Six years ago, many credit unions were skeptical of electronic signatures. In 2013, about 10% of credit unions larger than $20 million in assets offered eSignatures and those with fewer assets adopted the platform at even lower rates. Today eSignatures are a coveted member benefit and those who predicted it would become an integral part of the digital lending process back in 2013… they were right! At the time, eSignatures were fast growing, and in just one quarter eSignature integrations shot up 25%. Early adopters even found that pull-through rates on applications increased up to 20% as a result of eSignature options. If electronic signatures were providing results all the way back in 2013, then it should not come as a shock that the feature is even more important within digital lending processes today. Here’s why credit unions that have yet to implement eSigntaure options should take the leap this year.
First and foremost, eSignatures will save you money and paper! There are some significant cost savings when it comes to electronic signature due to its ability to streamline operations. It cuts down on the total time it takes to complete the loan, which ultimately decreases the amount of time staff spends on loan applications. Additionally, implementing eSignature technology will save your CU on the cost of paper. Considering that loan applications are usually longer than 1 page, for each application that is signed electronically, your credit union can vastly decrease the amount of paper waste. eSignatures will cut operational costs as well as decrease your branches environmental footprint, which translates to higher returns for your CU.
Members really benefit from this feature, specifically from a standpoint of convenience. When the rest of the loan process is conducted digitally, there’s a disconnect if the member still has to go in-branch to sign the final agreement. Members are so passionate about digital services that they will turn to other financial organizations who can offer them digital features like eSignature. Now is the time to proceed with urgency and begin to implement full spectrum digital lending because there are competing non-bank entities that are offering digital lending from start to finish. eSignature is convenient for the busy Millennial, working Mom, mature members, and for your staff too.
One of the main reason many credit unions have yet to adopt eSignature technology is due to security concerns. With all the security breaches that have occurred over the past year, it is not a bad idea to be cautious, but when it comes to eSignature, security is not a point of contention. eSignature solutions will use several factors of authentication, which actually makes it more secure than a traditional signature, especially considering that most people scribble along the dotted line these days. Electronically signed documents are accompanied by an additional credential, such as a password or token, and supported by the presence of audit trails that protect the document against alteration. With modern eSignature options, your credit union can rest assured that member information is protected and electronically signed documents have been authenticated.
The skeptics of 5 years ago are likely believers in eSignatures today. From small credit unions to big banks, eSignature technology has become an integral part of the lending process. However, there are still many CUs that have not transitioned to fully digital lending. Failure to integrate eSignatures will likely lead to inconvenienced members. For the sake of members and staff as well as higher security and lower operational costs, eSignature is a solution that all credit unions need to achieve modern, fully digital lending procedures.