When and how to transition clients from Whatsapp to a secure chat?

When and how to transition clients from Whatsapp to a secure chat?

You did it ! You attracted potential clients with an open-to-everyone Whatsapp contact number, and you now are engaging with a prospect that you want to convert to a client. According to the Whatsapp terms & conditions, communication is end-to-end encrypted, meaning that privacy is insured by data encryption between the prospect’s device and you – well at least until the gateway service you use to interface your Whatsapp-for-business account.

  • At which point do you decide that you need to transition from Whatsapp to a more secure channel?
  • As of when do you not only need to guarantee the privacy of the exchanged information for good, but also the integrity and the non-repudiation and traceability of the exchanged information ?

This must be clearly defined by you, depending on your local regulations and your risk appetite:

  • Do you only exchange publicly available information that could also be found on your public website ?
  • Do you exchange customer identifying data to enroll the prospect as a client ?
  • What about complete financial situations that helps you understand your prospect’s situation ?
  • Do you give already advice which products might suit best ?
  • Do you even accept orders or even transactions ?

All this must be clearly identified in your terms & conditions accepted by the prospect accept on Whatsapp, and probably, at one or another of these points you just have to decide that you have to transition the client to a channel that is 100% controlled by you, and which is a closed communication platform (commercial alert ! such as the conversational platform SecuChat).

As of that point, you need to convince both your staff and the prospect that it is in the best interest of everyone to use a secure instant messenger that is specially designed for the financial industry, and which has a convenient and secure activation on first use, a user-friendly authentication upon usage, and a simple re-activation if your prospect (and soon client!) has a new mobile phone.

Here are some more steps you might find useful to make the transition as easy as possible for your clients and your staff:

  • Explain the benefits:
    Start by explaining the benefits of using a secure chat platform, especially regarding convenience: execution of payments without callbacks, electronic signing of contracts without paper, one-click interactions with your portfolio.
  • Explain the consequences of non-compliance : there are ample examples of fines that have been issued to banks that did not ensure the traceability of critical exchanges with their customers, and they sum up to a couple of billions in the US alone. It is unfortunate, but non-compliance with clear rules must have immediate and tangible personal consequences, this to enforce the rules in place and to protect your organization from liabilities.
  • Seamlessly integrate the transition in the user journey of your prospect who becomes client. One possibility could be to have the prospect download the secure messenger, and handle the KYC & identification process through it : the channel becomes identified and authenticated alongside the prospect.
  • Provide training and support: Offer training and support to help your staff and your clients get started with the tool. Provide clear instructions, answer any questions they may have, and provide resources such as tutorials or guides.
  • Integrate the secure channel closely with the tools that the advisors use anyhow : the customer relationship management (CRM) system, the workflow management system or the client lifecycle management (CLM) system.
  • Keep an alternative communication channel open: Make sure to keep alternative communication channels like standard phone calls open and respond promptly to any questions or concerns your clients may have during the transition process. Make sure not to create security breaches by doing so !

Overall, the consciousness of the need that a transition to a secure messaging system has to be made, is as important as determining the policy of when exactly it has to be done and how this in implemented in a smooth and successful process.

And now go engage with your client 😊