Creating an engaging and compliant messaging solution with Hearsay Systems

April 08, 2024
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One of the most exciting parts about the Twilio platform is seeing the impactful CPaaS solutions that our customers build. With flexible, future-proof APIs from Twilio, independent software vendors (ISVs) are able to create solutions that not only impact entire industries, but take care of consumers along the way. One of the shining examples of a business that is innovating in their space is Hearsay Systems, one of our top ISV partners. In this post we were able to pick the brain of Bill Simpson, Director of Compliance, on how Hearsay is impacting the financial services industry, how they keep up with the ever changing regulatory compliance landscape within messaging, and the exciting innovations they are building with Twilio.

Q: Before we dig into the ever changing ecosystem of compliance, describe Hearsay and what you all have built for the financial industry?

A: Hearsay Systems is used by more than 261,000 advisors and agents at more than 100 global firms to accelerate business growth. Focused exclusively on financial services, we arm advisors and agents with compliant social media (Hearsay Social), individualized websites (Hearsay Sites), and text and voice solutions (Hearsay Relate, which is built on Twilio Programmable Messaging and Programmable Voice), that enable them to scale reach, optimize engagements, and deliver service in a compliant manner.


Q: Compliance is a rising topic of conversation in all areas of business, how has your team at Hearsay kept up to date with the regulatory compliance landscape?

A: Hearsay has an internal legal and compliance team that is dedicated to monitoring the myriad regulatory developments in the texting space. When we see changes on the horizon, we partner closely with our product team to ensure our platform can help our clients stay in front of these changes. We also speak regularly with customers to validate the developments we’re seeing and inform them of the solutions we’re planning, so that our clients can deploy our features to proactively meet new compliance obligations in a rapidly changing regulatory landscape.


Q: Just like Hearsay, Twilio has the goal to create a trusted communications ecosystem to protect consumers and eradicate bad actors. How have you seen the industry change to clean up customer engagement?

A: So much of the financial services industry is focused on identifying bad actors by following up on red flags. Often, this puts firms in the position of being reactive—not proactive. One way that we can shift this paradigm is through data analysis. For example, when considering texting activity, patterns such as 1) a considerable drop in monthly text volume or 2) suddenly inactive phone numbers—can indicate off-channel communications. This is just one instance of a data-enabled approach that shifts firms from a reactive to a more proactive stance when it comes to facilitating compliant customer engagement.


Q: As global regulatory compliance grows more strict—especially around AI—how can firms continue to keep pace with regulatory obligations?

A: AI is a common topic of conversation while also being a space to innovate, meaning financial services firms need a well-established program to effectively leverage AI while keeping within the boundaries of applicable regulations.


Some critical steps for incorporating AI include: 

  • Establish policies and procedures to evaluate and monitor AI functionality, including creating an internal AI committee.

  • Be sure to train all employees on the dos-and-don’ts related to using AI, similar to what is done for cybersecurity. 

  • Convene the committee regularly to update policies and procedures according to rapidly changing developments in the regulatory, technology and operational spaces orbiting AI. 

  • Evaluate vendors to ensure they understand the requirements of implementing AI within the financial services space. Many vendors are not specific to the financial services, and may not fully understand the implications of deploying AI functionality. 


Q: Hearsay has created some best-in-class products with Twilio, what are you excited about that is on your roadmap?

A: Thematically, our product investments are focused on delivering adoption, efficiency, productivity, and risk mitigation at the user and enterprise level. Zooming in on Hearsay Relate, we have some really exciting developments on the way:


  • This year we’re excited to deliver compliant WhatsApp for Hearsay Relate, supported across desktop and mobile. Users will be able to communicate with clients and prospects on the most popular global messaging network, built on Twilio and backed by Hearsay’s full compliance and supervision review layer.

  • New national and state-level autodialer rules (TCPA) have raised the bar for firms to comply when it comes to voice and text. To evolve with these strict standards, we’re rolling out Do Not Call list integrations, out-of-office notifications, client quiet hour protections, call recording, automated 10DLC registration and more. A number of these critical enhancements are made possible through Twilio, which means our programs can deploy compliant text and voice capabilities in the face of increasingly challenging regulatory requirements.

  • We’re further enriching our integrations with CRM—particularly with Salesforce as a strategic partner of ours—including more capabilities that will enable a seamless compliant texting experience from within the Salesforce interface.

  • And enhancements in analytics will make 1:1 communications even more actionable, including AI capabilities to surface relationship-level intelligence like sentiment and intent to teams when they need it.

Learn more about Hearsay Relate here.


About Bill Simpson

As Director of Compliance at Hearsay, Bill Simpson is charged with helping Hearsay customers adopt a compliance-first approach amidst an ever-evolving regulatory landscape. A 15-year compliance veteran in financial services, he leverages his experience to shape product development that best serves compliance administrators, while partnering with clients to accelerate their program efficiency. Prior to Hearsay, Bill was a compliance officer focusing on implementing and maintaining electronic communication compliance programs at Aberdeen Standard Investments and Susquehanna International Group.