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In the wake of the Great Recession businesses face a rising tide of regulations and restrictions on the financial services industry. After a year of preparation, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection has started operation amid great expectations that it will change the way Americans interact with financial institutions large and small.
As it rolls out new regulations, and as other provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act take effect, expect corporate IT resources to be tied up implementing them for the foreseeable future. Many existing laws are out of date. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was passed in 1991; the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) in 1978. Both were written in a time when technology taken for granted today was still in its infancy. In those days households could be expected to have a landline and to use it as their primary means of communication; today one in five adults live in a household with only mobile phones, and that number rises past 50% for the 25-29 age group. Federal law and regulation has yet to address the use of email and text messaging in a thorough way, even as email is already being supplanted by Twitter and Facebook as the means of choice for resolving customer service issues, communicating about sales and special offers, etc.
Marketing and collection industry groups have asked for clear explanations of permissible use of new technology. Since suits alleging FDCPA violations are filed in state courts by consumers, the case law is inconclusive where it exists at all. And while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued statements clarifying the TCPA over the past 20 years, they have not addressed the challenges arising from the widespread replacement of landlines with mobile phones, nor has the act been expanded by Congress to cover the use of social media.
The potential damage from failure to comply with restrictions on proactive contact campaigns continues to grow, even as the sources and types of laws and regulations multiply and as businesses struggle to incorporate the latest technology into their policies and plans. In this environment strategy management applications must provide granular control over each contact attempt to each device on each record in a campaign and must allow business users to quickly incorporate each new rule before risking their reputation on the next contact attempt. A white paper from ALi Solutions discusses Striking Balance between Compliance and Productivity