Efficient and effective workplace communication is an important success factor for businesses, especially for growing startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Not only it allows companies to be productive and operate effectively, but it is also key to maintaining the morale, productivity, and commitment of the employees – all of which are vital to ensuring the success of a fast-growing startup business.
However, unlike established companies that have a formal and more rigid internal and external communication practices, small and fast-growing startups face more pertinent organizational communication issues, such as having more diverse communication channels and lack of policies that govern those channels.
The Rise of BYOD and WhatsApp Messaging in the Workplace
Such issues are very evident in today’s mobile-powered and information-driven business landscape. More and more companies are adopting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in their workplace while disregarding the additional obligations and risks that they will face in doing so.
According to a study by Tech Pro Research, 59% of companies allow their employees to use their own devices at work, and another 13% plan to in the future. A 2016 study by Syntonic also revealed that a whopping 87% of companies allow their employees to use personal devices to access business apps.
When implemented properly, a BYOD policy can help startup companies to make their workplace communication more streamlined and efficient. In fact, a study from Forbes found that 49% of employees are more productive when they use their own devices, while a study from also found that 78% of employees believe that using a single mobile device for data access helps them balance their personal and professional lives.
But that is not to say that BYOD does not any risks. While many research states that mobile devices and the employees are the most likely source of a data breach and non-compliance cases, most companies are still falling short when it comes to managing the personal devices present in their workplace.
In fact, according to On Tech Systems, around 80% of BYOD devices is completely unmanaged. One type of mobile app that is being accessed in most BYOD devices in the workplace nowadays is messaging apps, particularly the WhatsApp.
Latest reports from Statista shows that WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world, with over 1.5 billion users accessing this app on a monthly basis.
Considering its pervasiveness and overall popularity, it is not surprising why more and more companies allow their employees to use WhatsApp as their primary communication tool in the workplace.
Unlike other communication platforms such as email, phone calls, and text messaging, WhatsApp is more instant, provides an additional level of security through end-to-end encryption, and supports useful features that come very handy for employees, especially to those working in the financial industry.
In such sector where sensitive information must be transmitted fast and securely between employees and clients, WhatsApp has proven to be a viable option for most financial services startups.
WhatsApp, GDPR, and Data Retention Requirements
But despite the features and benefits it provides, WhatsApp can also expose any financial firms to serious compliance risks when not deployed and managed efficiently.
With GDPR now in effect, it is more imperative than ever for financial companies to ensure that all customer data they obtain through mobile messaging channels are stored in a secured database.
Likewise, the mobile text archiving mandates from FINRA, SEC, MiFID II are all going to be a challenge for financial firms that wish to continue using WhatsApp in their operations. This is because archiving WhatsApp messages has proven to be impossible since it uses end-to-end encryption to safeguard all the messages from being captured and recorded.
So how can financial startups continue using WhatsApp without breaching these regulatory requirements?
To give you more insights, here are the key takeaways of the infographic below from TeleMessage, which details some actionable tips and strategies that businesses in the financial industry can use to ensure compliant use of WhatsApp in their organization.
1. Understand how WhatsApp impacts your employees and clients.
2. Identify the issues and risks of using WhatsApp.
3. Ensure your employees’ buy-in to WhatsApp Archiving.
To learn more on how you can use WhatsApp in your business while staying compliant with various archiving and supervision laws and regulations, check out the full infographic below.