Working with electronic signatures improves security, speed and sustainability for workflows. Security and compliance are extremely important in financial services. The e-signature capability helps meet compliance requirements with security features such as encryption, two-factor-authentication and the audit trail, which allows organisations to verify each signature.
“With fully digital document workflows, we can seal the PDF output to certify that files have not been changed,” adds Arora. “Between the audit trails and tamper-proof documents, the entire process provides a consistently secure environment which adds to the confidence of our electronic signatures with even less risk than wet ink signatures.”
Electronic signatures dramatically improve signing time. Rather than needing to mail a document, travel to an office or hunt down a scanner, signers just open an email and securely sign with a few clicks. This easy experience accelerates signing times, resulting in faster service and a better customer experience. NatWest has completed around two million contracts using its fully digital workflow including e-signatures, reducing the average cycle time from two weeks to less than 24 hours — a time savings of over 90%.
Another benefit of the digital document workflows is how it promotes the ambitious sustainability goals at NatWest Group. The group aims to become a climate change leader by working to make our operations climate positive by 2025. With electronic signatures supporting more paperless workflows, NatWest Group has already saved 9 million sheets of paper, 960k gallons of water and 336k pounds of wood.
The digital transformation became even more critical to NatWest during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to lockdowns and other restrictions, many employees started working from home, making it impossible to just drop off paperwork on a colleague’s desk. Customers were also affected, as they couldn’t stop by a bank to fill in forms. With electronic signatures, documents can be signed anywhere and we can easily track exactly where a document is — whether it’s been delivered, viewed or signed — for better visibility compared to most paper workflows.
“You never know what challenges may lie ahead. Today it’s COVID-19, but tomorrow it may be something else,” says Arora. “Businesses don’t want to return to the old manual processes. Electronic signatures provide benefits that will keep business moving in any situation.”