As electronic signature capabilities and availability have exploded along with the growth of e-commerce over the last decade, lots of businesses have adopted e-signature software solutions to reap the cost and efficiency gains available. Not every industry, however, has jumped enthusiastically onto the bandwagon: Until recently financial institutions had some of lowest e-signature adoption rates among all industries, as noted in a recent article on banktech.com.
Some banks have forged ahead internally. We wrote about U.S. Bank?s initiative earlier this year, for instance. But the industry is behind the curve in adopting electronic signature software solutions.
What has been holding banks and other financial institutions from accelerating their integration of electronic signature capture into their workflows and customer interfaces?
- Technology: Banks have huge legacy computer systems that run critical operations, and tinkering with them can be delicate and time-consuming. Accepting electronic signatures from customers may not have earned sufficient priority in the CIO?s eyes to put the existing systems at risk.
- Legality: As noted in the online article, financial institutions felt it prudent not to be first: Waiting until case law clearly validated the binding legal standing of electronic signatures seemed more prudent.
- Consumer Needs: Banks carry out financial transactions, upon which their customer depend to pay bills, borrow money and otherwise keep their credit healthy and financial situation sound. The occasional need to sign a paper document with ink is a small price to pay to keeping your money safe and available, so consumers were not clamoring loudly for electronic signature capabilities.
In effect, the IT project risks outweighed the consumer need, and the business decision clearly was to wait for better technological solutions to arrive, either internally or externally.
?Banks were not ready to embrace e-signatures until courts and regulators provided their stamp of approval, and existing technologies could not ? for the most part ? accommodate electronic signage,? noted the authors if the banktech.com article (Adrian Ungureanu and Tony Tummillo, of Capco, a financial institutions advisor.)
Changing consumer behavior is changing banks? minds, however
?Websites and apps on tablets or mobile devices now include the ubiquitous ?I Agree? button for disclosures and signage. And the service providers in this space (including SutiSign -ed.) have gotten so good at this that?an electronic signature?is now?more secure?and fraud-proof than its ink predecessor,? write Ungureanu and Tummillo. So banks are now motivated to keep up with accelerating consumer expectations for online transactional capabilities.
Plus, thanks to the ongoing improvements in software that SutiSign and others are making, we can bring e-signature solutions to these institutions that can integrate more easily with their current systems by making strong use of cloud-based, highly secure SaaS solutions. (The authors note that “authentication, attribution, digital certificates and overall security of the process are very solid with most of the market-leading vendors.”)
It is far easier to move data securely between legacy systems and SutiSign than it is to integrate an in-house solution into those legacy systems.
At SutiSign, our mission is to make business processes, including financial transactions, faster, more efficient and less expensive to run.
What has your experience been in trying to install an internal electronic signature software solution? Would SaaS-based solutions been better or worse?