How finance teams are improving customer experiences with paperless transactions

Digitisation has drastically changed the financial services landscape. In today’s digital world, customers expect instant service and to be able to interact on mobile from anywhere. Ensuring your customers have positive digital experiences is paramount if you are working in finance. According to an Ipsos Survey in conjunction with Think with Google, more than 70% of customers regularly use a mobile app to manage their finances. Customers increasingly expect finance agreements like loans to be completed quickly and seamlessly. 

Forward-thinking banks and other lenders with a strong digital strategy often aim to eliminate paper as part of their plans. This choice often leads them to be able to complete finance agreements in hours rather than days, avoiding long delays for customers. Leading finance organisations are even looking to provide a seamless experience for transactions that require extra verification or those that need a higher level of security for agreements that carry high risk. So how do they do it?

Fast and frictionless finance agreements 

Many financial organisations already provide fast and frictionless agreement processes. Organisations can maintain speed, security and compliance even when they need to verify who is signing remotely or extra protection is needed for higher-risk agreements. In the digital age, manual processes such as printing, sending, signing, scanning and archiving documents are no longer enough. For example, Funding Circle digitised their loan agreement application process to reduce the average time to process a new loan from two days to just one hour. 

Providing small businesses with a simple and fast way of accessing finance has always been at the heart of what we do. We see eSignature and ID verification as a core part of enabling this, and we will continue to work with Docusign to implement improvements across our future products.
Claudiu Udrea
Director of Product UK
Funding Circle

Remote working and decentralised processes in finance

Finance processes and operations are fast becoming decentralised as flexible and remote working is increasing. In a Deloitte Insight Survey, 77% of respondents believed their finance organisations should continue to work remotely to some degree after the pandemic, and nearly 15% believed that they should work from home full time. As a result of this, there is a growing need for finance teams to be able to work remotely. This change has also allowed organisations to delight their customers and suppliers with simple, efficient, secure and accelerated processes. 

SIX is an international company with headquarters in Zurich that offers capital market and financial information along with banking information for a broad international clientele. As the levels of remote working increased for SIX and their customers, they began to experience delays in their contract processes caused by manual, paper-based processes. These time-consuming processes were leading to frustration among employees and customers. For example, sometimes paper contracts were sent to an office to sign, but the person was in their home office, so they didn’t receive them. SIX documents require an exceptionally high level of security, and a digital solution was needed to face the remote working challenge. SIX decided to use Docusign to reduce the delays significantly. 

Hanspeter Syfrig, product manager for the fund's area at SIX, says, "Obtaining signatures for documents after the start of the lockdown suddenly became a real challenge. This created additional delays and inefficiencies when signing documents. We onboarded with Docusign, which is very intuitive, and we were able to roll out a new solution quickly. The solution saved us a lot of time and administrative effort. So I can only recommend everyone to switch to electronic signatures.”

For SIX, processes that used to take weeks are now completed in hours. The acceleration of these processes was also well received by customers and has helped SIX keep pace with today’s digital change. This digital solution enabled SIX to create a simple and intuitive remote identification process. 

What are some of the barriers to digitisation in finance?

If digital transformation is already underway in your organisation, you may still rely on manual processes for some transactions or contracts. Paper-based manual contracts are more likely to be used where there is a need for a higher level of security or identity verification. Finance teams must ensure that their agreements are legally enforceable and have been duly executed in these cases. However, when you need to print and post documents or rely on in-person identity verification with a wet signature, it can still cause unnecessary delays in contract signing and execution. So what’s the solution?

Remotely verify a signer’s identity

You may already be using a simple electronic signature for some finance processes; a simple click creates the signature, and a proof file in the background verifies the signer. A simple electronic signature won’t suffice for all types of finance documents. Still, it is possible to automate and digitise finance processes that require a higher level of security, or that would usually require an in-person wet signature. The most stringent signature type is the qualified electronic signature (QES) which requires face-to-face identity verification in person or virtually. 

Get an overview of the different types of electronic signatures, including AES, QES and SES.

Finance organisations like IWTH Steuerberatung benefit from significant efficiencies by implementing qualified electronic signatures. IWTH offer flexible and tailor-made tax consulting and auditing services in Austria. IWTH historically had audit reports signed manually in person or via a PDF which was tricky to email as it was often a large document. 

In the European Union, some situations require a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) by law. This type of signature is usually required for tax documents and was implemented with Docusign for IWTH’s audit reports. Gernot Göttlicher, Managing Director and auditor at IWTH says, “We can legally digitally sign audit reports with a QES.” Sebastian Greiner, MD and tax advisor, adds: “We are very excited about the partnership between A-Trust and Docusign as we can now digitally and legally sign and send agreements that require a manual signature.” 

Marina Häusl, Managing Director and tax advisor with IWTH says, ”If you work decentrally, you have to set up your systems decentrally. That only works with digital solutions like Docusign.” For IWTH, paper consumption has also dropped drastically in the last three years with the help of digital software products like Docusign. With QES, Docusign can offer financial teams a digital alternative to the wet signature to help save time and reduce administration efforts.