Monday, October 22, 2012

Achieve Straight-Through Processing to Increase Customer and Member Satisfaction with Electronic Signatures

By Michelle Shapiro, Hyland Software

Consumers are becoming more and more tech-savvy. To win or keep their business, you need to offer the cutting-edge services they expect, like e-signatures.

When a co-signer for a loan is offsite, e-signatures offer a way to complete the transaction from wherever they are, as long as they have access to a computer. Using e-signatures also ensures that you take care of every initial and signature in one meeting, so customers and members don’t have to do things like make repeat trips to your credit union or bank to complete a single transaction.

Enable straight-through processing for increased speed and accuracy
Because they ensure authenticity, integrity and accuracy, e-signatures have been legal in the United States since 2000. When compliance requirements mandate a handwritten signature, you can capture and apply signatures electronically to documents and forms with a signature pad. It’s that simple.

While using e-signatures is a giant step in the right direction, to be the most effective, they need to be a seamless part of your processes. For example, with e-signatures and ECM capturing signatures and documents electronically, you practice straight-through processing, so your employees don’t have to manually print and scan copies into your line-of-business systems. In addition, employees won’t have to comb through documents to make sure they’re 100 percent accurate and complete, further improving productivity.

Using e-signature solutions that integrate with an ECM system also gives you the ability to sign documents and then store, access and manage them electronically. Once you’ve obtained a member or customer’s signature, documents don’t have to be printed, mailed or emailed. Instead, they immediately go into an electronic document workflow that automatically forwards them through processes, alerting key stakeholders along the way.

The increased speed and accuracy of your processes gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace, as your staff is empowered to give answers like loan approvals to prospective customers or members quicker than competitors who rely on paper-based processes.

Use ECM to unleash the power of e-signatures
Although e-signatures are an important piece that helps you deliver exceptional service, to achieve maximum efficiency, you need ECM. Using ECM, you connect primary applications like your core banking system or LOS with your documents. Without ECM, you don’t have classification, structure or retention for your documents – all important elements that help your employees immediately find the information they’re looking for.

Combining the speed of e-signatures with the power of ECM:
  • Decreases your reliance on paper to save money, costs and time
  • Increases the speed and accuracy of your processes
  • Allows you to stop printing contracts just to obtain a physical signature
Using e-signatures and ECM, you also eliminate the risk of fraudulent document alteration and guarantee your signed documents remain protected and unaltered. And you efficiently track electronic acknowledgements of documents. That helps you proactively comply with evolving local, state and federal regulations. It also makes it easy to prepare for audits. With e-signatures and ECM, you shorten the revenue cycle and reduce the cost and risk of paper-driven processes.

Tips for choosing an e-signature vendor
Today, most ECM vendors don’t develop their own e-signature solutions; they partner with companies that specialize in that technology. So it’s key to choose an e-signature vendor and solution that will easily integrate with your current or planned ECM solution.

When choosing an e-signature vendor, it’s important to make sure you choose one that upgrades its product on a regular basis and gives you choices. For example, does the vendor offer both a premises-based solution as well as a cloud offering? Additionally, you want to make sure to find a reputable vendor with a proven track record. Talk to your peers, send out requests for proposals (RFPs) and ask questions until you find a provider that can deliver exactly what you need.

By using e-signatures with ECM, your increased speed and accuracy will make you an easy choice for all those tech-savvy people looking for innovative banking alternatives.

Contact us to learn more about ECM and e-signatures.

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