Electronic Signatures, Why Your Company Should Move to a Paperless Process


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Electronic signature technology is helping businesses both large and small eliminate errors, cut shipping costs, and improve their bottom line. In today’s economic climate, businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to cut costs, mainly becoming more productive with less overhead. Electronic signatures offer what any company needs to meet this challenge head-on.

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Electronic Signatures, Why Your Company Should Move to a Paperless Process

  1. 1. Electronic Signatures “ A look at signing electronically ” Why Your Company Should Go Paperless In Today’s High-Tech World Stay Competitive in Your Market Copyright © 2009 eOriginal, Inc.
  2. 2. Electronic signature technology is helping businesses both large and small eliminate errors, cut shipping costs, and improve their bottom line. Customers are provided with products and services faster, and customer service ratings are rapidly improving. Are you still using a paper process? You may want to rethink your current workflow procedures, because most likely the competition is… Paper or Electronic? For several years, you’ve heard the question “paper or plastic” whenever shopping at your local store. With the growing focus on the environment, most businesses offer this option as a way for their customers to make a choice as to which method they prefer. Plastic bags offer such features as built-in handles, lower costs for the business, and potential reuse in the home by the consumer. Paper bags offer more strength, but only if made from quality paper. They are made from a renewable source, yet the production of them can cause both water and air pollution with chemicals. What does this have to do with electronic signature technology? Just as the “paper or plastic” option offers a choice that can impact a company’s bottom line and environmental impact, so can the option of a paper process versus an electronic signature solution. So the question for your business now is, “paper or electronic”? Why Your Business Should Be Thinking Of Going Paperless Today If you’re experiencing any of these “symptoms” of a paper process, you need to start thinking of moving forward towards an electronic signature environment: What You’ll Discover in this eGuide to e-Signatures Based on the experience from IT experts and current electronic signature technology users, this guide is designed to help you easily understand why your business should consider eliminating a paper process and upgrading to this new and dynamic way of doing business Electronic signatures are a proven way to increase profits and customer satisfaction. The purpose of this information is to help you clearly and easily understand the advantages of using an electronic signature process within your business in an easy-to-read and understand format. Within this guide, you’ll become familiar with: HOW ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES WORK FOUR STEPS TO IMPLEMENTING PAPERLESS CLOSING PROCESSES THE TOP REASONS TO CHOSE ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES HOW FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND ARE BENEFITING USING ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS Going Paperless: Why Your Company Should Go Paperless in Today’s High-Tech World 2 <ul><ul><li>Long Sales Cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expensive Courier Fees & Charges </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistakes and Omissions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Costly Long Term Custodial Storage for Originals </li></ul></ul>Paper or Electronic
  3. 3. <ul><li>How Electronic Signatures Work to Give Your Business a Competitive Advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Electronically signing contracts, licenses, NDA’s,agreements, applications, consent forms, loans and other documents. </li></ul><ul><li>Of course, the technology that supports these actions is complicated. Yet, in regards to how you’ll see it work within your organization is just that simple. So, what are the benefits of using electronic signatures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy ~~ The electronic documents are accurate, and when they’re returned you can expect to have all information completed and all areas signed accordingly. You’ll be ready to complete the order in no time. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency ~~ Less time was used towards the closing process, more time is available for the next customer to receive your products and/or services. This increases the overall customer satisfaction. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost Savings ~~ There were no shipping expenses, courier fees, or expedited delivery charges. Everything was done electronically, so you’ll save money on all of these services. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meeting the Burden of Proof ~~ Your electronic document is secure, auditable, and verifiable. Paper cannot offer this level of security. The electronic signature process protects, encrypts and time stamps your document. They’re wrapped in a tamper–evident seal that will instantly identify and reject any changes to the document since signing. This protects your legal rights and business terms, keeping your contracts and agreements enforceable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secure Document Vaulting and Audit Trail ~~ Documents are stored securely for the lifetime of the agreement. Dynamic watermarking (user, date/time stamp, “Copy of Original”) on all Print and View requests. Eliminates uncertainty of “is this a copy or the original”. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast Set-Up ~~ In most cases, your business can be up and running </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with e-signing technology within 48 hours. </li></ul></ul>Going Paperless: Why Your Company Should Go Paperless in Today’s High-Tech World Shipping Authorizations Challenge This business was faced with extremely short timelines to get authorizations signed. Trucks were not moving fast enough. Bill of Lading process was manual, leading to delays. Solution Integrated electronic signature solution within company website Benefits Paper process was eliminated. Customer’s now experience self service. There’s now a tight integration with existing freight management systems that has the trucks moving out faster. If you aren’t using electronic signature technology now, be prepared to in the future. Get a jump-start on your competitors and offer your customers a fast, secure and completely legal way to sign deals and get your products/services faster Help your sales team exceed their goals by giving them the ability to use electronic signatures. There won’t be anymore missed deals because of missing paperwork or delays. They can quickly move on to the next customer within hours instead of days or weeks. You’ll increase overall customer satisfaction and sales performance by implementing electronic signatures. 3 Stories of Success The Electronic Signature Advantage
  4. 4. Going Paperless: Why Your Company Should Go Paperless in Today’s High-Tech World 4 Go Green! Improve efficiency, minimize errors, reduce administrative costs, and, of course increase the profitability of your deals. These are just a few of the benefits associated with going paperless. The following four steps are a guideline to implementing paperless processes. Before you begin, it is also critical to gather the proper internal resources and create a “working group” of participants from legal, IT and operations. These four steps are applicable to either hosted solutions or those deployed “behind the firewall”. Step 1 : CREATE. Today, most leasing and financial services organizations create their contracts and supporting documentation through a loan originating system such as LeaseTeam’s “Sales Manager”, International Decision System’s “InfoLease” or a custom, proprietary product. The documents are created electronically and in most transactions forwarded to the clients and guarantors by courier or email for printing and “blue ink” signatures. The components of eContracting (electronically signing and vaulting) can be integrated with your loan origination system. Integration is not required nor is a change to your current automated document generation process. eContracting simply requires an Adobe PDF document. Step 2: ESIGN. ADDING ESIGNATURES. Instead of emailing or sending documents by courier, the electronically created documents are generated as usual using your loan origination system, then uploaded into a secure portal where signing participants are invited by email to register and execute their documents. After authentication, the signers execute electronically and a final, fully executed document is created. Each of the signatories and anyone denoted as a carbon copy recipient receives a notification when the document is finalized with all required signatures. Signatories and other designated parties are provided with a link to view or print copies of the final, fully executed document. Step 3: PROTECT . THE ADDITION OF ELECTRONIC VAULTING (“EVAULTING” OR “EVAULT”) FOR COMPLIANCE AND SECURITY. So, what is an eVault? Legislation establishes the necessity for financial institutions to manage, maintain, and protect electronically signed documents. eVaulting is a means to that end. In order for the validity of any electronic document to be upheld in a court of law, or for any electronic document to be sold or transferred to a new secured party, the financial institution must be able to show the documents under its control to be the legally binding “authoritative copies” – the electronic equivalent to the original negotiable paper promissory note (9per UETA, ESIGN and Revised UCC 9-105). For example, there must be a unique copy of the eContract, which can be proven to be unaltered since the time of signing. To ensure that an electronic contract remains negotiable and legally enforceable, the eVault permanently binds the electronic signatures to the document and creates a tamper-evident audit trail, demonstrating ownership (control) and compliance. In the paper world, physical possession of a negotiable instrument demonstrates ownership. In the electronic world, “control” of “eChattel” replaces the requirement for physical possession. Step 4 : MANAGE. CONTROLLING ACCESS, AUDTING, BUYING AND SELLING. Once a transaction is closed electronically, depositing into an eVault both ensures compliance and legal protection as well as meeting the often more stringent requirements for resale within the secondary market. An eVault manages the legally Binding authoritative copy of an electronically signed contract or other document in a secure location where it is held and transitioned during the entirety of its lifecycle. Four Steps to Implementing Paperless Closing Processes
  5. 5. Going Paperless: Why Your Company Should Go Paperless in Today’s High-Tech World Grain Contracts Challenge Customers were in many different locations when signing of contracts was needed Documents were frequently never returned High volume of transactions Missing signatures Solution Opted for a dedicated signing website for customers to complete contracts using text signatures. Benefits Immediately experienced an elimination of contract errors Gained control over inventory management Enabled faster funding to farmers 5 <ul><li>Why You Should Consider Having Your Business Go </li></ul><ul><li>Paperless </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re still not sure that an electronic signature process would work for your business, here’s a summary of why you should think again: </li></ul><ul><li> With Electronic Signatures, You Will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Close deals within hours instead of days or weeks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Any business that’s up-and-running with electronic signature technology feels the immediate positive impact of closing deals faster. In fact, so do its customers. They experience a more convenient and hassle-free signing experience. No longer will they wait days or weeks to get that loan or drive that car. Within a couple of hours it’s done. Customer satisfaction levels are increased and more products are moving faster into customer hands due to today’s electronic signing technology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate costly overnight shipping, faxing and mailing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- With a paper process, the fees can be exorbitant. Costs for mailing are always going up, and gas price increases impact courier service charges. Going to an electronic signature process will change the impact of these services on your business. They’ll be gone. No more mailing of the documents, all is done safely and securely using state of the art technology. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve workflow and security </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- When switching from a paper process to electronic signature technology you’ll be reviewing your work flow process carefully. Any errors, security issues or missing steps will be identified and fixed. This valuable reconciliation of steps within your current paper process will ultimately lead to a safe and accurate electronic document signing process for your company. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminate missing signatures and incomplete documents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- The electronic process removes the possibility of having a document that’s been signed incorrectly, or even not being signed all. Your documents will be completed in full and signed accordingly so that you can satisfy your current customer with your goods and services quickly, then you’re off to the next customer. </li></ul></ul>Stories of Success The Top Reasons to Chose Electronic Signatures
  6. 6. Going Paperless: Why Your Company Should Go Paperless in Today’s High-Tech World 6 Stories of Success Automotive Retail Installment Contracts Challenge This company was experiencing a significant lag in obtaining documents. They were also faced with unauthorized changes, errors & omissions with agreements (~ 20%) Solution Electronic signature processes were added, using both signature pads and online signing methods. Benefits Errors drop to 0 with eContracting. Elimination of paper by way of electronic signatures. Funding occurred in 1 day vs up to 6 weeks using prior paper process Changing the Banking Landscape Banks are already moving away from paper processes, finding electronic documents easier to manage, access and store. A more streamlined process makes it easier for banks to capture customer commitments quickly. However, the safeguards built into traditional paper processes must still be incorporated into the electronic environment. Steps must be taken to ensure the integrity of electronic financial transactions from the point of signature forward. Today, Most financial institutions handle loan transactions partially through electronic processes, yielding some efficiency gains but often stopping short of complete electronic signing technology and easily integrated electronic vaulting capabilities can release banks and credit unions from hybrid limbo and extend their document management capabilities to further streamline operations. To control costs, enhance the customer experience and increase their competitive edge, banks and credit unions are incorporating new capabilities to protect electronically signed original documents and contracts. In addition to the efficiencies, electronic processes provide better security, auditing and compliance while enabling the elimination of paper. Accurate the First Time In the credit union space, complete electronic loan transactions are more common than in larger financial institutions. Because they do not distribute profits, credit unions channel more of their financial resources into technology. In addition, their operating procedures require daily transactions to be signed by customers more frequently than banks. Consequently they entered into electronic banking sooner than banks and enjoy a higher adoption rate of electronic signature pads, estimated at 50 percent. Their earlier foray into electronic loans not only produced cost savings but solved quality control problems. After implementing electronic signing capabilities, credit unions experience cost reductions in the front end of the loan process. Professionals in credit unions report that the greatest value of electronic loans is that documents are signed correctly the first time. Manual processing errors are eliminated by the nature of the electronic process because a borrower cannot move forward through electronic signing until each section of the loan is completed and signed correctly. Lenders no longer have to go back and recreate or rework the loan, get a customer back in to sign a missed area or incur additional shipping, faxing or filing costs. An estimated 20 percent of loans are not signed accurately the first time and need to be corrected. To back-track on a loan document takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and people. How Financial Institutions are Benefiting from Using Electronic Documents
  7. 7. Going Paperless: Why Your Company Should Go Paperless in Today’s High-Tech World 7 <ul><li>A final word to help you understand why going with electronic signature </li></ul><ul><li>technology is a smart move for your business. </li></ul><ul><li>A final thought to help you decide if now is the time for you to implement an electronic process within your business: In today’s economic climate, businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to cut costs, mainly becoming more productive with less overhead. Electronic signatures offer what any company needs to meet this challenge head-on. With the cost of doing business going up almost daily, there is a growing need to fine-tune internal processes, eliminate redundancy and stay ahead of the competition. A paper process for contracts and agreements will always have a level of vulnerability towards errors and lost deals. Going electronic virtually eliminates these factors from your business equation. Also, your business will use less paper, which will have a positive environmental impact. WHAT IS THE TRUE RETURN ON INVESTMENT “ROI”? The ROI measurement of implementing a paperless process contains a vast array of cost savings. A true end to end paperless process will help eliminate the costly and inefficient byproducts of paper which include… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long sales cycles – get the deal off the street faster; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courier charges – save your company or your clients courier fees – customer benefit and a bottom line savings; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistakes and omissions – customers, signers, guarantors no longer miss a signature, sign in the wrong place or lose documents forcing you to re-send; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Elimination of costly long term custodial storage for originals; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Streamline the closing crunch hours – signatures are applied and the deals are closed within minutes. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember the question in the beginning of this guide…”Paper or Electronic”? </li></ul><ul><li>Now is a great time to really think about your answer. </li></ul>The ROI of Electronic Signatures
  8. 8. <ul><li>About eOriginal </li></ul>Going Paperless: Why Your Company Should Go Paperless in Today’s High-Tech World 8 <ul><ul><li>Exclusive Advantages of Choosing eOriginal as Your Partner for Electronic Signatures Within Your Business: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blind copy signing of documents (signed and ancillary documents) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple signers and multiple events </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add documents throughout the lifecycle of transaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-send and revise without an additional charge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directly embedded into your website, familiar and secure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily integrated with your LOS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Secure, compliant repository </li></ul></ul>eOriginal, Inc. is a technology pioneer and a leading provider of electronic signature solutions for organizations wanting to execute secure, document–centric business transactions that produce legally enforceable electronic documents. eOriginal began charting the course for legally enforceable electronic signatures and documents in the late 1990’s because we had a powerful vision to help paper intensive industries achieve the advantage of fully electronic business processes. Working with visionaries in government and the financial services, international trade, eCommerce, health care and retailing markets, eOriginal helped draft the eSignature legislation that would lay the foundation for electronic signatures to be held the same as “wet ink” signatures in the United States eOriginal developed the eOriginal eCore® software to create, sign and manage Electronic Original® documents using secure audit trails to support the strict compliance and security requirements inherent across electronic commerce initiatives. The technology creates business processes that are tamper–evident, auditable and legally enforceable on both a state and federal level. The eOriginal eVault creates irrefutable proof that the document in the institutions possession is the original, unaltered document. As document interaction occurs throughout multiple stages along the electronic transaction lifecycle, the vault controls access and tracks all document activity from closing, through servicing, and finally to sale or payoff. The results are technology solutions that enable organizations to completely eliminate paper, keeping all Electronic Original documents legally protected as they are transitioned throughout their lifecycle. Today, eOriginal provides software, solutions and support to some of the largest and most security conscious eCommerce organizations. eOriginal eCore® technology has managed approximately 500,000 electronic contracts representing over $10 Billion in originations, with over $2 Billion pooled and securitized. For more information about how to turn our experience into your advantage, visit our website at www.eoriginal.com or call us at 410-625-5148 Visit www.eoriginal.com to try a demo or attend a webinar on electronic signatures