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.
The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI)
How the DFPI, California’s State Financial Regulator, Dramatically Improved Communication, Awareness, and Compliance Using govDelivery
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.
Keeping Pace with and Ensuring Awareness of Evolving Regulations
Improving Distribution and Compliance with govDelivery
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.
Enhanced Tracking, Distribution, and Connectivity Via Multiple Channels
How wrexham county council improved citizen experience through integrated communications & service delivery
With Firmstep, the county’s digital customer services solution, integrated with govDelivery, their communication platform, the customer experience is seamless.
How does it work? When a customer visits the Wrexham website and enters their address in a form, Firmstep automatically looks up the customer’s collection day and calendar, then sends the information into GovDelivery, which automatically signs the customer up for their bin reminder emails. After that, the customer receives relevant, timely, and automated information about their bin collections. This combination has improved sign-up rates and ensured Wrexham reaches more citizens.
How the Firmstep + GovDelivery integration streamlines service
Could your citizens benefit from seamless and integrated digital experiences? Get in touch with us today to learn more about how Granicus can help!
Like many local governments in California, the team at the Napa County Election Division has many critical duties in support of local, state, and federal elections. They also must help ensure all required government officials disclose their financial interests.
Designated filing officers must accurately track, manage, and deliver documents related to the disclosure of government employee and elected official Statement of Economic Interest, known as Form 700 in California. The process is regulated by the State of California’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).
Staff at the Election Division have their own goals to increase efficiency and make sure officials file on time. Napa County’s recently updated strategic plan has a priority goal of making government more transparent.
A Mandate for Transparency & Efficiency
The DisclosureDocs implementation team worked closely with Napa County staff to meet their tight deadline. After their kickoff meeting in January 2019, they migrated files, trained staff, and then deployed. In the end, they were able to implement DisclosureDocs by their deadline of April 2.
From Manual to Automatic
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.
Must-have Granicus solution
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of dollars saved each year by sending notifications via govDelivery.
email delivery rates, with a 53% open rate and a 17% click-through rate.
can now assemble, automate, and share weekly communications in seconds.
Patrick Carroll, Licensing & Information Reporting Manager
govDelivery’s detailed delivery reports have become a critical tool for our agency. Often, we will get a call from a bank CEO who says, ‘well, I didn't get that email.’ And I can go into the sent records and I can say, ‘oh yes you did, and it was seen, and six people opened it.’ So that's something that I find very useful and effective."
new subscribers so far in 2021
The county council knew the first step to improve the citizen experience was to modernise the way they communicated bin removal services. To ensure citizens received relevant, timely and automated communications, Wrexham implemented Granicus’s govDelivery email, mobile message, and social media platform. Now, they have the sophisticated marketing automation and audience segmentation required to deliver personalised waste and recycling bin collection reminders to over 12,000 residents. Targeted email messages from the county empower residents to take the correct action at the right moment.
These reminders — delivered alongside educational messages about what can and can’t be recycled — are positively impacting local recycling rates. For example, more customers know what can and can’t be recycled; the number of bins not being collected due to contamination has decreased by 27% since implementing govDelivery.
Must-have Granicus product
“A willingness to work with us. I want to see everyone working together and know that I can get answers when I call in. Granicus has been good about doing that.” –Bob McQueen, Director of IT, Franklin Township, NJ
Armed with a U.S. Department of Education preschool development grant, OECOSL sought to create a unified experience across departments to improve the parental experience while implementing technology that would make it easier to directly connect with families.
“FSSA had been using GovDelivery in other divisions for years as an email tool, but we were only beginning to explore texting options, and the Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning had not used the tool before,” said Lemons. “It was great to have the team come in and show us what was possible.”
Implementing govDelivery, OECOSL was able to create a collection of email topics and communications that reflected the breadth of their services, while managing consistent messaging to families and providers. This also allowed more flexibility in segmenting their audiences by needs or location to make sure that the most relevant information was being delivered.
“Having direct communication from the office to let families and providers know what’s going on is so important,” said Sue McKinney, Director of Operations for OECOSL. “It not only makes them more knowledgeable about what’s available, but it also allows them to remain up-to-date on the latest changes.”
She added that while there are numerous changes around school-age vouchers normally, COVID brought even more timely information that needed to be distributed, such as school closures. With GXG as a partner, OECOSL had additional strategic resources that allowed them to send timely information in a rapidly-changing environment.
“We had one county that decided to change their in-person learning plan at the last minute,” said McKinney. “Being able to target just the families in that one county was very important.”
While govDelivery provided a tool for better engagement with families and providers, working with GXG helped to create the means to build a more consistent user experience. By bringing the various programs within OECOSL together and strengthening the overall communications to align with agency goals, Gray said that she hopes that an increased level of trust will grow toward the agency.
“Providers are our voice in the community with our families. That’s who they trust with their children and information,” she said. “We know communicating directly with the providers ensures that the information will trickle down to the families.”
Through meeting the increased demand of COVID communications by implementing the right digital tools alongside the series of sophisticated digital campaigns, FSSA looks forward to establishing a framework for future agile communications.
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Reduced backlog and confusion over back taxes
open rate for COVID-19 guidance sent to financial institutions, with a 97.4% delivery rate and a 12% click rate.
Want to learn how you can improve your communications and response rates? Sign up to see govDelivery solutions in action.
“One of the most striking things about govDelivery was the number of referrals we get from other agencies that also use it. So when people sign up for our newsletter, govDelivery will suggest other newsletters. The sheer volume of subscribers on our public list is just astounding.” – Patrick Carroll, Licensing & Information Reporting Manager