Digital Signatures Change Business Models


Tomáš Klimeš, Product Sales Manager

Digital Signatures Will Allow You to Acquire and Serve Your Customers Differently

Digital signatures will llow to Serve Your Customers also in the wind tunnelSeveral banks throughout the world have opened or plan to open new places of business where the staff will include bartenders in addition to bank clerks. The goal of these banks is to get people to return to bank branches and spend as much time there as possible.  

Some banks try to turn their branch offices into places similar to cafes where clients can take a seat, drink their cappuccino and even work with comfort, since a printer, scanner photocopier and free wi-fi is available.  Clients can reserve a conference room in some places. Other banks go even further and try to introduce the concept of a yoga studio or organize events such as dog exhibitions on their premises.  

In order to truly change the concept of branch offices and not only add additional services, banks need to forget the traditional desktops that they use for attending to their clients. In a modern bank branch, clients don’t need to wait for their turn; they take a seat on sofa where a bank employee will come to them - with a notebook or even with a tablet which is more practical for this scenario.  

From the technological aspect, it is no problem to have an employee of a place of business, a bank or telecommunications network operator, move around with a tablet among the clients, listen to their requirements, make offers and then, conclude contracts on the spot. Tablets are able to record signatures with an S pen on the screen in combination with special software which connects the signature specimen with the document, for example, a contract.

This is similar to the way clients are accustomed to signing. Everything is in front of them, and the information can be checked. The only difference is that they don’t sign a paper in their own hand but in an electronic document directly on the tablet screen.

Banks are not the only ones thinking about new possibilities for attending to their customers at places of business. For example, Cetelem, a provider of personal loans and installment sales, has enabled some of its dealers to close contracts directly on tablets. The clients enjoy better and more modern services and the entire process of the closing of contracts – from completing the forms, through signing up to sending for further processing – becomes more effective. For dealers, it means reducing repayment period for goods from 4 or 5 days to 1 day.

No limits with a digital signature, sign directly in The High TatrasNaturally, an electronic contract that is contained in a tablet where it can be digitally signed does not restrict client space to the “premises” of the branch.  It can expand its limits to squares or shopping malls. Telecommunications operators can easily connect marketing surveys with the possibility of the instant signing of a contract.

Banks have decided to equip their private bankers – experts trained in the area of banking and investment products, with tablets. Bankers always have their tablets handy to enable clients to sign contracts or financial transactions wherever they are, i.e., even when a tablet is not connected to Internet.   Because it is not connected to an external server like other digital signing systems, the client does not need a biometric server

The idea of digital signing sounds attractive not only because it brings new possibilities for winning and serving customers, but also because of savings on the printing, distribution and archiving of documents.  Sometimes lowering the error rate can be an even greater benefit. For example, if an energy distributor acquires customers through direct sales in households and if something is re-written or crossed out after the signing of the contract – e.g., an incorrectly filled out address – such contract becomes invalid. With digital processing, the error rate can be eliminated since software can instantly verify the accuracy of entered information when completing forms.  

Digital signatures in mobile devices may open doors to completely new business models – it depends only on the imagination of the company.  For example, one foreign mobile network operator is considering turning every customer into a potential dealer of its services. A friend of yours will visit you and take photos of the necessary documents; you will sign the contract on a tablet and in a few minutes your SIM card will be activated.