Yes You Can Use Text Messaging and Meet FINRA Regulatory Requirements

Text messaging is the most widely used feature or application on a smartphone. Financial services clients use text messaging; perhaps even prefer it, as their means of communication. This introduces concerns for financial services organizations that are required by law to maintain a record of every interaction with a client—both inbound and outbound.

Due to its growth in popularity, the 2017 Electronic Communications Compliance Survey found that 42% of responding firms reported employees have requested to use text/SMS messaging for business purposes this year in comparison to 21% in 2016. However, the survey also found that non-email communications channels (including text/SMS messages) are the top risk concern for financial services compliance professionals.

Which is why many financial services firms don’t allow text messaging between clients and their teams. They’re required by law to maintain a record of every interaction with a client—both inbound and outbound – and that’s next to impossible with text messaging from personal phones.

The thing is, clients text financial services brokers all the time. They do so via their broker’s personal device, forcing brokers to have to switch over to email to maintain the documented flow of interactions required by FINRA. The result: a fragmented experience for both brokers and clients that’s difficult to manage due to a lack of visibility across the entirety of the conversation.

Until now, most financial service organizations have outlawed any form of text messaging. But that’s changing thanks to advanced messaging solutions like SMS-Magic. This is good news for the 83% of firms that allow employees to use personal devices for business communications as the Salesforce1 application for SMS-Magic integrates seamlessly with your CRM, updating every message exchanged with a client.

So whether in the office on the desktop or on the go with smartphone in hand, your brokers can respond to clients quickly, in a compliant manner.

4 Ways Advanced Messaging Platforms Address Compliance

Advanced conversational text messaging solutions, financial services institutions can have the best of both worlds. Firms can allow brokers to communicate with customers as the customer wants via messaging and meet regulatory requirements for supervising and archiving all messages.

1. 360° conversational histories. Every message is stored within the 360-degree history, whether it’s from the Converse Desktop or from Salesforce1. This history is available to anyone who has the ability to view the associated lead or account record within the CRM.

2. Salesforce/CRM integration. Since all messaging data remains in Salesforce as the system of record, the interactive conversations are stored within the Salesforce database. When that database is archived, so are the conversations, meeting regulatory requirements for archival.

3. Quick Restore or Search. You can use the same Salesforce tools to locate and restore conversations, just as you would emails.

4. Security. The messaging platform also uses the permissions and security of Salesforce so all client communications are protected based on your pre-set security parameters.

Remove Compliance Concerns for Messaging

Text messaging enables brokers to communicate with and serve your customers faster—in the way they prefer. Whether by sharing updates as interest rates change, answering questions or keeping clients updated about the status of their loan progress milestones, the personalized and responsive service will be appreciated.

Messaging is only growing in popularity—for both your brokers and your clients. Empowering them smartly via an advanced conversational messaging platform that meets your needs for supervisory oversight and archival provides a proactive approach to keep pace with the market.

Considering that 67% of compliance professionals report a gap in confidence that their prohibition policies for SMS are actually effective, getting ahead of the problem—before FINRA decides to examine your firm—is a prudent business move.

Related Resources

Use Cases

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Communicate with Clients the Way They Want

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Case Studies

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A residential mortgage lender uses automated text messaging to enhance the customer experience and improve responsiveness for prequalification renewals and disclosure alerts.