Survey highlights problems with software-based Mobile Call recording solutions

TeleWare announced more findings from a survey that gauges the reaction of financial services organisations to FSA regulations around mobile call recording.

The survey highlights that 71% have a method of meeting FSA call recording regulations but the type of solutions vary widely. 12% are using mobile client solutions, 4% are using a SIM-based solution, while 31% are using mixed platforms. More worryingly, around half are simply banning the use of mobile phones to meet the requirement around call recording.

The results need context, as Steve Haworth, CEO of TeleWare Plc explains, “In 2009, when the FSA first announced that firms needed to record mobile calls by November 2011, the only choice was to use software on each phone to divert mobile calls through the equipment used for landline call recording.”

“So if this survey had taken place 2009/2010, then complying organisations would almost certainly have been close to 100% adoption of a client-based approach. SIM-based solutions were relatively new in Autumn 2011 but have grown in popularity due to a fundamental issue – Mobile client-based alternatives are not enforceable!”

Haworth points out that simply switching the SIM card from the “mobile client” phone and placing it into a “clean” phone renders Mobile client solutions ineffective. “Any employee who wants to avoid having calls recorded can do so without breaking a sweat. In addition, every time a user upgrades phones, installs a conflicting application or updates the OS, there is a good chance the Mobile client software may stop working – without the knowledge of either the user or company.”

The 51% of firms in the survey that are simply trying to ban mobile usage to meet FSA call recording regulations are guilty of “sticking their heads in the sand,” says Haworth, “The benefits that mobility gives to the workforce and the likelihood that staff will simply use mobiles anyway makes this option untenable in the long-term.”

With the majority of call recording vendors now offering SIM-based solutions, Haworth believes that there is a need for education around the technology. “SIM-based call recording also varies in application and implementation, all solutions are not created equal. For example, TeleWare uses an inline method where calls are recorded as they pass through the core network while other SIM-based systems need to redirect calls to a third party to record and then create a third connection back into the network – this method is not ideal for dealing with traffic peaks or for ensuring rapid call connection,” notes Haworth.

Although Haworth concedes that SIM solutions are better than client-based equivalents, “If organisations are now moving to SIM-based call recording, proper evaluations need to take place around the additional features such as application delivery, roaming and security that can add value on top of just meeting regulatory requirements.”

TeleWare Mobile uses a normal SIM card which works with all leading mobile phone types, including any Apple iPhone, BlackBerry, Android or Symbian handset or pad device. The network offers full Voice, SMS and Data support. TeleWare offers full number porting and provides a range of common core business applications and call routing options.

The managed service records and stores mobile voice and SMS traffic with no impact on the user call experience and without limiting the mobile’s functionality. The SIM-based approach can support any GCF (Global Certification Forum) certified mobile handset or operating system and as there is no need for any software to be installed on the mobile device; delays in call connections and potential circumvention of recordings are avoided.

TeleWare Mobile also integrates with standard geographic and non-geographic numbers as well as short code dialling, premium rate numbers and operator services. TeleWare Mobile interfaces with any SIP-compliant PBX and has been tested with products from Cisco, Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent, Siemens and Panasonic and over 30 leading vendors.

The survey questioned 100 directors and departmental heads of UK financial institutions and of UK branches of international institutions. Areas of responsibility of those interviewed were infrastructure and technical, risk and compliance. In the survey, 20% of the firms said that the number of users that are impacted by mobile call recording is growing. As BYOD and flexible working patterns become popular, call recording for both regulatory compliance and business benefit will become a more pressing issue.

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