The UK market for mobile call recording is poised for dramatic growth, and with that comes an opportunity for high-quality revenue and margins for the channel.
Over the next few years the market size of mobile call recording is likely to increase 40 fold from 30,000, to over a million users, due to changes in regulation and business best practice.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) already mandates that anyone directly involved in equity trading must have their mobile calls recorded. This currently applies to over 30,000 workers in the City of London alone and adds between £80 - £120 to each of their monthly mobile phone bills.
However, in less than 24 months’ time, the European directive MiFID II comes into force, which expands this mandate to anyone involved in providing advice that may lead to a trade. These calls will then need to be securely archived for at least five years.
The new rules will broaden the scope to around 500,000 people in the UK, including Independent Financial Advisers, wealth managers, commodity traders and many more who were not previously under FCA regulation.
Aside from this, costly scandals such as Payment Protection Insurance mis-selling have forced the banking industry to voluntarily and actively seek out solutions to record all business calls made by their staff. With the retail banks on board and others seeking to improve their internal practices, the market for mobile phone recording is set to widen to a potential 1.2 million people.
Clearly, as the market expands to a more diverse range of companies of all shapes and sizes, the specification and price point of call recording solutions will also have to change.
Although global investment banks may be comfortable paying up to an extra £120 per month, per person, these costs are not sustainable for the mass market, and especially given the other compliance costs that MiFID II demands. On top of that, it is unlikely that companies will cancel existing mobile phone contracts to accommodate call recording.
It is far more likely that businesses will find a solution that works as a simple overlay to their chosen mobile provider and SIM card - be this Vodafone, EE, O2 or 3. Therefore, the challenge is finding a solution that works within a company’s existing framework, maintains regulatory compliance and keeps costs at a reasonable level.
My company has over 300 major financial services using our smartnumbers service. In order to design the next generation of mobile call recording services we asked our customers what they were looking for from a solution.
From this, we identified 10 key mobile call recording requirements that are common across customers both large and small:
1. Compliant: Any solution will need to work within the current and future parameters defined by the FCA and MiFID II
2. Affordable: While global investment banks have deep pockets for call recording, paying up to £120 per month per person, it is not a reasonable price point for the whole market. An acceptable market price for a solution is an extra £10 - £20 per month over a standard bill.
3. Simple to Implement: Given many companies that occupy the market are small, or micro companies without any IT support, an easily implementable system is essential.
4. Compatible with alternative mobility strategies: Companies operate differently, it is important for any recording solution to work with the strategies that are already in place, be these corporate provided devices, BYOD or a combination of these.
5. Controls to ensure business calls are recorded, while ensuring personal calls remain private.
6. Supports existing on premise solutions for the storage and retrieval of recorded calls.
7. Support cloud-based solutions for storage and retrieval of recorded calls.
8. Ubiquitous: Works across all network providers and mobile handsets.
9. Enables a subscriber to keep their current mobile number.
10. An end-to-end solution: Companies that are new to the requirement of call recording are looking for a complete solution including a recording, storage, eDiscovery and retrieval without the need for on-premises equipment or personnel.
This will inevitably be a challenge for many companies but not taking action over these regulatory changes could be costly.
At its heart, call recording really is about protecting both reputation and revenue. Also let’s not forget that the mobile call recording market extends beyond the financial sector.
There are sectors who have, for many years, recorded their fixed-line calls including retailers, pharmaceutical companies and the legal sector. This is rapidly extending into mobile.
By understanding this ‘checklist’ of requirements, resellers can best identify the right solution to represent and capitalise upon this growing opportunity.
Furthermore, by delivering a good solution for call recording today, you are also opening doors to new opportunities with customers tomorrow.
James Foley is vice president of customer experience at Resilient smartnumbers.
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