But don't just take our word for it. We've got standout stats for you, can't-miss video, and more
- 79% of smartphone users make purchases online.
- 40% of e-commerce sales in 2018 were conducted via mobile app or mobile website.
- In 2018, 52.2% of all online traffic worldwide was conducted on mobile devices.
The top two stats were offered by Star's Director Of Product Management Will Haggerty at the 2019 Star US Conference (more on stat #3 later). Will ran one of the conference's most popular sessions—"Going Mobile With Star"—an in-depth exploration of Star's new mobile app: STAR Mobile. The session gave attendees a good idea of not just how often people turn to mobile apps, but for what ends. Star took the above data to heart as it set out to design its own mobile app. "We looked at what would most likely be done via mobile," says Will. "What we came back with was, it's really about those impromptu, time-sensitive tasks. Personal trade pre-clearances. Gift and entertainment declarations. Edits. Updates. Things that when employees leave home for the day, or walk away from their desks, they're not planning on doing."
This set of priorities is at the top of at least one UK compliance officer's list. Fiona Hipkiss is Managing Director, Compliance at Hines—a privately owned, investment, development, and management real estate company with 4500 employees spread across the globe. Hipkiss' mantra when it comes to compliance is: "Keep it simple. Keep it easy." As such, she's a big fan of Star's employee conflicts of interest suite, and the way the addition of the STAR Mobile app enhances the platform's capabilities and ease of use. "Mobile applications, to me, are really important," says Fiona. "My employees travel a lot. They're on the road. They're visiting sites, buildings. And for them to be able to pre-clear while they're on the road, or do any of their compliance tasks mobiley, well, they're just more likely to do it since it's easy for them."
Watch the full video interview with Fiona below. Then check out four ways mobile apps are set to transform and modernize the compliance landscape.
1. PRE-CLEARANCE ANYWHERE, ANYTIME
Pre-clearance is at the heart of any modern compliance program. That employee who wants to get pre-cleared in the morning so she can execute her trade at lunch? With an automated software solution she shouldn't have to wait at all. When your firm's compliance software was implemented, the code of ethics was tidily translated into software code, allowing for quick and decisive yes-or-no answers in most cases. A well-built mobile app gives employees access to this same automated decision-making system wherever there's a cell connection. Some mobile apps also offer on-the-go pre-clearing for other common types of employee activity that need to be monitored, like gifts and entertainment spending.
2. MORE CRITICAL ACTIVITY CAPTURED
As mentioned above, in 2018 52.2% of all online traffic worldwide was conducted on mobile devices.1 It's a mobile world, and a mobile workforce calls for mobile solutions. Why? The more data a software system built to detect and monitor employee conflicts of interest has to work with—to crosscheck, cross-analyze, and cross-correlate—the better. It's not hard to imagine, with so much work being done on-the-go, that an employee off somewhere—in a car, hotel room, or out to dinner with a client—doing her company's bidding might legitimately forget to pre-clear important activity or log some critical bit of data that could come back to haunt the company or the employee. Mobile compliance apps help ensure this won't happen.
3. BETTER SUPERVISORY RESPONSE TIMES
The other side of the mobile compliance app equation, opposite the employee out wining and dining a prospect or trying to execute a hot trade from Starbucks, is the on-the-move compliance officer trying to keep up with his work. Mobile compliance apps can make all the difference here. Supervisors can use them for the administrative and oversight functions vital to their jobs. When the compliance platform flags suspicious activity and escalates it, supervisors can review it like they were sitting at their desks. Good mobile software also gives full question-and-answer functionality and a history of previous reviews and reviewers.
4. STREAMLINED PROCESSES FROM A-Z
The fourth and final benefit touches on several of the previously covered transformational aspects of mobile tech, but even as an amalgam the idea of the power of mobile apps to streamline and simplify compliance processes and operations overall is worth a separate mention. Thus, on the stay-compliant side of the equation, good mobile compliance capabilities don't just offer those firm employees out and about the ability to take action, it also offers them the ability to make assessments: allowing existing holdings to simply and easily be viewed, along with any important associated transactions the employee may have in motion.
On the enforcing-compliance side, mobile means compliance officers can do more than just review escalated requests; they can also more easily and more consistently support their direct reports, by virtue of the fact they can carry out the most critical aspects of their job wherever they are. So there's far less waiting on a busy, out-of-office boss to get back to employee end users on something important. And staying on top of high priority tasks in general should also be made easier if notification capabilities can be managed at the device level of your app. And if existing roles and access in your firm's compliance platform are also automatically observed, you may find yourself on the verge of a truly seamless and streamlined compliance experience.