Electronic Signatures Make The Phrase 'Sign & Drive' A Reality For One CU

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Members sign loan documents electronically - completing car loan applications in less than an hour-at one $64-million CU here.

"The speed of the electronic signature and loan process really impresses our members," said Rebecca Delich, chief lending officer at ISPFCU.

ISPFCU also offers a .25% discount on the loan rate when a member uses e-sign, she continued.

ISPFCU has used DocuSign Express since January. DocuSign is a Seattle-based electronic signature service. The electronic John Hancock wipes out the need to print, fax or mail loan documents, Delich continued, and takes less than a minute, she explained.

After accepting an application over the Internet, ISPFCU uploads loan documents to a secure signature site and clicks to indicate where the member should sign, initial or provide information.

Then, the member is notified via e-mail that the documents are ready. The e-mail also serves as one factor to authenticate the member's identity, according to DocuSign.

Next, the member clicks over to a secure website and is further authenticated by a PIN, DocuSign said.

The member accepts disclosures and chooses a signature font. Instantly, the service creates a mock signature for the member.

"The system then kicks the member to the document side, where the member clicks to initial and sign with the chosen signature," Delich explained. "The system won't let the member close the file until everything is signed correctly."

Finally, ISPFCU receives an email signaling that the documents are complete and then moves them to the CU's document imaging system. Car loans are thus signed and funded in less than an hour, Delich said. Mortgages take longer because of processing times, she added.

Delich estimated that 99% of all ISPFCU's loans are signed electronically, including mortgages, home equity, home equity lines of credit, overdraft protection, share, Visa and new and used auto loans. "Everyone would rather sign electronically," she said.

Combined with the CU's automatic online account opening and funding service, "there's no reason that a member would have to come to our branch anymore," she said.

The credit union recently expanded its charter, now serving about 8,000 law enforcement employees across Illinois. "Since we service the whole state, we want to make the signature process convenient for members," Delich said.

Faxing and mailing the documents was also inadequate, Delich added. Members didn't want to receive faxed private financial information at work, and mailing was unpredictable. During the workday, members couldn't make it into the branch to sign documents.

"Faxes were sometimes lost at the place of employment or the library, or held up by a busy phone," Delich said. "We had to worry about toner and fax jams. Getting a signature could take up to ten days."

With e-signatures, ISPFCU rarely prints loan documents, which is in keeping with the organization's new document imaging system.

"We wanted to cut down on use and storage of paper," said Delich. "If we have document imaging, why would we want to print, fax, and then load documents into the imaging system?"


For info on this story:

* First American FCU at www.firstamfcu.com

* Wolters Kluwer Financial Services (formerly Bankers Systems) www.bankerssystems.com

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