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Speech Compliance Branches Out from the Contact Center into the Enterprise

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Financial interactions have a raft of rules. The U.S. Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) is designed to prevent fraud and abuse in telesales activities. The rules apply to any contact center agent that makes calls to or receives calls from consumers, or provides, offers to provide, or arranges to provide delivery of goods or services in exchange for payment. Sellers must disclose material information so that consumers can make informed decisions about whether to make the purchase before the transaction is completed. The law requires that businesses disclose the identity of the seller, the nature of the goods or services, their full cost, any conditions or restrictions associated with the offers, and policies such as handling of order cancellations and returns. Failure to provide that data can result in fines of $16,000 per incident. 

Protecting Consumers

The Consumer Credit Protection Act and its subsequent amendments, which include the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, focus on financial services companies and provide guidance about disclosures that must be made to consumers who take some form of credit with a bank or credit union. TILA focuses on credit card customers, and financial services companies need to outline finance charges, the term of any introductory rate, the annual percentage rate, late payment fees, right to return goods for credit, and billing cycles. Lenders that violate the TILA are subject to penalties of up to $500,000 per member of the class or 1% of the creditor’s net worth, whichever is less. 

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) is aimed at third-party collection agencies. Representatives of these organizations attempting to collect a debt by telephone must disclose in the initial communication that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose. This requirement can be scripted, and conformance verified through call recording technology.

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) have rules that require multiple steps. If firms use call recording, it is a violation of this standard to store the secret Credit Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) number—the three- or four-digit number often listed on the back of the card—at any time, in any way. To comply, call recording systems have to be tuned so that they automatically pause when an agent’s cursor gets to the segment of the electronic form where they are inputting credit data and resume recording immediately after this part of the conversation is complete. 

New regulations have also taken shape. In January 2018, the European Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) went into effect. Its Article 16 requires that firms capture all communications that lead to a transaction: email, social media, and telephone calls. If questions about a trade arise, investment banks must show that they’ve done the following:

  • understood their clients’ investing criteria and made suitable recommendations;
  • offered products that matched the needs and investment objectives of their customers;
  • provided relevant reports to clients, including an assessment of suitability;
  • distributed marketing communications that were fair, clear, and straightforward;
  • avoided remuneration and sales targets that incentivized staff to recommend inappropriate financial instruments to retail clients; and
  • delivered clear and relevant information at all times.

The need to record and monitor conversations became evident in other markets, such as healthcare. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that providers keep patient information confidential. “If an agent talks with a customer and they mentioned their diabetes, then the system has to be aware and protect that information or else the company may be in breach of HIPAA compliance,” Verint’s Ziv says.

Suppliers Respond to New Market Demands

The need to deliver such functions is pushing speech suppliers to extend their product lines. NICE included Automated Voice Trade Communication and Recording System Health Check capability as part of its Compass recording solution suite. The product is designed to help financial services organizations provide accurate records of trading communications. To comply with MiFID II, financial firms have to ensure that the systems used to conduct and record trading communications are fully operational at all times and that captured voice recordings are of high quality. In essence, they need to be sure that their system is working and the information stored is usable in case future questions arise. The NICE solution creates alerts that notify the support team whenever a voice trade communication system is not working or conversations are not being properly recorded.

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