As the banking industry continues to digitize, electronic signatures have become an indispensable component of financial services and authentication transactions for financial institutions. Digital documents, such as loan applications and transactions, and activities like opening new accounts and onboarding customers function more smoothly when business processes include e-signature solutions. Not only do clients using e-signatures have an improved customer experience, but digital signatures also save time (for both clients and your institution’s personnel), reduce operational costs, and streamline workflows.
e-Signatures are Here to Stay
With so many businesses and consumers turning to digital solutions to help them get things done, it’s no surprise that electronic signature applications have become standard operating procedure. Today, most consumers expect to have the option of signing documents electronically for both business and personal business transactions.
For banking institutions and lenders, the advantages are apparent. -E-signatures remove the need for in-person visits, which tend to slow down customer onboarding and lending processes. The ability to sign documents electronically allows customers to open bank accounts, make account changes, apply for lines of credit and bank loans, plus numerous other transactions previously requiring an appointment or a long wait in line. Additionally, digital signatures can also speed up in-person procedures allowing banks to handle more transactions quicker and more efficiently.
Since the advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic in the winter of 2020, e-signature solutions have become even more critical for financial institutions and consumers. Being able to sign important documents from anywhere at any time eliminated the necessity of face-to-face meetings, enabling both consumers and your employees to seal deals, complete transactions, and honor safer-at-home policies instituted in many states.
Offering e-signature solutions to customers to complete their financial transactions helps cement their loyalty to your institution. They’re not only grateful for the convenience and time savings but for enabling them to stay safe by lessening their possible exposure to the coronavirus.
How are electronic signatures improving banking transactions and elevating customers’ experiences? The following seven ways will show you some of the advantages of adopting (or increasing) the use of electronic signatures in your financial institutions.
- Goodbye, missed signatures. Loan applications tend to require numerous signatures within a hefty bulk of documents. Electronic signature applications efficiently guide the applicant to sign where needed and even send documents for signature on customers’ mobile devices. Missed signatures won’t hold up processing transactions since the application alerts customers to the parts of the documents that are missing a signature.
- Cost savings. With the volume of data financial institutions handle daily, electronic signatures significantly reduce the costs of data entry, printing, shipping, and paper storage. According to a study by Lunar Pen, businesses can save approximately 55% to 78.6% by migrating to e-signature solutions.
- Save time. In addition, Lunar Pen estimates e-signature solutions can improve turnaround time by an average of 80%. Using traditional methods, it takes an average of five days to turn around documents. But when employing e-signature solutions, it only takes an average of 37 minutes for the same types of transactions. That’s a massive amount of time saved.
- Increased security. Paper documents have the propensity to get misplaced, damaged, or manipulated. And they’re easier to forge. Alternatively, electronic signature applications, armed with the latest technological security measures, are more secure and easily authenticated. Data is encrypted at every stage of the process, and all records are prepared for an audit.
- Reduction of errors. Because there are so many opportunities for mistakes in paper-based operations, financial institutions have historically encountered documentation errors across in-house and customer transactions. Digital signatures are proven to significantly reduce and correct errors, saving banks millions of dollars and hours of labor every year.
- The customer experience. As mentioned previously, electronic signatures have become so commonplace that customers appreciate the efficiency and expect the convenience. Even if customers are initially unfamiliar with e-signatures, the technology is extremely user-friendly, so there’s a minimal learning curve. Plus, the latest technological innovations show customers that your financial institution is keeping current with the times and dedicated to making services smoother for customers.
- Simplify and streamline. Electronic signatures replace manual signatures, which require a time-consuming in-person meeting in a bank branch. Electronically delivering the transaction to wherever the customer is, saves everyone time and money and improves productivity. As a result, customers receive their loan approvals more quickly, and lenders have more bandwidth to serve more borrowers.
Top e-Sign Solutions for Business Banking
There are numerous e-signature providers. So how do you know which one is best for your financial institution? Consider these five top e-signature solutions for your business banking transactions that can help professionalize your bank’s digital approach and ensure that documentation is properly filed in all cases.
Today’s customers want access to their financial services 24/7, on any mobile device, wherever they may be. DocuSign enables a wide range of banking operations on computers, smartphones, and tablets, in person and on the move. With DocuSign’s e-signature capabilities, many of banking’s processes can be automated, including commercial and consumer loan applications, new account openings, loan repackaging and securitization, account changes, disclosures, credit reports, wire transfers, and more. DocuSign provides robust authentication methods, secure encryption, and a legally-binding, court-admissible audit trail more secure than paper signatures. Signed documents move through the process quicker, removing the inefficiencies of paper documents. According to DocuSign, banking professionals report a decrease in lending cycle time from one week to less than a day.
For consumers, tracking down a notary, making an appointment, and going through the notary process has always meant inconvenient added tasks and a slowdown in the signing process. Notartize.com takes notary services online, allowing consumers and businesses to verify identities and get signed documents completed quicker, without leaving their locations. In addition, for simple e-signatures, Notarize.com allows your financial institution to track the signer’s progress, send real-time notifications by email or SMS, and get notifications once a document is e-signed.
One of the benefits you receive by using Adobe Sign for your electronic signature processes is the comfort of using a well-known and reliable product. In addition, your customers are likely to be familiar with Adobe products, so there is a trust component you may not experience from another e-sign solution.
Adobe Sign streamlines the signing process for Word documents, PDF documents, and more with electronic signatures and digital signatures. Electronic signatures are secure, verifiable, and can replace a handwritten signature in most transactions. Digital signatures are certificate-based and comply with strict legal regulations. In a digital signature certificate, every signer is issued a digital ID in the form of a certificate from a trust service provider (TSP), such as a certificate authority (CA). When signing a document, the signer’s identity is re-validated, and the signature is cryptographically bound to the document using public critical infrastructure (PKI) technology.
Most e-signature solutions use ordinary electronic authentication methods to verify the signer’s identity, such as an email address. If the document requires more security, digital signatures use certificate-based digital IDs from TSPs and demonstrate proof of signing by binding each signature to the record with cryptography.
eversign is a comprehensive e-signature solution that enables you and your customers to sign and approve digital documents in person or remotely, securely and efficiently. Signed documents are encrypted using 256-bit SSL, and a comprehensive and detailed audit trail is created and stored for each transaction related to the signing process of an individual document. Signed documents are always available from the company’s encrypted cloud infrastructure, or you can set them to expire at a date of your choosing. Each party can choose to generate a signature, draw a new one, or upload a signature for a legal representation of their e-signature. Because integration is an essential feature for any software solution, eversign integrates with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Evernote, and OneDrive.
PandaDoc is a comprehensive document management solution with e-signature capabilities being just one part of the suite of tools offered. Users can create proposals and documents from one of the many customizable templates available, and there is an option to change the language and currency when needed. As a cloud-based service, all parties will work on the same document and see the active status at any point.
PandaDoc’s legally binding e-signature software is ESIGN and UETA compliant, and an electronic certificate is supplied for every signed document. Detailed notifications tell you when a customer opens a document, comments, and e-signs it. Plus, customizing and editing is easy with PandaDoc’s drag-and-drop blocks for e-signatures, logos, rich media, product screenshots, and more.
Making e-Signatures Part of Your Lending Workflow
There’s little doubt that e-signatures are going to remain ubiquitous in the new post-pandemic world, much like Zoom calls and hand sanitizer. Banking executives need to make sure that their teams are equipped to process valid contracts with their clients, especially when it comes to loans, in this new environment.
Electronic signatures eliminate many tedious tasks required when bringing on new customers or completing loan packets. With e-signatures, you can offer your customers a seamless digital experience while reducing the chance for errors and allowing your staff to concentrate on more critical tasks. In the highly-regulated financial services industry, e-signature solutions are essential for achieving digital transformation.