We love eSignatures!
At First Foundation our mortgage brokers and insurance brokers have been using electronic signatures for almost three years now. We can say without a doubt that we'd never go back unless the government made us. The good news? It's unlikely they will.
Electronic signatures, or esignatures for short, are a technology whose time has come. Business happens so fast and people are so busy these days that the old way of sitting down in an office or over a kitchen table to sign stacks and stacks of dead tress (paper) just isn't practical anymore. I won't even mention the safety issues of meeting unknown people in their homes, the environmental cost of wasting all that paper, the security risk of transporting documents unsecured in a briefcase, in your car, or leaving it in a pile on your desk.
Practically speaking I can't say how happy I am that we're leaving the fax machine behind. Here's what our old process for getting mortgage or insurance documents signed looked like:
Old signing process
- Email the document to be signed
- Client prints out the document
- Signs in three places
- Misses the fourth place to sign
- Scans and emails back OR faxes back
- Scanner / fax machine eats page three
- Call or email client to advise them that page three is missing and signature four on page one is missing
- Client signs page one and emails JPEG photograph of page one at low resolution. Signature cannot be verified.
- Page three is still missing
- Advise client page three is still missing
- Get fax from client with hand scribbled cover sheet that says "I hope this is ALL YOU NEED or I'm taking my business elsewhere!"
- Fax is only a cover page - forgot page three again
- Client shows up with page three, throws it at mortgage broker in disgust, drives to nearest dollar store and buys "I H8 Mortgage Brokers" bumper sticker
- Blood pressure everywhere rises
New signing process
- Send document electronically via eSigning app
- Client signs on their computer, tablet, or smart phone
- Receive signed document securely, forward to lender or insurer for approval
Advantages of the new signing process
If it wasn't already apparent, signing electronically means:
- Less time wasted
- Fewer trees wasted
- Better security
- Fewer headaches
- Faster turnaround time
- Fewer mistakes
- Happier clients (and brokers!)
But what about security, legality, and risk?
According to our friends at CSIO - the Centre for Study of Insurance Operatinos, who have developed their eSignature Dashboard, the solution that First Foundation uses meets all the criteria for an effective eSignature solution. In fact, they went so far as to create this really cool infographic: