Financial service providers face a growing number of barriers around traditional ways of working.
Karen Schuppe, group vice president, customer success EMEA at DocuSign, which helps organisations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on and manage agreements, explores how financial teams can deploy digital solutions to prioritise customers, streamline processes, and increase return on investment.
Financial services and banking have embraced digital solutions, but the industry remains synonymously linked with paper. Whether a client is opening an account, applying for a loan, or simply transferring funds, there are forms that need to be filled, processed, and filed.
Unfortunately, many organisations have been hesitant to replace traditional pen-and-paper procedures creating pain points around slow document signing times, lack of visibility in the audit chain, and delayed transactions. This has resulted in poor customer experiences. Furthermore, as the volume of documents to be processed increases, and the time to finalise decreases, additional pressures are being placed on already overstretching financial teams.
There is an alternative. Electronic signatures have been legal in the UK since the introduction of the Electronic Communications Act in 2000. Digital e-signatures can readily replace paper and ink to overcome most barriers easily, quickly, and securely. DocuSign eSignature enables financial services to create a fast, frictionless agreement process that increases conversion and customer satisfaction, while maintaining security and compliance.
Digitally signing on the dotted line
Financial documents, whether in the form of a simple change request, loan application, or mortgage agreement, often consist of multiple pages and sign points. Missing any one of these can invalidate the process causing problems for the customer and the business. DocuSign eSignature enables the user to quickly move through the signing process, ensuring that all relevant signing points are adhered to. This enhanced speed not only offers a smarter customer experience but accelerates operational efficiency for the business.
Signing documents electronically using DocuSign eSignature can offer a better customer experience over paper-based methods as smartphone users have instant access to a wide range of financial services. Reusable templates, which can be easily customised, reduce the overall need to repeat work while also reducing the risk of errors or missed components in documents. The client receives exactly what they need the first time.
The sharing of files with customers, or colleagues, is more convenient, as users can review and sign on a device of their choice, no matter where they are. This delivers quicker turnaround signing times, as well as smoother processing – signees no longer need to sign in order as eSignature tracks the progress of all documents through the process.
For example, as part of its digital transformation in the UK, Santander uses DocuSign eSignature to accelerate the onboarding process of its customers. Prior to switching to DocuSign, a new customer would be required to fill out one of 39 editable PDF forms, before printing, signing, and returning it to a local branch. With DocuSign, Santander has replaced an unwieldy, old-fashioned process with one dynamic, online form that triggers a succession of back-office procedures required to approve and open the new account.
Security is often cited by financial services as to one reason why they insist on paper-based solutions. However, documents and the personal information of clients is more secure in digital form. Physical documents can be left in the open, on a desk or in a cab, for example, where unauthorised users can access the data. Digital documents are encrypted and stored electronically, so only accessible by those with authorisation.
Organisations looking to directly reduce the amount of paper being used will find real-world benefits in the continued use of DocuSign eSignature. For example, DocuSign and its customers have saved more than six million trees, 55 billion sheets of paper, 22 billion litres of water and eliminated more than two billion kgs of waste. Switching from paper to digital reduces operating costs while at the same time assisting with sustainability reforms within the business.
Digital authentication reduces overall risk
The signing of financial documents is often accompanied by authentication of the signatory. By switching to electronic practices financial services can seamlessly improve efficiencies when dealing with clients, as well as add extra layers of security around transactions.
DocuSign Identify is a single platform that provides digital signer identification and authentication. It can be used when opening and onboarding a new account, as part of a lending, leasing, or financing agreement, and even insurance agreements, making the identification process easier and quicker for all.
Users can take full advantage of remote signing and authentication, which are compliant with eIDAS (electronic identification and trust services) regulations in the UK, verifying the identity of individuals and businesses online and verifying the authenticity of electronic documents. It will also help meet requirements with know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) and regional regulations.
Ultimately, DocuSign digital solutions help organisations connect and automate how they prepare, sign, act on, and manage financial transactions. They enable them to take advantage of pre-built integrations to securely handle invoice and expense processing, asset transfers, grant applications, and even consumer account openings. Furthermore, it is possible to capture customer data and consent accurately the first time – delivering speed and ease of use to the financial institution.
Financial services are the building blocks of any modern economy. By embracing and accelerating digital change, financial institutions can cost-effectively speed up processes, delivering exciting new initiatives for customers and employees, in ever more creative and safe ways.
Digital tools, such as DocuSign eSignature and DocuSign Identify, are making this possible. They are redefining agreement and identification procedures, enabling new and greater efficiencies in the delivery of financial transactions, keeping documents confidential, while increasing convenience and security.