from each of your chosen communication management solutions, to request a Demo.

Once you set up a date and time to receive a Demo of the software or platforms you are interested in, you will need to create another list.

What you need to include in this list is every question and concern you have about each contact center solution, and what you will want to ask during the Demos.

Share with the representative all of the current issues your company and call center is experiencing, along with the goals, objectives, expectations, and desired results you hope to achieve from using their solution.

It is best to prep the representative on the areas needing improvement at your company to allow them the opportunity to show you how their system can resolve it.

Some of the questions to ask when meeting with the contact center solution representative are,

  1. How will their system help improve both client and employee communication?
  2. What are the software or platform features and how are they useful to your company’s specific situation?
  3. Can they provide a step-by-step process of the system to show the customer’s journey, and how employees will benefit from using it?
  4. Will it help improve company sales?
  5. Can they provide information to back up the effectiveness of their solution?

It is also a great idea to ask the representative the same questions you used to pinpoint your company’s pain-points.

Request that they show you which of their products and feature(s) will assist in addressing each of your issues and concerns.

This process may seem like a long one, but it is a significant investment, especially since the solution you choose to use, is what will help your business manage your vital relationships, therefore, leave no stone, unturned.

Pay close attention to every part of the Demo, and ensure the right people from your company are invited to the meeting, included on the call, and can visually see all of what the software or platform can do for the business.

Ask to see all of the features of the solution, or at least cover the most prominent ones, to get a better sense of its usability, trainability, sustainability, and in determining if it is the right solution for you.

When speaking with the representative find out if they are willing to participate in a role-play scenario, which is to occur during the demonstration, where you pretend to be the customer and the employee.

During the role-play session, observe the representative, and watch their system, to see its effectiveness.

Not only will you learn if it can help your company’s customer service, but if it can also improve the employee’s job performance.

Ultimately, it is the best method to gain real insight into the system’s capabilities and responsiveness.

Having the opportunity to see and hear about what the contact center system offers, is essential, but, it is just as important to experience the customer’s journey and how the employees benefit from using their solution, which only role-playing can truly accomplish.

After you have gathered all of the information from your research and the Demo, call a team meeting to speak with department heads, decision makers, and with those who watched the Demo with you.

Go over your information and discuss the system, in detail, to receive team feedback and to gain an overall consensus.

Once all the steps are complete, and you have all you need to make a knowledgeable decision, comfortably, it is time to choose which solution is perfect in meeting all of your call center, team members, company, and customer needs.

It would be best if you continued working towards creating a less overwhelming environment for employees, and to provide necessary tools to improve the customer experience and to increase employee sales.

You will also be able to organize your business communication, and seamlessly handle a high volume of phone calls, emails, and text messages from clients, like never before.

Make the ultimate decision and choose to improve your company’s communication methods and skills, with a contact center solution.

Once you choose which of the five contact center solution is the right one, make sure you pay close attention to how its features help grow the company and do a regular check-up on its progress, to ensure you are consistently receiving a return on investment.

As you gain hands-on experience, you will become more familiar with the solution’s products and features, giving you an even better understanding of what works and what does not.

Eliminate whatever your company, employees, and customers are not benefiting from when using the solution, and replace them with other features that will bring better results.

Improvements to your company’s communication will come after you add a contact center solution to your call center, but to keep them coming, rests solely on your shoulders.

Do not make the mistake of “setting and forgetting it.” Be vigilant in knowing all of your business communication processes and how much of its new success comes from using the solution’s software or platform.

Since currency comes in many forms, it is essential to look beyond the dollar figures and to make sure time and training are not going to waste.

Forgetting to review each method of communication and its performance on every level, even after the addition of a solution to your center, can cause your business to experience the same communication issues as it did before if you are not careful.

One day everything may look like it is running smoothly, and the next, you learn, that in fact, it is not.

Communication management is critical to the health of any business, and it is of utmost importance that you never underestimate its power.

Using a contact center solution will help your company resolve customer issues, retain customers, convert calls into leads, and maintain a positive reputation.

However, if your call center and business lack in the proper execution of the solution, its products, features, and tools, the issues you are experiencing will remain.

If you choose to add a solution to your call center or use an existing one that does, be involved during every stage of the process, even years after the contact center solution becomes a part of your company

Converting prospects into buyers is your overall goal and whenever a customer contacts your business the opportunity of a sale exists, therefore, overlooking even the smallest detail or a specific communication method can cause significant money loss.

According to Invoca, your company is almost three times more likely to get a customer to contact you over the phone than through a web form.

In knowing how customers prefer to connect with your business, helps your company conduct priority troubleshooting, provide better customer service, and gain insight into which part(s) of the contact center solution is the most important.

You will impress your customers by offering better communication and improve company morale when you use the contact center solution to supply employees with the tools they need to experience success.

When you use the right solution, it will have a positive impact on your reputation, customer service, support team abilities, and company profits.

You have done all you can do to improve communications at your company and can be confident in your choice of implementing a contact center solution.  

Congratulations, you can now begin reaping the rewards from all your hard work and commitment. Your efforts has set your company up for greatness, and you are well on your way to making 2019, its best year yet.

A seasoned Remote Digital Marketer and an enthusiastic Freelance Writer, Amanda Ryan produces only high-quality work and is entirely dedicated to the happiness of her clients.

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Treasury Chief Says Crypto Is A “National Security Risk”

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Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin | 7/25/17 (Official White House Photo by Ricky Harris)

A new jab was thrown against Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from the US government after statements from the U.S. Treasury Secretary branded the industry as a “national security threat.”

Facebook’s announcement of Libra has brought crypto and blockchain technology in the center stage, as governments around the world have heightened their scrutiny on the alternative financial system that the industry is offering.

Government executives and high ranking officials have raised concerns on the volatility of the technology, and how it is being used by malicious actors to facilitate illegal transactions such as money laundering and illegal drugs.

Now, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin chimed in the conversation and echoed earlier apprehensions versus Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The Secretary warns that Bitcoin, as well as, Facebook’s plans for Libra, pose a “national security issue” for the United States.

“This is indeed a national security issue,” Mnuchin told reporters at a press conference yesterday. “Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have been exploited to support billions of dollars of illicit activity like cyber crime, tax evasion, extortion, ransomware, illicit drugs, and human trafficking,” adding that Facebook’s Libra “could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financiers.”

Mnuchin echoed other politicians stance on Facebook’s Libra venture and said that he was “not comfortable” by the idea of it.

Trump vs. Crypto

In a series of tweets on last week, the POTUS said that he is not a “fan” of cryptocurrencies, asserted that America has only one currency, criticized bitcoin, as well as told Facebook that they need a banking charter if they want to launch their newly announced crypto-based money called Libra.

Trump said cryptocurrencies are not money, and “Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”

“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations,” said the president.

Related: Trump Vs. Crypto: Dollar Is The Only Currency Of The USA

According to the President, the dollar is the only currency in America, and Libra, among other cryptocurrencies, are not “real money.”

“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!” Trump said in a tweet.

Trump’s anti-crypto stand was agreed upon by Mnuchin saying that “the president does have concerns as it relates to bitcoin and cryptocurrencies—those are legitimate concerns that we have been working on for a long period of time.”

Democrats vs. Crypto

Joining Trump’s army against cryptocurrencies and Facebook’s Libra plans are Democrats from the Senate who recently circulated a draft proposal that bans big tech companies from issuing digital money.

The bill, which was bluntly named as “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” circulates among Democrats majority that leads the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, proves that the US government is not joking about its position against Libra and other similar ventures in the future.

Read More: Democrats Move To Ban Big Techs From Issuing Digital Money

According to the proposed bill, no tech company should be allowed to issue any form of financial services. “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” reads a copy of the bill obtained by Z6Mag.

Furthermore, while the bill does not specify any company, it clearly refers to Facebook, and it’s planned blockchain-based currency, Libra. The “large platform utility” is defined as a technology company with “[an] annual global revenue of $25,000,000,000 or more” and one that is “predominately engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties.” This definition seems to be crafted to include Facebook rather than exclude other companies.

It is also worth noting that the proposed legislation also prohibits “large platform utilities” from affiliation with “persons who are a financial institution.” This further includes Facebook’s proactive workaround against possible future laws that may prohibit them from owning Libra.

Nonetheless, the bill is still in its earliest phase yet, and many could happen to move forward. For it to become a law, it still has to withstand the possible opposition by Republicans in both the House and the Senate.

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Senator To Facebook’s Libra: ‘Can People Trust You?’

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Photo: BTC Keychain | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

When it comes to Facebook’s Libra, the US government has made one thing clear: they don’t trust the tech giant and its plan to release an alternative financial system based on the highly debated blockchain technology.

In a Senate hearing today, a Facebook executive was grilled by lawmakers in the Senate Banking Committee over the plan to issue its digital currency and its possible effect on the global banking and financial ecosystem.

Facebook announced a month ago that it would roll out a new form of digital money, called Libra, which the tech superpower claims to be a stable coin. Unlike its predecessor, Bitcoin, the Silicon Valley giant claims that Libra is a cryptocurrency backed by real-world money and government certificates, and is also supported by a group of corporations such as Mastercard, Paypal, and VISA.

Libra is set to be available for circulation early next year, but a few weeks following Facebook’s announcement, staunch government opposition has proved difficult for Libra to push through with its most ambitious plan.

“Facebook has said ‘just trust us’” Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said at the hearing. “And every time Americans trust you, they seem to get burned.”

Many governments around the world have echoed concerns on how Facebook will handle such an ambitious feat. Many claims that because of the company’s reputation in data security, it is hard to trust Facebook in handling people’s money.

“Trust is primordial”

“Do you really think people should trust Facebook with their hard-earned money?” Senator Brown asked Facebook’s exec, David Marcus.

As a response, Marcus said that the company would do its best to protect people’s money, as well as, prevent fraud and other illegal activities that malicious actors may carry out using Facebook’s Libra.

One of the significant critiques against Facebook’s digital money comes from the fact that cryptocurrencies are not well regulated and criminal element can leverage the technology and use Libra for money laundering and other forms of illegal payments.

“We’ve made mistakes in the past,” Mr. Marcus said. “We have been working, and are working hard to get better.”

“Trust is primordial,” he added.

Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act

The Senate hearing comes a day after a copy of a draft proposal in the Senate penned by Democrat senators surfaced that practically bans major tech companies from issuing digital currencies.

Read: [Breaking] Democrats Move To Ban Big Techs From Issuing Digital Money

A new draft proposal for the bill, bluntly named as “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” that circulates among Democrats majority that leads the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, proves that the US government is serious about its position against Libra and other similar ventures in the future.

According to the proposed bill, no tech company should be allowed to issue any form of financial services. “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” reads a copy of the bill obtained by Z6Mag.

Global fiscal and legislative resistance vs. Libra

Furthermore, while the bill does not specify any company, it clearly refers to Facebook, and it’s planned blockchain-based currency, Libra. The “large platform utility” is defined as a technology company with “[an] annual global revenue of $25,000,000,000 or more” and one that is “predominately engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties.” This definition seems to be crafted to include Facebook rather than exclude other companies.

It is also worth noting that the proposed legislation also prohibits “large platform utilities” from affiliation with “persons who are a financial institution.” This further includes Facebook’s proactive workaround against possible future laws that may prohibit them from owning Libra.

European officials have also expressed concern regarding Libra, citing that the system, if widely adopted, could shake the global economy and rival national banks. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire sent a letter to officials from the G7 and International Monetary Fund calling for a group to examine Libra’s impact on the global financial system. Le Maire said that Libra must not become a “sovereign currency,” while a German politician noted Facebook’s potential to become a “shadow bank” to the global financial system.

Aside from European officials, Japanese lawmakers are also investigating the possible impact of Facebook’s Libra in global banking and financial systems ahead of the G-7 Meeting of the country’s finance ministry to be held in France this week.

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Low Sign Up Prompts Desjardins To Offer Identity Theft Protection To All Members After Data Breach

Only 13% of the affected members signed up for their earlier offer.

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Photo: Desjardins Website

A month following a data breach that has affected more than 2.9 million members of Montreal-based financial and credit union, Desjardins, the company said that they are extending the coverage of their credit and identity theft protection to all members. This time, the coverage is for life.

In a press release published July 15th, the company said that all Desjardins Caisse members are automatically qualified to avail a lifetime worth of protection against identity theft and are not only available to personal members, but also business members, who are currently not served by any industry solutions.

“Today, we’re sending a message to all of our members. Don’t worry–we’ve got you covered. If your identity has been stolen, give us a call. Desjardins is here for you. And we’re going to continue to support you like we always have. That’s what we’re here to tell you,” said Guy Cormier, President, and CEO of Desjardins Group. “Our teams have been working non-stop to put this coverage together for you. All Caisse members are automatically covered as of this morning. You don’t need to sign up, and you’ll only ever have to deal with Desjardins.”

Last month, the credit union from Canada experienced a data breach when one rogue employee advertently shared financial information of their members to a third party. Around 2.7 million personal members and 173,000 business members were affected by the data breach, according to the investigation conducted by the Laval police. The cause of the data compromise: “an ill-intentioned employee who acted illegally and betrayed the trust of their employer.”

The organization clarifies that the company was not in any form targeted by a cyberattack, and they have not seen a spike in fraud cases involving their members’ accounts in recent months. All of the data breaches were attributed to the recently fired employee who shared financial information of members to individuals outside the organization maliciously. Furthermore, they said that AccèsD passwords (for both personal and business accounts), security questions and PINs were not part of the compromised data.

As part of their efforts to help affected accounts secure their financial data and to mitigate the possible effects of the data breach, Desjardins also offered those who are concerned with a 5-year credit monitoring plan, paid for by the organization. The service includes daily access to your credit report, alerts of critical changes, and identity theft insurance.

They advised the affected members that the letter they received includes a personal activation code which they can use to activate their credit monitoring plan with Equifax before October 31, 2019.

However, it seems like registering to the protection plan with Equifax proved terribly difficult. As of Monday, only 13% of the affected account holders have signed up to the monitoring plan set up by Desjardins.

Reports reveal that this is because of the difficulty of the registration process with Equifax. The Equifax website has frequently crashed due to the demand, and some customers reaching the company by phone have waited for hours on hold. Customers have also reported having trouble getting service in French.

As an additional measure, Cornier said that instead of having their customers sign up, they are now offering them the protection by default because they don’t want the majority of their customers to be unprotected.

“People with money invested at Desjardins should be able to sleep easily,” he said.

The identity theft protection plan includes protection of assets and transactions, identity theft assistance and restoration, as well as monetary compensation in the event that one protected member becomes a victim of identity theft.

“Starting today, all Desjardins Caisse members have a new type of coverage that will reimburse them up to $50,000 for expenses related to identity theft. This could cover salary loss, document notarization, legal or accounting fees, and other types of related expenses,” the company said.

“Members don’t have to do a thing; they’re already covered. If they think their identity has been stolen, all they have to do is contact Desjardins.”

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