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Verify COD Orders With Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

April 3, 2019

Telesign Team
burn money

Cash on delivery (COD) enables internet retailers to offer their customers the option of paying for ordered goods upon delivery, rather than in advance through the online ordering process.

This method may sound outdated or even aggressively 90’s (they’re back by the way!) but while North America has moved away from COD recently, the rest of the world hasn’t. For example, more than 60% of eCommerce businesses in India, UAE and the Middle East utilize COD. A little over a third of the eCommerce companies utilize it in southern Europe.

In its essence, COD as a payment method is a response to businesses needing to grow in certain markets where digital payment capabilities are challenging and/or there are specific risks of fraud. However, COD does introduce operational issues that can put a toll on OPEX and cause a massive headache. When payment is not received in advance of delivery, resources can be wasted in an attempt to complete an order that is then rejected/returned, unpaid, or otherwise blocked for myriad reasons.

Cash on Delivery diagram

This pain point can be solved for with the integration of order verification processes in the eCommerce buying experience. In their efforts to find proper verification solution, companies usually choose one of three approaches.


At some point they will have to calculate risk vs reward on maintaining a COD option that is incurring operational expenses.


Open rates are largely not immediate and when they are, customers can still postpone confirmations for later.


This solution requires investment in costly call center equipment and an appropriately trained workforce. Agents will then actually call a user to ensure they placed the order. This is obviously overkill and a bit of a turn off as no one likes talking to a human on the phone anymore. These options are all trash honestly and lead to nothing but problems and waste.

But there is a fourth option that will save you money and impress your friends.


Similar to customer service messaging, Telesign offers a fast, simple and universal solution to this problem through Interactive Voice Response. IVR is a great option for all large-scale needs that include simple, repeatable actions that do not require constant human touch.  So how does it work?

Follow this simple flow!

Each time a customer places a COD order, an automated verification call is delivered to the his/her registered number.  The call prompts a response, with the options:

Press 1” to confirm your order

“Press 2” to cancel the order

“Press 3” to be transferred to an agent who can answer any additional questions and confirm or cancel depending on the need

Simple right? No call centers, no pricey agents, no showing up at someone’s doorstep with a package that a person refuses to pay for like a pizza guy on the wrong end of a 1995 teen prank.

With one simple IVR integration you have reduced your support center costs, reduced your operational expense, improved customer experience and you can support growth in new markets. It’s honestly a home run, you would be foolish not to use this easy technology.

Of course this process could be expanded to any use case that utilizes a promise of payment without collateral: dinner reservation, delivery food order, hotel booking. Don’t want to be caught holding the bill? Integrate IVR with Telesign Voice and you’ll never have to worry about it again. It is the antidote to all of your troubles.

If you are interested in adding IVR for order verifications to your shopping experience, contact us today and check out our documentation for code samples of popular IVR flows.”