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We’re starting to see lots of customers that want more out of electronic signatures than just a scribble. It looks like the FDIC was ahead of the game when they recommended digital signature technology way back in 2000.

The FDIC saw that documents were moving online, and they wrote an article advising banks to use digital signature technology (click here to learn the difference between digital and electronic signatures).

The article’s author, Christie Sciacca, the director of the FDIC’s Bank Technology Group, stressed how important it is for banks to research the e-signature market before picking a vendor.

“The speed with which a bank adopts new technology is not as important as the quality of the solution that a bank adopts,” Sciacca said. “Due to the complexities of digital signature technology, it is imperative that banks research the area and engage in careful planning before deployment.”

Sciacca also says that banks should make sure the signature vendor they pick uses technology that will stand the test of time. The decisions banks make with their documents will stay with them decades down the road.

“Digital documents, such as mortgages, could have an active life of more than 30 years plus an additional three- to five-year retention life. Some banks never destroy old loan documents,” she said.

Simple electronic signatures use their own systems to verify signatures. That means if a signature is challenged in court, you have to use their technology to prove the signature is authentic. Will your e-signature vendor still be in business in 30 years to verify your documents? There’s no way to know, and using their technology puts your bank at risk.

True digital signatures are based on international standards, and they can be verified in any PDF reader. You don’t even have to have an Internet connection to verify a SIGNiX digital signature because the technology is built into the document. Want to learn more about the report? Read the full article by the FDIC.

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