Customer Experiences

Domain Expertise Matters in Choosing an eSign Partner

Partnering with an eSignature company that's knowledgeable about your industry is a game changer. Here's why.

Industry Experts
John Levy

John Levy

John is the Executive Vice President for IMM.

When choosing an eSignature partner, you need to consider the organization’s overall knowledge of your industry.

To get the most out of your investment, it’s important for your eSign provider to understand the nuances of your daily operations, the complexities of the regulatory environment in which you operate and the increasing demands of consumers to conduct their banking business in a digital environment. If they don’t understand your business, you are missing out on valuable opportunities.

IMM’s rich history demonstrates just how critical domain expertise is when it comes to selecting an eSignature platform. As a pioneer of document-based technology solutions for financial institutions (FI), IMM’s initial vision for our technology arose out of direct conversations at a 1995 credit union conference. Client collaboration provided the initial inspiration for our company and drives our culture and the business model we follow to this day.

For more than two decades, we have been committed to helping FIs elevate digital banking services, creating frictionless experiences and services for consumers through modern technology tools and solutions. We are the only eSignature provider focusing exclusively on the needs and requirements of FIs, and as such, we have an unmatched understanding of the unique requirements of banks and credit unions alike.

Our products are designed with the specific needs of FIs in mind, from account opening to loan originations to back-office efficiency. Our more than 1,500 FI customers understand the added value such expertise delivers and appreciates the reality that not all electronic signature solutions are created equal. That’s why over 30% of our client base has partnered with IMM for more than five years, and even more remarkably, 50% for ten years or longer. Our clients remain loyal because we understand their unique challenges operating in the financial services space.

Widespread Use vs. Unique Needs

The benefits and prevalence of electronic signatures have grown significantly in recent years across a broad range of industries. The average consumer has likely encountered some form of electronic signature in a healthcare setting, when dealing with a government agency or in a retail environment. Many businesses incorporate electronic signatures to provide customers with alternatives and capabilities previously non-existent for capturing signature-based authorizations. These technologies not only address the need to document authorizations or acknowledgments, but they also enhance the tracing and auditability of those transactions. As is the case with most business solutions, however, one size does not always fit all. In the case of eSignature technology, that’s particularly true.

The needs, regulations, standards and processes surrounding eSignatures involve specific nuances and priorities that vary by sector. In some industries, all signatures are captured onsite, while in others they may be captured from remotely located signers. A blend of the two is usually the best approach for FIs, particularly given joint accounts and more complex products like trust and brokerage. Some situations may call for highly manual capture, while other business requirements favor complete automation. At times the documents being signed are rigid and uniform, whereas in other cases they can be quite flexible, calling for a more malleable solution.

Although the underlying technology may be essentially the same, can a single mass market eSignature solution serve all these needs? Possibly at a basic level, but could such a generic product deliver the full benefits of an offering tailored to the unique needs of FIs, while also prioritizing enhancements that respond to changing compliance requirements and optimizing usability and performance?

The Devil in the (Regulatory) Details

Not surprisingly, many of the clearest eSignature use cases exist in highly regulated industries. Financial services take a back seat to no one in this regard. Our alphabet soup of federal oversight agencies – OCC, FDIC, NCUA, CFPB – pales in comparison only to the simultaneous need to comply with often divergent state mandates. And of course, these “rules of the road” change on an ongoing basis. Healthcare providers certainly face similar headaches (think HIPAA); both wrestle with KYC, for example, but financial services organizations must also address AML regulations.

How can a generic solution balance and prioritize the regulatory needs of a wide array of industries, addressing them all within the next software update? And how can an FI convey the criticality of those necessary features with confidence that they’ll be properly implemented with a vendor who doesn’t live and breathe their challenges daily?  

As a privately-owned and organically funded company, IMM is in the enviable position of treating our bank and credit union customers as our primary stakeholders. You won’t need to worry about us comprehending the importance of safeguarding PII, for instance, or even that you’ll need to spell out PII for us. In fact, we’re probably already at work crafting optimal solutions to the latest regulatory twists for our next release.

After more than two decades in the eSignature game, we’re still listening to our bank and credit union customers, making your agenda our agenda.

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