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Modern message-tracking tech takes off as unauthorized communication fines for big banks have topped $2 billion.  

As US regulators hammer a dozen banks including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America with a combined $2 billion in fines for failing to properly monitor all employee messaging, comprehensive communications-surveillance tools are in high demand.

The SEC slapped banks with steep fines after it discovered that their workers were using unmonitored chat apps, including WhatsApp, for work. This communication crisis is spurring banks to adopt tools that will let employees continue using their preferred channels, but compliantly. (In the case of Deutsche Bank, WhatsApp was an approved and monitored messaging platform, but employees also used personal accounts.) 

“Employees want to communicate in ways they are most comfortable—voice, text, WhatsApp, and Microsoft Teams. It’s about choices,” CEO of compliance tech firm Movius Ananth Siva previously told Insights Distilled. Through its monitoring products, “employees no longer need to carry two phones.” 

SteelEye, Symphony, Nice Actimize, and LeapXpert all offer monitoring for modern communication apps (and the latter claims to be the only communications surveillance firm that can seamlessly and scalably integrate with and monitor Apple’s iMessage).  

“We’ve seen an incredible rise in interest from financial institutions of all kinds due to the ongoing regulatory crackdown,” LeapXpert cofounder and chief revenue officer Avi Pardo told Insights Distilled, highlighting faster sales cycles and implementation times. There’s also been a particularly major uptick in Europe as financial institutions large and small race to protect themselves from audits, fines, and reputational damage, he said: “They believe the regulatory crackdown is in the process of crossing the pond.”