NYDFS establishes new guidelines for crypto companies to enhance customer service standards


The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued new guidelines on May 30 to enhance customer service standards for Virtual Currency Entities (VCEs).

The guidelines will come into force starting Nov. 1.

The NYDFS said these comprehensive guidelines aim to ensure that VCEs have robust customer service mechanisms that are equipped to handle customer issues promptly and effectively.  VCEs are expected to keep their customer service policies up-to-date and in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

NYDFS Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris is leading the initiative and emphasized the importance of transparency and efficiency in customer service for the virtual currency sector. Harris added:

“Consumers have a right to a transparent and timely process for resolving complaints and answering questions, irrespective of the company or product in question. This guidance outlines clear expectations for a positive customer experience, which benefits both consumers and businesses.”

Monitoring, Reporting, and Compliance

The guidance mandates VCEs to establish and maintain effective customer service procedures, including multiple channels for submitting requests and complaints, such as phone and electronic text mechanisms.

Additionally, VCEs must provide customers with regular updates and estimated resolution timelines, track the status of requests, and publish accessible FAQs. If artificial intelligence (AI) tools are used in customer service, customers must be informed at the beginning of the interaction and have the option to escalate their issue to a human representative.

VCEs will also be mandated to provide quarterly data to the NYDFS, detailing the number of customer service requests and complaints received, methods of submission, and topics addressed. These reports must also include the average time taken to resolve each issue.

The regulator will review these records to assess the effectiveness of the implemented policies and procedures through ongoing examinations and supervisory monitoring.

DFS’s guidelines also require VCEs to designate responsible individuals for managing customer service and complaint procedures. This initiative is part of DFS’s broader strategy to enhance regulatory oversight and consumer protection in the evolving virtual currency market.

Improving regulatory landscape

Before finalizing the guidance, DFS conducted extensive research and consultations with key stakeholders, incorporating their feedback into the new standards. This approach aligns with DFS’ commitment to data-driven policy decisions and adaptive regulatory oversight.

The announcement is part of Superintendent Harris’s VOLT initiative, which has significantly expanded the DFS’s capabilities in supervising the virtual currency industry.

Since its inception, the initiative has led to the hiring of over 60 experts, the establishment of new policies, and the imposition of $177 million in penalties against non-compliant virtual currency companies.

Under Harris’s leadership, DFS has issued eight pieces of regulatory guidance for the virtual currency industry, aiming to safeguard consumers, businesses, and the market as the sector continues to grow and evolve.

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