In the face of expectations from customers and employees, as well as regulatory pressure, how can a Unified Communications provisioning solution give financial institutions the competitive edge while ensuring its processes are compliant?
1. What is at stake for the banks?
When it comes to their money, customers expect the best from their local banks. Online transactions and mobile banking are becoming the norm, so any customer walking into a bank branch deserves an exceptional experience. In-person customers want their problems solved quickly, correctly, and easily. So it’s more important than ever that banks have state-of-the-art Unified Communications services.
The right phone system will preserve your valuable customer relationships. And, just as critically, it will empower your branch employees to deliver the best service possible.
The time is certainly right for omni-channel and cross-channel, but it’s also time to put these building blocks (telephony, video telephony, messaging, etc.) in order. Doing that will also simplify how they’re used. Simplification is the whole point of Unified Communications, and it’s what companies in the sector are prioritizing.
At the same time, financial institutions are highly regulated. Directives such as MIFID II require that all communications relating to financial transaction are recorded. The cost of compliance is a significant burden for banks, but so is the cost of non-compliance. Regulators are increasingly vigilant and fines increasingly punitive – potentially in the tens of millions of dollars. No bank wants to make headlines for running afoul of the regulators as reputational damage compounds the financial cost. At the same time, banks need to be particularly alive to the need to keep customer data safe. Communications that don’t need to be recorded, shouldn’t be.
In addition to what are clearly the many advantages of Unified Communications & Collaboration solutions (time savings, efficiency, improved collaboration, and cost savings), there are other benefits that financial institutions can rely on, to effectively meet the regulatory challenges leveled at them and avoid the risk of sanctions.
But how can all of these challenges be reconciled when they must fit into complex processes and workflows, with tens of thousands of employees to be managed across multiple sites, sometimes operating under different sets of rules?
2. Ensuring compliance in the automation age
Managing and administrating call-recording solutions can be quite a chore, especially requirements to produce compliance reporting.
However, workflows can be set up to simplify provisioning. Handling these configurations manually not only consumes considerable man-hours, it also carries the risk of human error.
Data retention for call recording also varies by jurisdiction and can to a large extent be automated.
So, there must be a reference database to identify who must record their calls. And that’s where provisioning software comes in, streamlining not only the admin on Unified Communications (user creation, associated services, etc.), but also all third-party apps for call recording and call transfer.
Centralizing both admin and processes quickly becomes a strategic issue for banks, which need to optimize their resources effectively.
Provisioning software will certainly simplify the administration and deployment of Unified Communications tools. But it can go much further if it also has multiple connectors to manage the different workflows, avoiding any risk of errors. By relying on provisioning software, financial institutions can manage their data securely while also following regulations. Because the provisioning software sits in the middle, connected to the company’s directories, its UC platforms and its call recording systems it can perform two key functions for a financial institution.
- It can audit the systems and apply a set of business rules to ensure that those users who need to be recorded are and that everyone else is not
- It can produce a set of compliance reports to validate system settings for recorded users
To best ensure compliance with the security rules laid down by European and other directives, financial institutions can also use provisioning software to optimize their process as much as possible, thanks to advanced integrations with ITSM. This avoids the risk of errors since there is less manual entry, and all transactions are then tracked and logged in the software.
On top of these admin capabilities, Unified Communications & Collaborative management can also be delegated to local administrators. And because it offers advanced delegation, rights management, and log-tracking features, provisioning software gives financial institutions the choice to decentralize on-site admin while staying in control, to avoid any risk of errors.
And the customer relationship center must also be managed. Here, too, a provisioning solution plays a central role, providing a reliable and consistent experience on whatever channel the customers choose. This also makes deployment simpler, easier, and more responsive, to meet customer expectations effectively. An agent can be created in the contact center by assigning them rights. For example, an agent known for their English language skills will be identified in the provisioning solution, and then be responsible for handling any calls in English. This cuts processing times and improves customer satisfaction, thanks to better call flow and queuing strategies.
3. In conclusion
Combining customer satisfaction, a competitive edge, and regulatory compliance is a challenge that banks face every day. Provisioning software dedicated to managing Unified Communications & Collaboration tools plays a key role in meeting that challenge, delivering both cost saving and risk reduction.
It also handles the technical issues that banks must address. Provisioning software can actually be installed and hosted on site to enhance data security. Likewise, it can offer high availability, setting up actions and technical configurations so that the infrastructure is always ready to respond, specifically by copying output onto another server.
It’s also a real lever for optimizing the digital transformation that banks have already begun, to make them more agile and flexible.