by Adam Toop, Founder and Chairman of Adam Phones

Setting the scene; an overview of mobile voice recording compliance

In the financial sector, managing compliance is a crucial yet increasingly complex challenge.Until relatively recently,compliance requirements for mobile communications somewhat escaped regulatory scrutiny in financial institutions. However that all changed in 2011 when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) removed the recording exemption for mobile phones, and regulated that all mobile communications directly relating to a financial trade must be recorded.

Adam Toop
Adam Toop

This was followed by the US based Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, which requires that telephone trades are recorded – including those on mobile devices – for any financial organisation that trades with the USA.

And, in January 2018, the MiFID II EU legislation will take effect.This will introduce the most stringent mobile voice recording (MVR) regulations,significantly extending regulatory requirements within the UK. Anyone involved in the advice chain for an intended trade – e.g. IFAs and wealth managers – must record all their mobile communications and retain that data for five years (it was previously just six months).

MVR: dispelling the myths

Research by Ovum has suggested that up to two-thirds of the companies required to record mobile communications have still not complied. It might be that many companies still aren’t embracing MVR due to misconceptions about complicated or costly implementations. Some will have experienced MVR solutions already and may have had a negative experience, such as call degradation and overall poor user experience.

Additionally, there will be those waiting for MiFID II to take effect in January 2018, not realising thatshould they renew their existing mobile phone contracts now, they may end up terminating those agreements early and face costly penalties for doing so.

If the correct solution is implemented, MVR can ensure FCA compliance without disrupting productivity; conversations should be able to be recorded on any mobile device, with no need for special software, call forwarding or local applications.

With the right solution and the right vendor, MVR:

  • Isn’t difficult and time consuming to set up
  • Isn’t costly to deploy and maintain
  • And won’t negatively impact the user experience

Making MVR work

The best MVR solution is one that records calls in line, at network level. This ensures compatibility with any mobile device, prevents the user from circumventing the solution and has no impact on IT requirements for installation and maintenance.

Users should not experience any call degradation, voice latency or delays in connecting a call.  All of these would serve to impact the user experience and potentially discourage use ofthe solution.

In addition to this, flexibility around storage should not be overlooked. The ability to store recordings securely in the cloud, in geographies dictated by the organisation rather than the supplier, ensures those procuring MVR are able to adhere to their own internal IT requirements around data storage.

And finally, the solution should carry a suite of additional services, from enhanced analytics to the inclusion of voice prompts to inform both parties that their call is being recorded.

What next?

Compliance is constantly changing, and requirements are likely to tighten with the passage of time. For example, call recordings once had to be stored for six months; it’s now five years – therefore flexibility over storage duration as well as feature sets is a must.

It’s imperative that any MVR solution implemented is future proofed. It must contain headroom to adapt to new compliance regulations and achieve more than they stipulate today.