Know Your Signers with Digital Identity Verification

As more high-value agreements are completed digitally, verifying the signer’s identity becomes increasingly important. In some cases, access to a known email or phone number is sufficient to establish trust in the signer. In other cases, organizations need to verify identity through enhanced identity proofing methods.

There are multiple ways to verify signer identity, and these methods can be used individually or combined for even more rigorous identification. 

  • What you know: The signer can be asked to answer questions drawn from their life history through a process known as knowledge-based authentication. 
  • What you have: Identity can also be established by verifying a government-issued proof of identity document in a person's possession, such as a driver’s license or passport. 
  • Who you are: Identity can be verified using biometrics or measurements of the signer’s physical characteristics through facial and fingerprint recognition.

Specific industries and geographic regions demand a higher degree of identity assurance. For example, Know Your Customer (KYC) is a critical compliance requirement for financial services organizations. And global firms are subject to a wide range of regulations and signature requirements, which may also call for enhanced identification. In addition, some organizations opt for enhanced identity verification when agreement values are high or when the consequences of not catching a fraudulent signer are severe. The lack of a straightforward process for signer identity-proofing or evidence retention can open organizations up to potential liability.

Companies know that identity verification reduces risk, and they understand that verification needs to be embedded in the user experience to make it as seamless and frictionless as possible.

For organizations that don’t get this process right, the ramifications can be significant. Risks include a higher incidence of fraud, reputational harm and fines for non-compliance. That's why Docusign ID Verification—the digital identity-proofing solution that can be embedded as part of a mobile-first e-signature experience—is so powerful. ID Verification provides signers with multiple ways to show proof of identity from practically any device—including the ability to submit a photo of their passport, use their bank login or answer knowledge-based questions—so they can use the most convenient and relevant method.

Enhanced ID Verification assures financial services

Enhanced ID solutions can be used for various use cases across numerous industries and are particularly valuable where there’s a heightened need for greater signer assurance because of risk, agreement value or regulatory requirements. This is why Docusign ID Verification is especially relevant for financial services, where non-compliance with KYC regulations cost U.S.-based financial institutions over $10 billion in 2020 alone.

M&T Bank is a super-regional bank with more than 22,000 employees, 1,000 branches, and 2,200 ATMs across 12 states from Maine to Virginia and Washington, D.C. M&T has invested in digital transformation to create a better, faster and more consistent digital customer experience. To this end, they’ve implemented roughly 250 use cases using Docusign eSignature across the organization. Identity Verification is an important feature they’re now using widely.

“We use identity verification to authorize our customers for using Docusign,” says Sandra Bell, vice president at M&T Bank. “It works seamlessly with the existing Docusign experience and it helps us be in compliance with our KYC and other regulations, ensure the security of digital transactions for our customers and give them a feeling of confidence that we're taking their security seriously.”

Establishing peace of mind in healthcare

Financial services isn’t the only industry where identity verification is a critical part of the agreement process. In healthcare, patient confidentiality, privacy and security are paramount, increasing the importance of signer assurance.

“Ultimately, we're trying to improve the patient experience while streamlining clinical operations and minimizing risk where we can,” says Jeff Issner, co-founder and co-CEO of EngagedMD, a provider of simple patient education and informed consent solutions for the modern fertility practice. “Identity verification in fertility treatment is a very sensitive situation. That’s why we added ID Verification to our platform and offer our clinics the ability to choose [the level of verification] they need through the different tools that Docusign offers.”

Issner praises the seamless flow of ID Verification within eSignature as a key factor in creating a positive experience for both the patient and the practice.

“Healthcare can be a little bit clunky. We’ve all had experiences where it hasn't been a very seamless process,” Issner says. “So, having all this built into our platform in a way that feels native, easy and consumer-friendly was critical for us. It allows clinics to both save time and improve the patient experience.”

Docusign ID Verification offers an expanding feature set

Docusign Identify is a family of enhanced ID solutions that makes identity-proofing and authentication a seamless part of eSignature. ID Verification is an important part of the Identify solution set, and is continually developing new capabilities to make it even more robust.

For example, Docusign is expanding its coverage of geographic regions and identification methods. Signers can already log in with their existing bank credentials in the U.S. and the UK. In addition, Docusign will soon support electronic IDs in France.*

Other capabilities in development include biometrics methods to ensure that the signer has physical possession of their ID document and that the signer is physically present during the capture process.*

Ultimately, Docusign aims to provide a digital identity-proofing experience that will deliver an even higher level of trust than a physical, face-to-face signing session, while maintaining the convenience of an online agreement process.

*This is a future capability that is not currently available with Docusign ID Verification.

To learn more about how Docusign ID Verification supports specialized use cases in the financial services and healthcare industries, watch our webinar “Know Your Signers with Digital Identity Verification,” available on demand. Then learn more about how the Docusign Identify suite of identity-proofing and authentication solutions can secure sensitive agreements, ensure compliance with stringent regulations and give you peace of mind.