The role of eSign in a bank’s digital transformation journey
May 2, 20224 min read

The role of eSign in a bank’s digital transformation journey

Need to sign a bank contract but you’re sunbathing on a paradise island far away from home? Don’t take off your sunglasses.

Written by Inês Rocha

For many financial institutions, your location in the world is not a problem. And all thanks to electronic signatures.

In recent years, electronic signatures have revolutionised banks’ performance and relationship with clients. A digital sign is secure, effective and allows clients to sign documents anytime and anywhere, without visiting the bank. This is an excellent way, no doubt, to improve customers’ experience.

But satisfied customers are just one of the many advantages of electronic signatures. Reducing inefficiencies, removing paper from business processes and lowering operational costs are other examples. Looks promising? Then keep on reading the reasons that make eSign key to a bank’s digital transformation strategy.

What are eSign’s real benefits for banks?

1. Going paperless

Removing the use of paper is not only a responsible measure from a sustainable and environmental point of view, but it also allows banks to reduce costs related to data entry, manual processing and paper-based storage. Organising documents is also way faster and simpler in a digital format than in a physical archive of paper contracts. This reduces the probability of losing a document, along with the time an employee spends looking for a specific document.

For customers, electronic signatures mean less time printing and signing traditional documents, giving them more availability to focus on their business growth and strategy. A win/win situation and an environmentally friendly choice on top of it.

2. More productivity

Electronic signatures give banks the possibility of processing more transactions in minimal time and with fewer resources. How? By reducing unnecessary back-office functions – like photocopying or scanning files – and ultimately saving hours of work. There’s no need to arrange in-person document signings or back-and-forth mail deliveries. Another plus is that bankers and staff get more spare time to focus on other crucial tasks, increasing their productivity.

Saving time and money go hand in hand, right? So, as an automated process, electronic signatures also allow banks to eliminate printing, packaging and shipping costs. As a result, there are money savings and ROI is increased. Now, that’s a pretty good strategy.

3. Less risks

A digital sign is considered highly secure. And even more when compared to the traditional method of signing paper documents by hand, since it can’t be manipulated as the handwritten one. Paper-based documents are also more susceptible of getting damaged, misplaced, vandalized or stolen – a risk that most banks and clients no longer want or need to take.

On the other hand, electronic signatures are usually accompanied by a digital audit trail made up of emails, signing documents, and copies of contracts, making them easy to verify. eSign also reduces human error and helps banks keep all their documents in one ‘place’ – a digital data base. For additional safety, electronic signatures can even be protected with biometric authentication methods and passcodes. The outcome? More organization, searchability and peace of mind for everyone.

4. Loyal customers

Happy customers are loyal customers, and their experience with the bank improves when there’s no need to fill tons of loan application forms or wait for error corrections. Another great benefit for customers with eSign is the possibility of choosing when and where they transact with the bank – especially at a time when remote work is increasing. At home or at the beach, with a mobile device or a desktop, it doesn’t matter. Signing files digitally has become easy and the possibilities are infinite. The most important thing for a bank is, of course, to ensure their clients’ best interests and that’s exactly what electronic signatures provide, giving real-time access to documents and speeding transactions without printing or scanning. An excellent experience to ensure the most faithful customers.

5. Compliance

Electronic signatures are completely legal and a great solution to guarantee that banks meet their compliance rules. eSign encryption technology keeps documents safe and intact, guaranteeing the origin, integrity and indisputability of the signed information. Therefore, they avoid issues that could come up with paper documents – like fines or lawsuits. In fact, as the electronic signature provides the authenticity of the document and the identity of the signatory, it is more difficult to invalidate than its handwritten counterpart. Thus, by making sure that banks meet with their legal obligations, electronic signatures really stand out as an option that guarantees greater protection.

A winning strategy

Nowadays, thinking about a bank’s digital strategy without considering electronic signatures is a big mistake. The Covid-19 pandemic has only further increased the interest in this new signing option, since it does not imply direct contact with other people.

Cost reductions, increased productivity, happier customers, environmentally friendly workplace and other benefits that we have developed in this article, are not only a possibility, but already a reality in the life of banks that decided to adopt electronic signatures. Although there are software costs with eSign, the cost-benefit relation is very much is favour.

It is impossible to imagine the future of banking without electronic signatures and the financial institutions that don’t understand this are already falling behind. This location-and-time independent way of signing documents is the way of making business in present and future days. Therefore, it’s imperative that banks start or continue to dematerialize their signature processes and take a step forward into their digital transformation journey – which represents a crucial step, also, into their prosperity.