With the BYOD approach in enterprise communication already the norm in the U.S. and U.K. finance sectors, the compliance risks facing companies for allowing their employees to use consumer-grade apps like WhatsApp have also increased.
Data protection regulations as well as industry regulations such as FINRA, MiFID II, and GDPR all require companies to archive captured and retained business-related communications in a secure and reliable server or else face significant penalties and fines or even class action litigation.
But how can companies stay compliant with these regulations when using this consumer-grade app? Should they ban WhatsApp at work and risk the productivity and efficient communication between their employees? Or should they rather create effective policies and invest in the right technologies to help them stay compliant and achieve effective enterprise communications all at once?
If you believe that WhatsApp helps your employees communicate securely and more efficiently with each other and with your clients, then you don’t have to worry because we will detail in this infographic the steps that you can implement to continue leveraging WhatsApp in your operations and remain compliant.
1. Understand How WhatsApp Impacts Your Employees and Clients
Like banning text messaging at work, prohibiting your employees from using WhatsApp can affect their overall morale and productivity. According to a recent survey, 43% of employees use instant messaging tools on the job. According to these employees, using chat apps allows them to get their job done quicker and collaborate with their colleagues better since these tools enable them to exchange information with ease and speed.Like your clients, your employees need the most effective tool available that will help them improve their communications. A no-WhatsApp policy will only most likely create resistance,and your employees might only resort to secretly using it – thus creating more risks for non-compliance.
More and more financial institutions are also seeing WhatsApp as a great opportunity to make it easier for their clients to reach their services. Known as Chat Banking, this innovation of integrating financial services such as banking, payments, and money transfer into mobile chat apps like WhatsApp is already gaining traction in countries such as South Africa, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Singapore.
All in all, compliant use of WhatsApp is not only crucial to maintaining an efficient enterprise communication, but also to making every interaction of your clients with your brand more engaging, which is important to retain them in your business in the long run.
2. Identify the Issues and Risks of Using WhatsApp
Despite the benefits it provides, business has to admit that WhatsApp is a consumer-grade app (a separate business-grade version was announced in 2017). Here are the key compliance and security issues that should be addressed in order to use WhatsApp compliantly:
- It uses end-to-end encryption, which makes it difficult to monitor and supervise by anyone, even by the IT department.
- It’s encryption capabilities that can lead to a lack of visibility clashes with regulations like MiFID II and GDPR.
- It is often installed on personal devices, which when lost by the employees or not managed properly by the business, can lead to serious data breach.
By knowing these risk, you will be able to select the right tool that will help you manage your employees’ devices and the instant messaging platforms they are using – more specifically WhatsApp. Communicating these risks to your employees will also foster a more proactive attitude towards data privacy and security in your workplace.
3. Ensure Your Employees Buy-Into WhatsApp Archiving
Ensuring that your employees understand and agree with the necessary steps to take for compliance, especially with the GDPR, is extremely important as it will require them to opt-in with your data access policies with regards to their use of WhatsApp for work. By doing so, it will be clear to the regulators that your employees have willingly allowed you to access their conversations for compliance purposes.
Furthermore, you will also need to invest in a solution that will enable you to access their conversations to ensure that they are using the app in a way that is compliant with the regulation standards.
While there are text message archiving and voice call recording solutions in the market, there are only a few solutions that can capture and record WhatsApp chats –such as the TeleMessage WhatsApp Archiver.
TeleMessage’s WhatsApp Archiver is a unique platform tailor-made to solve compliance and regulation issues by allowing UK firms to capture and archive WhatsApp messages.
This platform works exactly like the standard WhatsApp application, ensuring that your employees will still be able to send work-related communications easily and quickly.
The benefits of using WhatsApp Archiver in your business include:
- Archive all WhatsApp communications
- Use WhatsApp to communicate with customers, employees, and stakeholders
- Search, track and retrieve WhatsApp messages in the corporate archive
- Deposit WhatsApp messages with any email archiving vendor
- Full administration and reporting
The TeleMessage WhatsApp Archiver is the latest addition to our mobile archiving products that securely capture content from mobile carriers and mobile devices for a variety of ownership models (BYOD, CYOD, and employer-issued). With our multiple archiving methods, you can always find the right tools or blend for your requirements: