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MOBILE CALL RECORDING IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE

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Steve Haworth

By Steve Haworth, CEO of TeleWare 

Ever since the UK’s financial regulator introduced a requirement for all financial service companies to record their mobile phone conversations, the evolution of available technology has changed the landscape considerably.

Much of the focus has been on voice recording, but only recently have a number of call recording vendors started to mention SMS and instant messaging in their marketing, so the awareness that non-voice communications must also be recorded as part of the regulatory requirement is clearly growing.

Organisations in the capital markets that are mulling over options for mobile recording should factor in the non-voice aspects, quizzing their prospective suppliers on how they achieve that part of the requirement.

Different types of recording

MOBILE CALL RECORDING IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE 7 In considering this multi-mode recording requirement, an important dimension is how the communication is recorded. There are currently two approaches in use: ‘app-based’ and ‘network-based’. The app-based approach works when the app on the device detects that an inbound or outbound connection is about to be made, and routes the call through a recording server so that a copy can be made. App-based solutions have to rely on the rerouting of calls which often leads to time delays and potentially the calls quality degrading. Feedback from the market shows that the app solutions are clunky and more worryingly, easy to by-pass leaving financial organisations open to risk.

The other way of carrying out mobile call recording involves putting the functionality to enable it in the mobile network, where it is triggered based on which SIM card is making or receiving a call. With this approach, the functionality in the network detects when an inbound or outbound call is about to take place and triggers a recording. The main advantage of the network-based approach to mobile call recording is that it requires no intervention by either the end user or the corporate IT department, since the recording functionality resides in the SIM card, which comes directly from the operator. This also means that there is no significant increase in delay in the call connecting, so the end user experience is not impaired.

TeleWare’s innovative software resides in the network and it is the ownership of the SIM determines which network to route to. It is this technology which triggers recording on all mobile devices – smart phones or tablets. We have found this approach to be the most elegant and robust.

Bring Your Own Device and Blackberry’s decline

The most obvious development in the enterprise mobility market is the decline in market share for BlackBerry, as corporate buyers prepare for the company’s possible demise. Telecoms research company Ovum investigated the advance of the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) trend, and discovered that of those employees still using mobile phones provided by their company, the percentage using BlackBerry dropped dramatically between 2012 and 2013.

MOBILE CALL RECORDING IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE 8Source: Ovum Multi-Market BYOD Survey, 2013

This decline in BlackBerry’s share of the enterprise handset market underscores a broader trend toward BYOD, which clearly favours non-BlackBerry devices, with which consumers are far more familiar. The Ovum survey, with replies from 4,371 corporate employees in 19 countries, reveals that between BYOD and ‘choose your own device’ (CYOD, in which the company still pays but offers a choice of handsets, also known as ‘corporate-owned, personally enabled’ or COPE), the choice of which handset a mobile employee is going to use is moving overwhelmingly towards the employee.

MOBILE CALL RECORDING IN THE FINANCIAL MARKETS: ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE 9The overall impact of this trend toward some form of BYOD/CYOD, together with the problems that BlackBerry has been having as a company, mean that the sole mobility platform designed from the outset for the enterprise market is on what looks like an irreversible path of decline.

The significance of all this for the mobile call recording market is that the only mobile system that ships with a central management capability (i.e. the BlackBerry Enterprise Server) is waning, while those that come from the consumer world, such as iPhone and Android devices, are growing their share in the enterprise. This trend tends to favour more cloud-based solutions, particularly for iPhones, given the likelihood that Apple will never release an application programming interface to enable the development of a compliant recording app.

Technological Evolution

Steve Haworth

Steve Haworth

Not surprisingly, there are early moves to meet the regulatory requirement and address the shortcomings of both the app- and the network-based approaches. An ideal solution would be one that was operator- and mobile operating system-independent and would work anywhere and on any device, with zero impact on the end-user experience.

I believe there are efforts to embed call recording functionality into the actual mobile operating system, such that it would require no app to be loaded onto the device but would ship as default from the factory, with the functionality being turned on either by the customer’s own IT department or, potentially, by its mobile provider or a third-party global recording service provider. The one fly in that particular ointment is that in order for it to work, it would require the developer to negotiate agreements with all of the relevant mobile providers: BlackBerry, Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

Finance

Sunak warns of bill to be paid to tackle Britain’s ‘exposed’ finances – FT

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Sunak warns of bill to be paid to tackle Britain's 'exposed' finances - FT 10

(Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will use the budget next week to level with the public over the “enormous strains” in the country’s finances, warning that a bill will have to be paid after further coronavirus support, according to an interview with the Financial Times.

Sunak told the newspaper there was an immediate need to spend more to protect jobs as the UK emerged from COVID-19, but warned that Britain’s finances were now “exposed.”

UK exposure to a rise of one percentage point across all interest rates was 25 billion pounds ($34.83 billion) a year to the government’s cost of servicing its debt, Sunak told FT.

“That (is) why I talk about leveling with people about the public finances (challenges) and our plans to address them,” he said.

The government has already spent more than 280 billion pounds in coronavirus relief and tax cuts this year, and his March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown.

He is also expected to announce a new mortgage scheme targeted at people with small deposits, the UK’s Treasury announced late on Friday.

Additionally, the government will also announce a new 100 million pound task force to crack-down on COVID-19 fraudsters exploiting government support schemes, it said.

(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)

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G20 promises no let-up in stimulus, sees tax deal by summer

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G20 promises no let-up in stimulus, sees tax deal by summer 11

By Gavin Jones and Jan Strupczewski

ROME/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The world’s financial leaders agreed on Friday to maintain expansionary policies to help economies survive the effects of COVID-19, and committed to a more multilateral approach to the twin coronavirus and economic crises.

The Italian presidency of the G20 group of the world’s top economies said the gathering of finance chiefs had pledged to work more closely to accelerate a still fragile and uneven recovery.

“We agreed that any premature withdrawal of fiscal and monetary support should be avoided,” Daniele Franco, Italy’s finance minister, told a news conference after the videolinked meeting held by the G20 finance ministers and central bankers.

The United States is readying $1.9 trillion in fiscal stimulus and the European Union has already put together more than 3 trillion euros ($3.63 trillion) to keep its economies through lockdowns.

But despite the large sums, problems with the global rollout of vaccines and the emergence of new coronavirus variants mean the future path of the recovery remains uncertain.

The G20 is “committed to scaling up international coordination to tackle current global challenges by adopting a stronger multilateral approach and focusing on a set of core priorities,” the Italian presidency said in a statement.

The meeting was the first since Joe Biden – who pledged to rebuild U.S. cooperation in international bodies – U.S. president, and significant progress appeared to have been made on the thorny issue of taxation of multinational companies, particularly web giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told the G20 Washington had dropped the Trump administration’s proposal to let some companies opt out of new global digital tax rules, raising hopes for an agreement by summer.

“GIANT STEP FORWARD”

The move was hailed as a major breakthrough by Germany’s Finance Minister Olaf Scholz and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.

Scholz said Yellen told the G20 officials that Washington also planned to reform U.S. minimum tax regulations in line with an OECD proposal for a global effective minimum tax.

“This is a giant step forward,” Scholz said.

Italy’s Franco said the new U.S. stance should pave the way to an overarching deal on taxation of multinationals at a G20 meeting of finance chiefs in Venice in July.

The G20 also discussed how to help the world’s poorest countries, whose economies are being disproportionately hit by the crisis.

On this front there was broad support for boosting the capital of the International Monetary Fund to help it provide more loans, but no concrete numbers were proposed.

To give itself more firepower, the Fund proposed last year to increase its war chest by $500 billion in the IMF’s own currency called the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), but the idea was blocked by Trump.

“There was no discussion on specific amounts of SDRs,” Franco said, adding that the issue would be looked at again on the basis of a proposal prepared by the IMF for April.

While the IMF sees the U.S. economy returning to pre-crisis levels at the end of this year, it may take Europe until the middle of 2022 to reach that point.

The recovery is fragile elsewhere too. Factory activity in China grew at the slowest pace in five months in January, and in Japan fourth quarter growth slowed from the previous quarter.

Some countries had expressed hopes the G20 may extend a suspension of debt servicing costs for the poorest countries beyond June, but no decision was taken.

The issue will be discussed at the next meeting, Franco said.

(Additional reporting by Andrea Shalal in Washington Michael Nienaber in Berlin and Crispian Balmer in Rome; editing by John Stonestreet)

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Bank of England’s Haldane says inflation “tiger” is prowling

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Bank of England's Haldane says inflation "tiger" is prowling 12

By Andy Bruce and David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane warned on Friday that an inflationary “tiger” had woken up and could prove difficult to tame as the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially requiring the BoE to take action.

In a clear break from other members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) who are more relaxed about the outlook for consumer prices, Haldane called inflation a “tiger (that) has been stirred by the extraordinary events and policy actions of the past 12 months”.

“People are right to caution about the risks of central banks acting too conservatively by tightening policy prematurely,” Haldane said in a speech published online. “But, for me, the greater risk at present is of central bank complacency allowing the inflationary (big) cat out of the bag.”

Haldane’s comments prompted British government bond prices to fall to their lowest level in almost a year and sterling to rise as he warned that investors may not be adequately positioned for the risk of higher inflation or BoE rates.

“There is a tangible risk inflation proves more difficult to tame, requiring monetary policymakers to act more assertively than is currently priced into financial markets,” Haldane said.

He pointed to the BoE’s latest estimate of slack in Britain’s economy, which was much smaller and likely to be less persistent than after the 2008 financial crisis, leaving less room for the economy to grow before generating price pressures.

Haldane also cited a glut of savings built by businesses and households during the pandemic that could be unleashed in the form of higher spending, as well as the government’s extensive fiscal response to the pandemic and other factors.

Disinflationary forces could return if risks from COVID-19 or other sources proved more persistent than expected, he said.

But in Haldane’s judgement, inflation risked overshooting the BoE’s 2% target for a sustained period – in contrast to its official forecasts published early this month that showed only a very small overshoot in 2022 and early 2023.

Haldane’s comments put him at the most hawkish end among the nine members of the MPC.

Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden on Friday said risks to UK inflation were broadly balanced.

“I see inflation expectations – whatever measure you look at – well anchored,” Ramsden said following a speech given online, echoing comments from fellow deputy governor Ben Broadbent on Wednesday.

(Editing by Larry King and John Stonestreet)

 

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