Neighborhood Credit Union Blends High Tech and High Touch Using DocuSign Notary
For credit unions, member experience is everything. But, in the digital age, the bar for outstanding service is constantly being raised. Most credit unions have done a great job of meeting member expectations for more digital services without sacrificing the personal element that sets them apart from the big banks. But when the pandemic hit, bringing branch operations to a sudden halt, many credit unions had to accelerate their digital roadmap overnight.
If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s that it paved the way for more convenient, digital alternatives to in-branch services, including remote online notarization (RON).
For a long time, notarization has been a last-mile blocker to fully digital experiences—but that’s no longer the case. RON legislation accelerated during the pandemic, as more and more states sought to continue allowing notarizations while maintaining social distancing. Today, RON is widely available through solutions like DocuSign Notary, which gives notaries the digital tools they need to notarize documents via a secure audio-visual session.
One financial co-op in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Neighborhood Credit Union, is using Notary to bring convenience and ease to a popular service while maintaining the high-touch approach many of its members appreciate.
Read on to hear from business analysis manager, Wayne Wallace, on the credit union’s experience in making the move from in-branch to remote online notarization.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about Neighborhood Credit Union?
We were founded in 1930, which makes us the oldest credit union in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We really strive to deliver the best experiences for our 56,000+ members. That means providing cutting-edge banking services and tools that make it easy for them to engage with us.
What shaped your decision to look for a remote online notarization (RON) solution?
The pandemic. We closed our branches for close to eight months. But our members still needed to get their notarizations done—and we needed to help them do so. The senior vice president of lending had approached my team about the possibility of doing remote online notarization. There was too much risk involved in trying to build a RON solution in house, so we reached out to our DocuSign account rep to explore our options.
How were you notarizing for your members during that lockdown period?
We provided limited branch services at the time. A member could come to the branch, send us a text, and a notary would meet them in the parking lot, take their documents and notarize them right there by their car with their mask and gear. Of course, there were still some safety concerns and challenges involved with reviewing, signing and stamping paper documents on a clipboard. And notaries still had to digitize and manually upload their notarial files into SharePoint after the notarization.
Why did you select DocuSign Notary for your RON solution?
A few things. First, DocuSign Notary provides a seamless end-to-end experience in a single solution, from digitally verifying signer’s identities to signing and notarizing live in an audio-visual session. We also view DocuSign as a trusted partner, so we trusted DocuSign to provide the best RON solution in the market, which we’re seeing already.
What kind of feedback have you gotten from employees and members?
They were really amazed by just the ease of it! Our members and employees are already familiar with the DocuSign eSignature experience, and Notary builds on that. Our employees wear lots of hats, so anything we can do to make it easier for them is a huge win. They look forward to using it more often, which is a great sign. And for a lot of our members, I think having this face-to-face experience—even virtually—was important to them.
How are you thinking about remote notarizations as people feel more comfortable coming back into physical branches?
We always put our members first, so we’re excited to provide our members with the flexibility to choose however they want to notarize their agreements. If they want to come into our branches to meet with a notary in person, they can. However, if they want to meet with a notary remotely from the comfort of their home, they can. Our goal is to become more digital while maintaining the great service members are used to, and DocuSign Notary definitely fits into that.
Do you have any tips for others who are wanting to bring RON to their organization?
First: Engage executive leadership early to assess the need for RON. Second: Think about how your RON solution can scale with your organization. For example, is it secure, is it reliable, can it support a variety of notarization needs across your business? And finally: Make sure to think about all the different types of notarization use cases across your organization, as you may have both internal and external—or back office / front office—processes that require notarization.
What’s next in how you’re enhancing the member experience?
There are a variety of other notarization use cases we’d like to use DocuSign Notary for, including lending and digital mortgage processes. Another big digital initiative we’re excited about is bringing kiosks into our branches so members can talk (virtually) with loan officers when there’s not one on site. We’re continuing to think of other ways to take advantage of new technologies to create a better experience for everyone.
Hear more from Wayne on how Neighborhood Credit Union is remotely and securely notarizing agreements with DocuSign Notary: