Microsoft Teams has emerged as the go-to alternative to physical customer meetings within the banking and finance industry. Now, GuardREC is launching a complete solution for Teams compliance recording, enabling you to easily uphold the requirements for recording of all electronic communication, in compliance with MiFID II.
If you work in the financial market you have probably become accustomed to attending Microsoft Teams web meetings during these last few months.
The COVID-19 pandemic that has swept across the globe this spring, and the accompanying directives on social distancing, has highlighted the importance and accelerated the trend of adopting more flexible working arrangements, such as remote work, home offices, web meetings, and web conferences.
Teams quickly emerged as a winner in the battle of the web meeting participants, especially in the financial markets. In March 2020, when the world had experienced but a fraction of the coronavirus’ impact, Microsoft reported having approximately 44 million active users. A month later, in April, that number had risen to a whopping 75 million.
The fact that Microsoft Office 365 today has over 200 million users worldwide, combined with the end-of-life announcement for Skype for Business on 31 July 2021, indicates that the number of Teams users will only continue to grow as we move forward.
Why do professionals choose Teams?
There is a wide array of options to choose from when it comes to hosting web meetings and arranging web conferences. Platforms such as TeamViewer, Adobe Connect, GoToMeeting, and Zoom all offer similar services and functions as those of Microsoft Teams. Zoom’s free option has had massive growth in the private market, yet, most professionals remain hesitant to adopt the platform.
So why is it that professionals, especially within the banking and finance industry, flock to Microsoft Teams?
The simple answer is that it all comes down to two important factors: Security and compliance.
Like Teams, Zoom experienced an explosive increase in users after the corona outbreak. By the end of March, the number of daily users was, at most, over 30 times higher than in December 2019.
However, this was quickly overshadowed by news of massive security gaps in the software. Over a dozen severe security and privacy breaches have been uncovered so far – the most prominent of these being the "zoom bombing" phenomenon, where uninvited people could enter and hijack online meetings.
In comparison, the experienced IT giant, Microsoft, has shown its dedication to information safety through large amounts of documentation on the security measures, technology and encryption implemented to prevent similar issues for Teams users.
Microsoft employs a far more corporate-minded approach than its competitors. The company has invested significant resources in developing an API that emphasizes the importance of compliance recording, resulting in a platform that is superior to its competitors in satisfying MiFID II and GDPR requirements.
This API was recently made available to external companies and developers.
Do recording requirements apply to Teams meetings?
For many companies, online meetings have become a necessary and popular alternative in the absence of opportunities for physical customer meetings. Nevertheless, Teams meetings differ from traditional, physical customer meetings in terms of legislation – as you are only expected to provide notes of physical meetings.
Teams meetings (and all forms of online meetings and video conferencing in general) are defined as electronic communications and are thus subject to the requirements for recording according to MiFID II.
This means that financial institutions are required to record all conversations in Teams where investment services are provided, as well as conversations intended to result in investment services being provided.
MiFID II - Article 16(7) of Directive 2014/65/EUR
Recording of telephone conversations or electronic communications
Records shall include the recording of telephone conversations or electronic communications relating to, at least, transactions concluded when dealing on own account and the provision of client order services that relate to the reception, transmission and execution of client orders.
Typical recording limitations
Traditionally, compliance recording has been location-based and few suppliers offer effective solutions for mobile recording. This particularly affects companies with employees who often travel across international borders, as mobile recording on roaming devices can present certain challenges.
Today's situation also creates barriers for companies using fixed phone lines, as these are bound to a specific location and unavailable to employees working from home.
Compliance recording in traditional online meeting platforms, such as Skype for Business, also has its limitations and challenges. These platforms require an on-premise recording solution. Additionally, all meetings and conversations must be initiated by the company, and not the client, to obtain the required recordings.
Because the Teams platform is cloud-based, Microsoft circumvents several of the typical issues that may be encountered when utilizing compliance recording across multiple devices and interfaces. The availability of apps in Teams enables users to be mobile and addresses the challenges of recording when using traditional mobile networks and roaming.
Complete compliance recording solution for Teams
As one of the first on the market, GuardREC has developed a complete compliance recording solution for Microsoft Teams.
Our solution covers all channels in Teams – from 1-to-1 meetings and video conferencing, to audio, text, and screen sharing.
GuardREC Teams Compliance Recording enables you to record:
- Audio (from audio, video, and PSTN)
- Text (direct messaging, chat and file sharing)
- Video (video and screen sharing)
The recording solution is cloud-based and requires no local installation or hardware. Additionally, our solution is:
- Location independent: Recording work across departments and countries – in the office, at home, and when traveling.
- Platform independent: Recording works regardless of whether the user is accessing Teams through the desktop and web interface on a PC, or through an app on a tablet or mobile device.
Automatically record required users
The recording solution requires no action on the part of Teams meeting participants who are subject to the recording requirements.
Once the company has registered obligated users in guardREC® Compliance, recording starts automatically when one of these users enters a meeting. Thus, the solution works regardless of whether the company or the customer initiates the conversation.
Recording starts only when obligated users enter the meeting and ends as soon as they leave. This helps avoid recording surplus information. Whitelisting options are also available, to the same extent as when recording mobile phones and landlines.
When a recording starts, a visual notification is displayed for all meeting participants. A corresponding notification is displayed when the recording ends. If a call is routed from Teams via PSTN, to mobile or landline, the meeting participant receives a voice notification.
Secure data storage
All recordings are securely stored within the GuardREC system and are searchable on defined tags such as:
- Call owner
- Date and time
- Communication type
Our security measures ensure that data manipulation such as deleting parts of a recording is impossible. As per MiFID II requirements, all recordings are stored securely for five years. However, this may be configured to meet specifically mandated periods of information storage.
Role-based access ensures that only authorized users have access to the recordings, and a complete audit trail ensures that all activity with data can be traced.