Lindsay Edwards, lending manager of Access Community Credit Union, was frustrated by the credit union’s paper loan application process. It was a hassle both for members and credit union employees, and she needed a solution.
In 2007, the Lindsay's team started sending loan documents to members through secure email, but that was still inconvenient for members who had to print, sign and send documents back to the credit union by email, fax or mail.
It was also a burden for Lindsay’s lending team, which had to deal with loan applications sent from multiple different channels—email, fax and mail—and enter the information into the computer system. On top of that, the documents sent back by email or fax weren’t always legible.
Finding a Solution in Digital Dignatures
After two years of sending loan documents by email, they’d had enough. Lindsay knew there had to be an easier way, so she started looking for other solutions. That’s when she first considered adopting e-signatures.
With e-signatures, Lindsay and her team could send documents to be signed online in a matter of minutes. Not only would it streamline the loan application process, but it would also give members a more user-friendly experience.
Lindsay worked with the credit union’s senior vice president and COO John Hays to research e-signature services, and they both agreed that e-signature technology could solve a lot of their problems.
Choosing SIGNiX for Loan Applications
At first, Lindsay and John looked into the e-signature service offered by the credit union's core processor, but they weren’t convinced it was a good long-term investment. The core processor could only get signatures on a set of standardized forms and couldn’t accommodate the third-party forms that Access Community Credit Union often used.
With that in mind, Lindsay and John looked for a more flexible solution where all of their documents could be signed online. There were several products on the market to choose from, but John was impressed by SIGNiX’s security features.
“SIGNiX was the best fit for us because the detailed audit trail is a great complement to the signed document,” John said. “Another factor for us was how much control we had in setting the signer identity authentication. SIGNiX lets us use varying layers of security, ranging from a PIN number, to the sending a text message code that must be entered, all the way up to Knowledge Based Authentication. These authentication options are all easily customizable.”
Quick Results with SIGNiX
Access Community Credit Union has had nothing but positive feedback from their members since they've implemented SIGNiX's MyDoX e-signature service.
“The best thing about SIGNiX is that our members really love it,” Lindsay said. “The consistent response is that it’s simple and easy. We think most folks are creatures of habit, and so if that last loan was easy, then there’s a good likelihood we’ll score the next one.”
Since adopting SIGNiX’s technology in August 2013, Access Community Credit Union has increased its monthly number of loans closed online by 97 percent.
“For our credit union, e-signatures are an integral component of a much bigger strategy that we will continue to expand on in the future,” John said.
On top of that, John said the savings on postage and back-end efficiencies more than justify the cost.
“For us, another win is the opportunity cost,” John said. “If we spend less time closing loans, then we should have more time to go out and get new borrowers.”
"We found SIGNiX was priced very competitively," John added. "I say this because there’s this prevalent myth that smaller institutions somehow can’t afford to keep up on the tech front. The more realistic statement is that technology allows a smaller institution to remain relevant and competitive with the bigger organizations."
John encourages credit unions that are on the fence about e-signatures to try it out.
"Some folks argue that technology somehow interferes with or minimizes the relationship," John said. "Often in our industry it seems that instead of coming to terms with reality, these are just excuses. The reality is that the credit union business is a retail service industry versus a commodity, so accessibility is becoming increasingly important. It’s a big deal when you tell people they don’t have to get out into traffic, burn up their lunch hour or leave work early to finish the transaction. Technology can enhance the member relationship when used effectively."
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