Mobile Recording: at last it's compliant, secure, reliable

by Robert Sandford, Telefónica UK Managing Partner for Financial and Professional Services

Being compliant is a big concern for employees within the Financial Services sector. And being able to adapt to ever-changing legislation is essential.  Back in December 2010 the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced that, on the 14th November 2011, the exemption to record ‘relevant’ conversations on mobile phones was to be lifted.  This followed the Dodd-Frank act in the US which mandated mobile recording in 2010.  The FSA announcement was expected to start a race amongst technology suppliers to deliver user-friendly Mobile Recording (MR) solutions.

But what we saw was suppliers over-promising on their ability to deliver stable, practical and compliant solutions.  Services pushed to desperate Compliance Officers and IT departments included the need for the caller and recipient to dial into a recorded conference arrangement. Or, BlackBerry-only solutions that used an app to reroute outgoing and incoming calls via a call recorder. My personal favourite was user-activated local recording on devices – funnily enough it wasn’t much of a hit.

Faced with a range of impractical and unstable solutions, most Compliance Officers ended up choosing to ban their traders from making or receiving any ‘relevant’ conversations on mobile devices.

As the market evolved, those that eventually emerged from the chaos were the suppliers who set up Mobile Voice Network Operator (MVNO) relationships with the mobile operators.  Their service re-routed and then recorded calls in the mobile network itself as opposed to the device. Finally, the Compliance Officers were given a practical MR solution that worked on any handset and did not require user intervention.

But difficulties remained.  MVNOs were accustomed to providing consumer services, not meeting the needs of busy corporate banking firms. Cost issues such as high roaming and domestic charges cropped up.  Many companies ended up managing 2 separate mobile estates, some recorded and others not. In 2015,  the vast majority of people using MR services  are sat on separate MVNO arrangements outside of the main banking mobile contract. This creates management complexity and hassle.  In my role, I still see many Compliance Officers and IT departments waiting for a more practical MR solution that can be integrated as part of their overall communications service.

The good news is that the market has changed.  We’ve got customers using our MR solution which captures inbound and outbound conversations and all SMS traffic.  And it’s fully integrated into O2’s customer  management tools such as My O2 Business.  Plus users benefit from the same commercials as those on the main mobile contract.

We’re seeing financial organisations breathe a sigh of relief as they review their options now the initial MR contracts approach expiration. At last, a manageable solution is available that meets the requirements of both the FCA and the Dodd-Frank Act.

Click here to find out more about Mobile Recording from O2.