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What you need to know about call recording for Android

Many people are interested in call recording for their Android devices. A quick check on a suitable search engine will reveal a plethora of choices from a wide range of sources to meet this need. You can even find all sorts of demonstration videos on YouTube, illustrating such solutions and how to use them.

However, do these options suit business customers? In this article, we look at some of the key considerations for call recording on Android devices, so that you can make the right decision for your business.

What do business users need to ensure call recording for Android?

It turns out that most solutions that are easily discoverable for call recording on Android devices are app-based, but there are limitations to these. They can record outgoing calls, automatically record incoming calls – and do either or both on-demand. They typically require manual intervention or to be controlled by the user. An individual has control of the settings on his or her device. Worse, changes to the terms allowable in Google Play earlier in 2019 mean that obtaining the number of the B party is now subject to various privacy requirements, which in practice means that the recording has little value as a record of transactions. Is that appropriate for business users?

If all you are a consumer or only need to record the occasional call on your Android device, then perhaps so. However, most business users need an entirely different kind of solution. If you are a business user, or are responsible for enabling your colleagues to be able to support call recording on Android devices, then you need to find a professional solution that is controlled by the company, not an individual user. You need a solution that scales effectively for your business – and which provides seamless storage, protection and, crucially, compliance.

Why do businesses need to adopt call recording solutions for Android?

Most businesses need to record calls for a couple of simple reasons. The first is compliance. Many businesses, particularly in the financial services sector, are governed by regulation such as MiFID II. This provides rules for a range of financial transactions, one of which includes the need to record all conversations that take place between a service provider and its clients. So, if this is applicable to your business, you’ll need to ensure that you can support call recording for any Android devices and all other mobile phones that your staff employ. And, if your business is in the EU, or undertakes business in the EU, it probably applies to you.

The second reason is more general – and more generally applicable. Many businesses routinely make recordings of conversations with customers, so that they can learn from them, provide a record of customer interaction, and improve the quality of service they deliver.

This actually embraces an ever-growing audience, because a growing number of companies have recognised the value of such recordings for staff training and quality enhancements. However, why has Android become so important?

Put simply, that’s because Android has become the dominant smartphone operating system in most markets. While iPhones, as the first true smartphone, took an early lead in the OS stakes, Android has long since overtaken it, as the data in Figure 1 reveals.

Figure 1: Mobile Operating System Market Share (Europe)[1]

mobile operating sys market share

 

Outside Europe, the gap is even wider, according to Statista[2], largely driven by the significantly cheaper cost of such devices in comparison to iPhones, and the relative immaturity of other mobile operating systems.

As business users have moved to mobility, it’s thus likely that more will be using Android. This trend to mobility cuts across sectors and markets. For example, in the call and contact centre industry, many organisations are seeking to empower their workers through new home and remote working models. In such cases, the ability to use a mobile device to remotely logon and register with the service offers many advantages.

As a result, demand for call recording has grown, and demand for call recording on Android devices has also surged in response. So, why aren’t app-based approaches suitable? There are several reasons.

First, an app that is controlled by the user allows the user to intervene. They can choose when to record or not record calls – which may well be in complete contravention to the company policy. Worse, it may also contravene the regulation to which compliance is sought, which would expose the company to risk. To achieve compliance, users cannot be permitted to select when to record calls; that decision must be left to the administrator, in accordance with the relevant legislation.

Second, an app-based solution for call recording on Android devices may store the resulting files locally. This leaves them on the user’s device and thus exposed to deletion, editing or, worse, circulation to unauthorised individuals. Recordings need to be securely stored – often for pre-defined periods of time – accessible only to authorised users, and protected in their original form, without having been tampered with.

Finally, while an app could communicate directly with a centralised server, thereby allowing recordings to be captured at that level, such solutions are typically IP-enabled and rely on a consistent, always available data channel. Such an approach is not suited, as there may be many occasions on which there is insufficient bandwidth to ensure that the call can be recorded and captured. Home and remote users may not have a reliable, dependable high-bandwidth mobile connection, so need to be sure their device can work even on GSM (2G), which doesn’t support data connectivity. Worse, such bandwidth limitations may also affect upload of recording to a storage server, imposing unforeseen costs on organisations.

What’s the right answer to ensure effective call recording on Android?

The only secure, fool-proof, tamper-proof and completely reliable way in which to ensure call recording on Android devices is to capitalise on a solution that is entirely based in the mobile network itself. In such solutions, the call recording is handled at the network level, across standard mobile interfaces. They do not require app software local to the device, any user intervention or require any upload from the device.

Touch Call Recording is a solution that is deployed in the networks of mobile operators. It is able to make recordings on 2G, 3G, 4G or even VoLTE, because it doesn’t depend on the connection to the device. It does not, therefore, depend on an unreliable IP connection.

Touch Call Recording offers secure storage, with strict admin control and easy policy definition. Your users will typically be on the same network, for ease of subscription management – but it’s not always the case. Touch Call Recording simply needs to be implemented in the relevant mobile networks.

So, if your organisation needs to achieve call recording on Android devices, what you need is a network-based solution, so that you can really control the recording process, results and protect your customers and employees. It’s the only professional approach that meets all regulatory conditions and which provides a truly reliable and secure service for call recording on Android. Why not get in touch to find out more about our network partners who can offer a solution for you?

 

[1] https://gs.statcounter.com/os-market-share/mobile/europe/

[2] https://www.statista.com/statistics/266136/global-market-share-held-by-smartphone-operating-systems/

https://www.esma.europa.eu/policy-rules/mifid-ii-and-mifir

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