Turn losses into gains when you integrate e-signature within your core

Collecting signatures on loan documents and membership forms can be a pain, so giving members the ability to sign documents from anywhere, at anytime, on nearly any device, will no doubt improve your member relations. The benefits to your members are obvious, whether they’re geographically dispersed or are tech savvy, they will appreciate fewer trips to your branch to get things done. But the benefits to your credit union’s operations could be more numerous than you think.  In the game of numbers, these benefits are measured by reductions, where less is more:

1) Time – Reducing the time it takes to complete the cumbersome process of obtaining required signatures needed on loan and membership documents will allow you to increase loan volume and open new accounts faster. According to DocuSign, the industry leader in secure electronic signatures, delays in getting signatures not only cost you time, but in the case of earning interest on loans, time is money. No matter the interest rate, losing a week or two of interest while you wait for signatures can really add up.

Signing delays can also mean lost business, since a frustrated member may seek out competitive offers while waiting for the document workflow to complete. Credit unions report that electronic signatures have increased pull-through rates by as much as 20 percent.

Your employees will gain significant time, cutting down on the back and forth communication and in-branch meetings, or simply playing the game of figuring out where the latest version of an agreement stands.  This valuable time can now be better spent providing other essential member services. Your employees will have one less follow up item to handle with documents being sent instantly from within your system for electronic signature, along with built-in automated reminders.

Additionally, when eSignatures are done correctly, signed documents can be returned to your core system and saved in your document management system automatically. This will eliminates a great deal of administrative effort, resulting in significant operational gains.

2) Risk – Documentation can require multiple signatures and approval points, increasing the margin for error dramatically. Critical agreement processes, such as new account openings and commercial lending involving several people and/or steps, also open up the door for human error at many points along the way.  With a robust e-signature program integrated with the core processing system, data fields can be captured and verified at the point of signature, so neither you, nor your member, can miss anything, which improves accuracy.

According to a Forbes Insight study, full-time equivalent (FTE) savings (a unit that indicates the workload of an employed person) associated with the elimination of manual processes (mail sorting, document handling, scanning, etc.), resulted in a 70 to 80 percent improvement in efficiency. Error reduction was more than 50% since so many errors in financial transactions result from missing signatures on documents.  If you’ve followed all the proper steps in setting up your system, e-signature transactions produce completed documents that meet all legal and compliance requirements.

3) Cost – Logistically speaking, it is easy to see immediate benefits in cost savings for e-signatures, including paper, ink, postage, overnight shipping, etc. And while these are small numbers on a case by case basis, depending on the size of  credit union and the number of loans you originate, they can add up quickly.  There are also softer, less obvious benefits to cost reduction that you will see on your bottom line when improving operations. According to a joint study by MIT and Deloitte 2015 Digital Business Global Executive Study, companies that rank highly on digital maturity outperform their competition, achieving 13% higher revenue and 19% higher market valuation.  In addition to increasing your speed in closing loans and automating new account openings, profit margins may increase, resulting in additional positive gains.

As you look to implement e-signatures or work to improve your e-signature and document flow, good planning and a sound strategy become as important as the technology itself.

Preston Packer

Preston Packer

Preston Packer is the Director of Sales & Marketing for FLEX. Preston has been with FLEX since 2000 and has worked in various sales management roles over that time. Preston’... Web: www.flexcutech.com Details