As We Get Back to the Future of Work, Banks Must Embrace WhatsApp

February 25, 2021by Shaun Hurst

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If you had told me a year ago that the world’s major financial services companies would all be operating almost entirely with a remote workforce, I would have broken out in a cold sweat.

Straight away my mind would have jumped to the severity of the compliance issues that such a move would involve. Then I’d worry about the magnitude of the investment that banks would need to make in innovative collaboration tools  a move they had put off for so long. For nights on end, I would have tossed and turned thinking about the creaking legacy archives so many banks still held onto, already struggling to keep pace with the exponential rise in data flowing in and out of modern businesses every nano-second.

What a difference a year makes.

Coming into 2021, banks are light years ahead of where they were at the turn of the decade. The vast majority have implemented the technology they need to enable their workforce to compliantly use the collaboration tools. Most have either moved their archives to the public cloud or have seriously sped up their plans to do so. And the "Future of Work" is no longer a buzzword. It is now a reality. We will never go back to a situation where employees are only able to work in a physical office.

But there is work still to be done. There is a valuable lesson that banks need to learn from 2020: embrace technology, do not fear it. Fear of compliance issues was one of the main reasons that so many had put off fully adopting the collaboration tools that are now the lifeblood of their businesses. What they need to do now is expand their newfound wisdom and embrace all communications platforms that enable employees to stay connected and work effectively, wherever they are.

WhatsApp and Financial Services Regulations

This is most evident with WhatsApp. Many people working in the financial services industry already know that the end-to-end encryption messaging tool is ubiquitous and widely used to keep in touch with colleagues, clients, and contacts. But while company policies largely prohibit the use of WhatsApp, financial regulators have stayed away from an outright ban. Instead, they have issued guidance requiring companies to ensure that the instant messaging tools used by their employees are supervised and in compliance with already existing record-keeping rules such as MiFID II.

As seen on Global Banking and Finance Review. Read the full article.

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Shaun Hurst
Smarsh Blog

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