E-Signatures in Banking: A Vendor Spectrum

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3 June 2014
Stephen Greer and Karen Monks

Abstract

Questions about the viability of e-signature applications for banking have slowly been answered over the last 10 or 12 years. It’s no surprise that the financial services industry is a slow mover.

Partly driven by strict regulation, and partly by a risk-averse culture, financial services technology is usually slow to mature, and banks typically lag in adoption of horizontal applications. E-signatures are no different. Banks are finally utilizing e-signatures across many functions and processes to lower costs, shorten cycle times, and improve the services they provide. The rapid momentum in e-signature adoption was also driven by the evolution of consumer technology. Smartphones, tablets, and touch screen computers help make e-signing more accessible.

In the report E-signatures in Banking: A Vendor Spectrum, Celent identified 16 e-signature vendors that have North American banking clients or are targeting the market. Eleven are profiled and included in this report. Many of the profiled vendors have been in the market since the e-signature laws took effect.

Despite the benefits of the technology, financial institutions might find themselves with barriers to adoption, notably where processes need compliance or legal approval. As time goes on, the use cases are becoming solid enough to bypass compliance issues within an organization, but these departments might still stand in the way of broad institutional adoption.

“Banks understand the need to reduce cycle time, improve process efficiency, and meet the increasingly demanding attitudes of their customers,” says Stephen Greer, Analyst with Celent’s Banking Group and author of the report. “Customers are increasingly using consumer technology like smartphones and tablets. They demand that the organizations with which they conduct business make conducting that business easy.”

This report examines e-signature technology and e-signature technology vendors. It starts with an overview of the market. This includes where e-signatures are being used, and what the general trends are in their use. Then the report goes over the technical aspects of e-signature adoption, highlighting what it means for an institution. We profile the various vendor solutions on the market today, included detailed technical specs, customer data, and implementation/pricing methodology.

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