Opinion: Software solutions, fintech and GDPR compliance
The Data Protection Act was superseded in May 2018 by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with the objective of ensuring organisations were appropriately conducting themselves when it came to information security and the use and storage of customer data.
Keeping accurate records is of paramount importance, particularly within the finance sector. Having complete and detailed information on client’s financial background, accounts, investments and even simple information such as address and contact details are vital. In addition, the logging of signed documents and written approvals are crucial. In a competitive market it’s important for firms to be able to ensure security but be able to offer a personalised service which can only be done when holding important customer data and history.
Within the financial industry, information is collated and used for various activities such as client or customer onboarding, relationship management, trade-booking, and accounting.
During these processes, customer data is exposed to a large number of different people at different stages, which is why GDPR was created.
The premise of GDPR was to provide a set of standard laws to make it easier for consumers to understand how their data is to be used, what constitutes as a breach of their right to ‘be forgotten’ and to raise complaints if they feel these laws have been broken.
The storing and managing of data, therefore, is now often perceived as a minefield for organisations, however maintaining customer information and using it to deliver a service is central to a business's success.
Another crucial factor in record-keeping is having client sign-off and evidence of approvals when making investments or withdrawals on behalf of a client. Historically clients would need to come into offices to sign documentation, which would then be filed or scanned in and saved on the firm’s vast network, all to provide a paper trail of evidence should it ever be called for.
However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person meets like these has not been possible, nor is handling paperwork that is passed from person to person advised. The ability to electronically sign, send and store approvals, evidence of funds or identification all in one location is a huge benefit to firms. This also makes it easier to locate files or identify those documents that are missing from a client’s record. The ability to access this data remotely is also a requirement with the large numbers of staff working from home both during the pandemic and moving forward as flexible working increasingly becomes standard practice in many industry sectors.
GDPR compliance is vital for organisations to avoid financial penalties and reputational damage, but maintaining customer relationships is a cornerstone to a successful business. Keeping detailed records of client information, historical transactions or purchases, and even personal data can prove important when having detailed and even informal conversations with clients regarding their employment, family, recent activities and so on.
Being able to strike that balance between compliance and holding information is central to a firm’s success. Making use of software that can store this information in a safe and secure way is an easy solution to this challenge.
GetBusy is an accredited NetSuite SuiteApp. It allows users to request and store e-Signatures, send and store documents, delivers class-leading task management and enables real-time discussion via its intuitive interface. Working through GetBusy ensures there is an electronic audit, or ‘digital paper trail’, which ensures there are no duplicates or missing details on customer accounts or transactions, and users are always working off the most up-to-date version. GetBusy was created to help finance firms build better relationship with their clients and ultimately make employee’s work lives easier. Keeping accurate customer relationship data and being able to seamlessly sync it with NetSuite’s ERP solution ensures critical customer, client and vendor data is stored securely in the cloud and is encrypted from a data security standpoint.
Organisations are under increasing pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, if not be carbon neutral. Eliminating all physical paper and the reproduction and printing of multiple versions of a single document can have a monumental impact on a firm’s footprint, further easing the challenges of trying to transfer documents from colleague to colleague who may be in different locations or working from home.
Using an application such as GetBusy in conjunction with ERP systems like NetSuite allows organisations to do away with paper copies altogether and go paperless. All documents can be stored in a single, accessible location. All changes to documents are logged and visible to all viewers to enable collaborative working and documents can be electronically signed within minutes, massively speeding up the sign-off process when it comes to permissions or transactions.
To remove the element of uncertainty, financial organisations can utilise software solutions that not only ensure GDPR compliance but provide a host of additional benefits. Collaborative working, sending and storing an unlimited number of documents and being able to receive e-signatures within minutes all through a subscription app, GetBusy is able to provide the financial services industry with a solution that seamlessly integrates with NetSuite or works as a standalone, and gives organisations a clear log of all information stored.
About the author: Daniel Rabie is the CEO of GetBusy, the UK-based document management, and task management software that enables over 67,000 professional paying users around the world to digitise their operations and be productive while working in the office or remotely