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Breaking Free from Paper Shackles: How E-Signatures are Reshaping Financial Services

e-signatures in financial services

The past few years have been a period of extreme uncertainty for the banking and financial services sector. From the pandemic to the global financial crisis, the industry has been forced to adapt to a new, more challenging environment.

The tightening regulatory environment, the shift in customer expectations, and increasing competition from more agile and nimbler fintech companies have only added to this challenge.

And while many banks and financial institutions have made attempts to adapt by accelerating their digital transformation efforts, the majority of them are still struggling. It is because outdated technologies and ongoing pressures are holding back these organizations from swiftly and adequately investing in the new technology they desperately need.

This is where e-signature solutions come in.

Embracing E-Signatures for Long-Term Success

Switching to e-signatures allows banks and other financial institutions to overcome most of the challenges they are currently facing while also providing them with the ability to improve their customer experience and increase revenue.

The greatest advantage of e-signature solutions over other technology upgrades is that they are cost-effective, low risk, produce immediate results, and can be easily integrated into existing systems.

But the real value of e-signatures is in the long-term benefits they provide, such as:

  • Paperless processing The financial services industry is a paper-heavy one, where customers and businesses are still often required to physically sign documents and go through long paper-based processes to get things done. Not only does this affect the customer experience, but it also increases manual errors, costs associated with printing and mailing documents, and the likelihood of lost paperwork. E-signatures can reduce these issues by eliminating paper documents and streamlining the signing process. Signed documents can also be sent back within hours or days instead of weeks, resulting in faster turnaround times and fewer emails.

  • Customer service Used to the quick, on-demand services of Amazon, Uber, and Netflix, the modern tech-savvy customer expects the same level of convenience from their financial service providers. But this can be difficult for businesses that rely on drawn-out manual processes and in-person visits to execute contracts, agreements, and other documents. E-signatures can address this issue by curtailing physical visits, minimizing the number of steps required in the signing process, along with the time it takes to complete a transaction. It makes for easier loan approvals, faster account openings, quick onboarding, and more. In addition, unlike traditional paper contracts, electronic documents can be signed anywhere, at any time—and they’re accessible to all parties, so everyone involved knows exactly what they agreed to. This dramatically improves the customer experience and makes it easier for organizations to do business.

  • Resource optimization Scanning, printing, sending, mailing, editing, re-processing, and storing paperwork can seriously drive-up administrative overhead costs. Likewise, dedicating employees to moving around and filing this paperwork can result in decreased productivity and wasted time. However, adopting e-signature solutions enables financial institutions to digitalize all their documents and securely store them in a central repository, leading to significant cost savings and improved efficiency. Employees can also be reassigned to more meaningful tasks, where they can add value to the organization by performing duties that require their particular skills and knowledge. Ultimately, this helps maximize employee performance and satisfaction, in addition to ensuring optimal use of resources and better profitability.

  • ESG initiatives With climate change getting worse, the need for action on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) topics has never been higher. Investors and governments alike are paying close attention to how organizations manage their ESG risks and assess their performance in relation to their ESG commitments. For instance, the Taiwanese government recently rolled out "Taiwan's Pathway to Net-Zero Emissions in 2050" and "Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Management Act (Climate Change Adaptation Act)" to increase business sustainability disclosures. Likewise, the reporting regulations were amended for companies in Taiwan to include their carbon emission data, goals, and policies, water resources management data and policies, waste management data, etc. This is why reducing their carbon footprint and achieving net zero goals are top priorities for most financial services firms today. But with getting the average contract signed releasing up to 1.2kg of CO2e into the atmosphere and paper being one of the most energy-intensive, polluting, and wasteful materials on the planet, how can financial institutions stay true to their green commitments while still meeting customers' needs? The answer is with e-signatures. By going paperless with e-signatures, a single financial services firm can effectively reduce up to 8,241 tons of CO2e emissions once they make the switch. So, they have the power to greatly reduce the environmental impact of contracts and promote sustainability. E-signatures are simply a win-win for everyone.

  • Compliance and security Banks and other financial institutions need to remain compliant with all of their obligations as regulated entities. The rise of digital fraud, data breaches, and identity theft has only led to increasingly stringent regulations that these organizations must keep up with. So, in order to maintain the trust of their customers and regulators, financial firms need reliable e-signature solutions that provide robust security features and audit trails. But this is where most e-signature solutions fall short because they don't have the right features and integrations to meet the security needs of financial institutions. A notable exception to this rule: SelfieSign!

Selfiesign - the 4X More Secure E-Signature Solution for Financial Services Firms

SelfieSign is an innovative e-signature solution that’s revolutionizing the way people sign documents. With built-in real-time video recording, SelfieSign captures four biometric traits—image, video, voice, and signature during the signing process for 4x more security than popular e-signature solutions. By adding this extra layer of security and trust to every document signed, the platform effectively reduces the risk of fraud and disputes. It also offers video recordings of each signer in every e-document signed on top of audit trails to guarantee the validity and authenticity of every e-signature. That's to say, SelfieSign's patented SVS (Selfie Video Signature) file is embedded with the signing process video recording, electronic signature, location, timestamp, and hash code, ensuring non-repudiation and immutability of the document signed. This is particularly helpful in the financial services industry, where sensitive documents like loan applications are often processed by many people and require multiple signatures before being approved.

Financial service providers from various industries have incorporated SelfieSign's audiovisual signature technology into their in-person account opening and remote insurance application processes, reducing time, manpower, and paper costs while ensuring secure evidence storage for better digital front-end services.
- Tsai Ming-Hung, Chief Operating Officer at ThinkCloud

How Does SelfieSign Help with Compliance and Security?

  • eIDAS Compliance: Streamlining EU Digital Transactions SelfieSign is a fully certified Advanced Electronic Signature under the eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services) regulation, which governs electronic transactions within the European Union. This means that anyone using SelfieSign can safely carry out digital transactions across all EU member states.

  • ISO 27001:2013 Certification: Your Data, Secured SelfieSign has undergone a complete security audit and is ISO 27001:2013-certified for its comprehensive data protection and confidentiality controls. This is an internationally recognized information security standard that ensures that all customer data is secure and protected.

  • GDPR Compliance: Protecting Your Privacy Known as the toughest privacy and security law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a data protection law that regulates the use of personal data within the European Union. It requires businesses to be transparent about how they process customers’ personal information, as well as provide them with control over that data. SelfieSign has been designed to meet all GDPR requirements.

  • The Electronic Signatures Act: Legally Valid Signatures in Taiwan This law allows for e-signatures to be legally valid and enforceable under Taiwanese law. The law states that an e-signature is equivalent to a handwritten one as long as it meets the legal requirements for validity and isn’t subject to any exemptions.

Therefore, SelfieSign is the ideal solution for financial institutions seeking to reduce operational costs, increase productivity, and improve customer satisfaction without compromising security.

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us! For further reading:

  • Want to know how a leading bank in Taiwan transformed their customer experience with SelfieSign? Find out here.

  • Looking to explore the key use cases of SelfieSign in Finance? Click here.

  • Wondering how e-signatures can help you meet your ESG goals? Discover here.


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