Archiving WhatsApp messages for business compliance
Consumer messaging apps like WhatsApp have existed for several years, however their adoption as a business tool went through the roof during the pandemic.
Amidst struggles to deliver a remote work infrastructure in a timely fashion, the simple, user-driven setup of a WhatsApp connection proved invaluable in keeping the wheels of industry turning.
This was especially evident in the financial sector, where communicating with individuals and acting swiftly – even when on the go – is essential for making timely investment decisions. Historically, the financial sector has tried to prohibit the use of such ‘feral’ consumer messaging apps outright.
But, even in the face of hefty fines for using WhatsApp and other messaging apps in the US, and growing scrutiny in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), use of WhatsApp is still prevalent.
Why? It just makes business sense to connect with customers using the apps they use.
In the past, WhatsApp was mainly seen as a platform for personal conversations and social group chats, kept for private interactions. Nowadays, WhatsApp is widely adopted for business communication, becoming the norm in sectors like finance, professional services, and even public services.
Compared to other messengers and social networks, 80% of WhatsApp messages are seen within five minutes. There’s many other impressive WhatsApp statistics.
Instead of banning WhatsApp, some firms are now opting to implement compliance archiving for WhatsApp and other social messaging platforms.
What is WhatsApp compliance archiving?
Unlike native archiving in WhatsApp, which is a user-driven service for organising chats, compliance archiving is geared around meeting legal and regulatory obligations in relation to communications.
This process is crucial for industries and organisations that need to ensure transparency, data retention, and accountability in their communication practices.
Implementing compliance archiving for WhatsApp traffic typically involves:
- Capture: Intercepting all WhatsApp messages, including media and voice.
- Storage: Securely storing this data to prevent unauthorised access and tampering.
- Retention: Enabling set timeframes for data retention to be implemented.
- eDiscovery: Giving authorised personnel the relevant tools to search and retrieve data in the event of an investigation.
- Reporting: Creating reports for regulatory compliance.
- Integration: Pooling WhatsApp communications with existing data retention and archiving systems for efficiency.
How does WhatsApp compliance archiving work?
One strategy for compliance archiving WhatsApp involves using a dedicated corporate version of WhatsApp that can be installed on users’ company-supplied or own (BYOD) devices.
A separately assigned number is then used specifically for engaging with customers. Some solutions offer the opportunity to brand the WhatsApp channel with your company logo and provide disclaimers.
This means that users can continue to use their own personal WhatsApp messaging from their usual number.
The key thing to note here is that the two channels – business and personal – are always kept separate. Plus there’s no reliance on chat filters that may – or may not – be released in WhatsApp (I refer to the business and personal chat filters that WhatsApp did a beta of a short while ago, but did not roll out).
Deploying this ‘wrapper’ solution can be easily deployed on remote systems, for example, using mobile device management (MDM) platforms such as Microsoft Intune.
Manage and discover WhatsApp messaging alongside other social platforms
Do you often get confused about what was said on what channel? I know I do.
With so manage different messaging options to choose from, it’s not uncommon for business communications to take place through email threads, direct messages on WhatsApp, Teams chat and even voice calls.
This fragmentation can lead to several complications – especially when it comes to eDiscovery and piecing together ‘the full picture’.
Capture, retain and discover WhatsApp alongside Microsoft Teams Chat, LinkedIn, Instagram, Slack & other social messaging platforms.
If your business is operating on many different channels, look for a solution lets you store and search it alongside the contents WhatsApp alongside Microsoft Teams Chat, Instagram and Zoom and more.
For example, a conversation that starts in WhatsApp could lead to a related email and perhaps even a conference call, which means the overall context might only be revealed by reviewing interaction across all three channels.
Therefore by analysing these communication channels collectively, regulators and organisations can piece together a broader narrative of say, potential insider trading.
Discover the first WhatsApp compliance archiving solution to partner with Meta for WhatsApp messaging capture.
Speak to one of our business communications archiving experts.