- Success Story
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), Dramatically Improved Communication, Awareness, and Compliance
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has undergone several changes over the course of its multi-decade history, from new names to an ever-increasing portfolio of responsibilities. Despite these changes, one thing has remained constant: the agency’s commitment to protect consumers, regulate emerging financial products and services, and foster responsible innovation.
As regulatory complexity increased, and the Department’s technology preferences changed, the DFPI sought a modern solution to help licensees and stakeholders stay informed.
- 1,000's of dollars saved each year by sending notifications via govDelivery.
- 96% email delivery rates, with a 53% open rate and a 17% click-through rate.
- 70% open rate for COVID-19 guidance sent to financial institutions, with a 97.4% delivery rate and a 12% click rate.
- 1 Person can now assemble, automate, and share weekly communications in seconds.
Keeping Pace with and Ensuring Awareness of Evolving Regulations
Over the years, the California DFPI has undergone significant changes. Originally known as the State Banking Department, the agency is one of the most powerful state financial regulators in the country. The Department, which was expanded by the recent California Consumer Financial Protection Law, is charged with overseeing financial service providers; enforcing laws and regulations, promoting innovation, enhancing consumer awareness; and protecting consumers by preventing marketplace risks, fraud, and abuse.
In its early years, the DFPI compiled weekly bulletins using a manual, paper-based process with its full clerical staff dedicating an entire day to bulletin assembly each week. In the late 1990s, the department shifted to email-based publishing via a basic list service with limited functionality. The DFPI continued using that tool for more than a decade, growing increasingly frustrated with the service’s limitations. There was no way to track engagement or open rates, and no opportunity to guarantee the bulletins were being viewed by the correct recipients.
Improving Distribution and Compliance with govDelivery
No matter how urgent the updates were, under its previous system, the DFPI could only get the message out to recipients via monthly bulletins and hope for the best. There was no way to verify that a message arrived at the correct destination, and even when it did, there was no confirmation that the right individuals had read it. The DFPI decided to switch to a more robust tool for managing its communications. The department selected Granicus’ govDelivery to support its growing technological needs well into the future.
The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic required DFPI staff to adapt to rapidly-changing safety protocols, alert financial institutions about capacity restrictions inside bank branches, and disseminate information about emerging financial relief programs for renters and landlords, all while working remotely. Since the team already had govDelivery in place, sending alerts and notifications was easy and intuitive, allowing staff to communicate quickly and effectively with all licensees.
The COVID-19 pandemic also made DFPI realize that having an 800 number for employees to call regarding emergency situations was not enough. The DFPI needed the ability to notify its staff via SMS text messages of building closures, etc. The DFPI is currently working on an SMS text message-based emergency notification system that will push out messages to DFPI-owned mobile phones. Employees will also be able to opt in to the emergency notification system with their personal mobile devices if they wish.
Enhanced Tracking, Distribution, and Connectivity Via Multiple Channels
With govDelivery, DFPI staff members can uncover detailed information about each group they send messages to, including how many people open an email, how many people click a particular link, and which messages are the most effective for reaching a specific audience. Staff are able to make informed decisions based on actionable data and adjust accordingly. In addition, recipients can no longer claim they didn’t get a particular email; DFPI staff can easily open the detailed reports in govDelivery and verify exactly who received that email and how many people opened it.
Ultimately, DFPI’s goal is to eliminate all paper-based processes. While email communications are a significant step toward that goal, the agency is striving to implement targeted, one-to-one messaging with Granicus TMS in order to share custom electronic invoices with each licensee. DFPI is currently working with its legal department to ensure it will remain compliant with all applicable laws following the shift from postal notices to texting, with a full launch of its TMS capabilities expected by mid-2022.