As society has grown more accustomed to digital processes, more people have come to expect the ease and speed associated with conducting business online.
We can do most things digitally now, from shopping to communicating, researching and more. Banks have even joined the digital scene by offering online portals for their customers to access accounts, transfer money and deposit checks. In fact, 67 percent of 18-29 year olds and 58 percent of 30-44 year olds report using mobile banking, according to the Federal Reserve.
But when a signature is needed, for a loan application or other bank document, financial institutions and their customers must return to paper—causing a disruption in the digital momentum.
That’s where e-signatures come into play.
More banks are choosing to adopt e-signatures and incorporate them in their workflows. And customers appreciate the tremendous benefits that e-signatures bring, including convenience, efficiency, cost savings and security.
But as with any new tool or technology, there is hesitancy to adopt something that could require time to learn and integrate. Plus, some banks may not know how their customers will respond or how to answer some of their questions. But there is good news: we’ve taken the guesswork out of it by gathering bank customers’ most common questions and providing answers to give you confidence in making the switch to e-signatures:
- Is my information secure?
Banks handle highly sensitive, valuable information, so it’s no surprise that one of the first questions most bank customers ask is if their information will be protected. With Independent E-SignaturesTM, customers are assured that their digital information is safe. The technology behind SIGNiX’s e-signatures includes automatic data encryption, which prevents the information from being read by unintended parties, and it ensures that the e-signature cannot be copied or attached to another message.
Additionally, e-signatures employ certain identity verification methods to make sure authorized users are the only ones that can access and sign documents. The signatures also include tamper-evident technology, which indicates if unauthorized changes have been made to the document and can alert you to look for any potential fraudulent activity. This technology is in force from the start of a transaction, and each signature and initial receives a tamper-evident seal at the time of signing. For additional security, a tamper-proof seal can be applied to a document to turn off all future editing capabilities, giving you further peace of mind that the final document maintains its integrity and validity.
Each digital document is also accompanied by a comprehensive audit trail, known as TotalAuditTM, which tracks each step of the signing process and records vital information, such as the date and time of signing and the IP address of the signer. This allows you to see the progression of the signing process, from start to finish, and what actions took place when.
- What if someone tries to sign in my place?
Maintaining one’s privacy and identity is arguably more important today than ever before. One of the most essential features of an e-signature is that it requires identity verification before signers can access a document. Multi-factor authentication is a security process that requires signers to verify their identity at least two ways. The process combines something you know with something you have or with something you are. The most common multi-factor authentication methods combine email authentication with SMS (text message) verification or knowledge-based authentication. With SMS verification, also known as 2 step verification, the signer receives a one-time passcode via text message that he must input to be authenticated and access the document. With knowledge-based authentication, the signer must correctly answer a number of questions about himself based on information found in public records.
Requiring at least two layers of identity authentication greatly reduces the risk of an unauthorized user accessing sensitive documents.
- How will using e-signatures save me time?
Banks handle a lot of paperwork, so anything to make the paper-pushing process more efficient for both staff and customers is a win-win. By introducing e-signatures, banks can transition their workflows from paper to digital—streamlining tasks and minimizing the amount of paperwork they must handle. With e-signatures, customers are no longer required to drive to a bank branch to physically sign paperwork, nor do they have to print, sign and scan or mail a document. Customers can sign forms, such as loan applications or new account documents, remotely—freeing their time and energy to be spent elsewhere.
Bank staff will also spend less time handling paper documents, including printing, packaging, mailing and storing. By making their work more efficient, they’ll have more time and resources to dedicate to customer service.
As banks consider making the transition to e-signatures, it’s important to consider how customers will respond. By preparing yourself to answer their questions, you’ll help them recognize the benefits and feel more comfortable as you adopt this new technology.