For the banking and financial services industries, communications are vital to everyday business and must be built on a plan that focuses on operational security as well as a platform that keeps pace with evolving technology. Because client information is confidential in nature and subject to strict compliance regulations, everyday communication between branches or client service personnel must be carried out with a secure, encrypted platform.
Beyond the everyday communication demands of financial institutions, the need for an intelligent emergency broadcast system cannot be understated. Bank robberies are not commonplace occurrences, but they bring with them a great risk to employees, customers, and the institution’s reputation. To ensure confidence, financial institutions must be vigilant in maintaining the highest level of on-site security at all times.
The instances of robberies can fluctuate and they tend to spike during economic downturns. However, on-site robberies are not the only security concerns for banks. Many financial institutions face ongoing threats that stem from identity theft, cyber-attacks and other types of fraud. These events can impact commercial banks, credit unions, mutual savings firms and loan offices. This makes risk management and crisis response a more complex undertaking for the financial services industry.
It is clear by all accounts that a bold and organized approach to communications and alerting is a requirement for all types of financial services institutions — be they physical branches or conducting business through digital channels.
Mass Notification as an On-Site Safety Tool
Regroup can help bank and credit union branches maintain strong preventative measures against robberies and other physical crimes. Using a scenario of suspicious activities or persons, Regroup can help bank personnel alert the entire branch in a number of fast and discreet ways. Regroup can alert landlines and mobile devices, send text/SMS messages and even pop up warnings on computer screens with its Desktop Alert add-on. With Regroup’s unlimited, customizable templates, those sending the warning can do so quickly and accurately.
Security officers can use Regroup’s mobile app — to get the word out instantly — in a way that is more discreet and effective than with two-way radios. Additionally, Regroup’s API enables it to send audible alerts to public address systems and other communication hardware.
The end result is a safer work environment for bank employees and a more secure experience for customers. Used as an emergency notification tool, Regroup can help bolster situational awareness when suspicious persons are present, giving branch security professionals the upper hand when a threat is likely. It can also send an SOS to off-site response personnel and stakeholders.
Business Communication for Staying in Compliance
As an everyday part of conducting business, it’s imperative that financial institutions remain in compliance with regulations mandated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) that govern customer and client information. We’ve previously discussed the importance of strengthening infrastructure against cyber-attacks and recent events underscore the importance of keeping software, hardware and IT systems secure and up to date.
To ensure the protection of sensitive client information, communications must also be secure. Regroup answers this imposing requirement with a robust cloud-based infrastructure that delivers secure end-to-end encryption on all instances. This better hedges against risk when customer account information needs to be communicated from one point to another and email is not the best option.
Regroup fortifies its platform with added security protocols like single-tenant (independent database). Additionally, Regroup supports three of the most common Single Sign-On protocols (SAML, LDAP/LDAPS , and CAS) for instances where authentication to several third-party vendors must be managed in one place.
Versatility in Contact Management for Better Business Practices
Regroup allows a virtually unlimited number of data and contact customization options to provide better communication models for a single branch or a multi-location institution. This is particularly useful for engaging certain groups of employees for different calls to action.
More so than traditional email notifications, Regroup can help establish a digital paper trail of accountability to each team, group of contacts or even sub-groups. This method of communication can prove more timely and effective than email when directing IT response or escalation, announcing planned emergency drills or sending safety reminders and policy updates. Administrators can require acknowledgment of notifications received, ensuring a more accountable workforce and management team.
Maintaining Business Continuity During Uncertainty
Like any business, financial institutions are not immune from business interruptions caused by unforeseen events and circumstances. The global pandemic of COVID-19 forced many bank and credit union branches to suspend on-site operations. When allowed to reopen, new physical procedures were required to maintain compliance with local health and safety ordinances.
Financial institutions should consider developing an awareness program to let customers, service providers and regulators know how to contact the institution if normal communication channels are not in operation.
For this very specific need, Regroup is an ideal communication and alert tool. Using pre-customized templates, administrators and branch managers can easily and quickly send updates, reminders, cleaning requests, and more to on-site employees — ensuring the continued safety of personnel and customers.
Additionally, Regroup can deliver automated alerts in the event of severe weather. Its integration with NOAA and the National Weather Service allows your entire network to receive alerts when hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, or other storms threaten your facility and area. Coupled with Regroup’s geofencing technology, administrators can quickly alert specific branches and off-site or traveling employees.
Regroup also acts as a bullet-proof critical alert system when power outages and cellular interruptions disrupt transactions. It can alert the right stakeholders to ensure the fastest response and recovery resulting in higher customer satisfaction and reduced costs.
A solid mass notification system enables financial services institutions to complement their business continuity model, ensure the confidentiality of their customers, keep their workforce in compliance with policies, and mitigate the potential dangers associated with crime.
Whether necessitated by crisis or everyday planned communications, a secure and reliable platform is essential to success. When combined with continuous training for employees, a commitment from management, and planned review, your communication plan can drive confidence from clients and achieve operational resiliency
Your Next Steps
We invite you to download Regroup’s guide for Banks and Financial Services. This quick read will give you a good idea of how to build your communication strategy to address emergencies as well as everyday business. Just complete the following information and download the guide immediately.