Citicom Solutions is pushing its Assure voice and text data capture and analysis solution beyond the UK and into the US market with a view to helping financial firms meet Dodd-Frank regulation requiring swap trading communications to be recorded and trades to be reconstructed. The real-time solution is also designed to provide a proactive view of activity, improve transparency and rebuild damaged reputations.
Citicom was co-founded in the UK 18 months ago by financial services colleagues Ian Summerfield and Mark Whiteman. Its initial intent was to support firms facing 2011 Financial Services Authority requirements to record all trading communications made on mobile phones, as well as those made using fixed line and turret systems. The company continues to provide compliance solutions in the UK and a couple of months ago took its expertise to the US, where it saw an opportunity to help banks comply with Dodd-Frank and improve reputations.
Whiteman says: “To put it simply, financial services organisations need to clean up their act. This is not just a compliance issue, but a moral issue. They need to do what’s right and bring a level of trust back to Wall Street. Citicom Assure unlocks data potential by turning a static pile of information into a valuable asset.”
Essentially, Assure captures data including instant messages, emails, text messages, and mobile and fixed voice recordings. The data is pulled together in one place, turned into text data and analysed in real time, avoiding the need for manual manipulation of spreadsheets that pull in data from multiple data capture systems. The analytics and alerting element can flag unusual activity, keywords and phrases in real time, as well as track emotional behaviour. Storage and replay includes stereo voice playback and full trade reconstruction.
From a user perspective, the Assure dashboard can be used to set alerts and boundaries, not only to identify inappropriate activity, but also, perhaps, to use the data for positive purposes such as replicating something that is being talked about in Asia-Pacific in Europe.
The solution is integrated by Citicom, with analytics coming from Intellectual Voice, mobile capture from vendors that are already used by many financial institutions, such as Teleware, voice capture from suppliers such as Cisco and Avaya, and trading floor communication from turret providers such as IPC.
With clients already established in the UK, Citicom is beginning to gain traction in the US, where it is attracted tier one and tier two banks that are paying for proof of concept projects before considering wider roll out. In total, the company has towards 10 global organisations working on proof of concept or with installations. Whiteman says: “Assure plugs a gap in many organisations, providing a single place to capture data and analyse it in real time. For financial firms, the drivers to use a solution like Assure are to make compliance more effective and efficient, and to become more transparent in the market.”
Assure is an on premise solution, reflecting large financial institutions’ desire to keep technology in-house, but Citicom is considering development of a hosted, cloud solution for smaller organisations seeking similar capabilities. It is also looking further out. As Whiteman concludes: “Assure has potential beyond the market it is in now and could have broader applications than compliance. For example, it could be developed as a proactive market analysis tool.”