Your marketing department has probably spent a considerable amount of time analyzing the flow of your website. As a business, it’s incredibly important to make sure that your customer’s experience guides them to interact with your website in a way that drives leads and decisions. While analyzing your U/X is valuable for this reason, mapping your customer’s journey can actually save your company from serious fines and penalties down the road.
Am I at risk for a violation?
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, requires financial institutions to comply with a set of regulations to protect both customers and businesses. While some regulations are straight-forward (like not releasing your customers’ sensitive financial information to the public), others are often ignored or overlooked. While preparation for a potential compliance audit may seem time-consuming or costly, the penalty of noncompliance is far worse.
For example, if a customer visits your website and uses an investment calculator to view their potential earnings over time, then proceeds to fill out a contact form to receive more information, that journey is required to be archived for compliance purposes. Of course, if your business services customers in different states, each calculator will return a different result, and all of these instances need to be captured.
Under FINRA 10-06 and other FINRA suitability rules, your business could receive a hefty fine if you haven’t properly archived this information. This regulation requires businesses to maintain records of all customer interactions, and when a customer interacts with a calculator or recommendation tool on your site, this data needs to be preserved.
What if I’m not in the financial services industry?
There’s a good chance you’re also at risk. For example, the insurance industry also utilizes a series of calculator-type interactions on a webpage to facilitate product recommendations. As a result, your company could be found in noncompliance if you don’t keep proper records of these interactions. Remember, since laws vary from state to state, it’s vital to gather data for all potential interactions, including the changes based on location. In this case, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to check which regulations your business must comply to.
This sounds complicated. How do I protect my business?
It all starts with proper preparation. By proactively managing the preservation of your website data, you’ll be much more confident when the regulators come around. In this case, you’ll want to use an archiving software, as screenshots and saved web pages are not legally defensible. Using a native-format archiving tool will allow you to automate the process, saving both time and remaining cost-effective. You’ll also want to make sure that the software you use provides searchable data for all the webpages that you capture, to make it easier when you need to retrieve specific information for compliance purposes.
Additionally, If you’d like to speak with one of our experts of find out how Hanzo can help your organization prepare for a potential FINRA audit, request a demo with us today.