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Webinar Recap: Securing The Future Of BFSI With Digital Signatures

Future of BFSI Digital Signatures

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With technology moving at a fast pace, digital signatures stand as a testament to the innovation’s next step ahead. Imagine having the ability to swiftly and securely authenticate documents with just a click of a button. A marvel of modern technology, digital signatures are not just electronic scribbles but cryptographic algorithms that provide the same legal standing as a handwritten signature. This technological advancement is not just a convenience but a necessity. 

On Friday, 28 June 2024, AuthBridge conducted an insightful webinar exploring the ever-changing landscape of the BFSI industry with digital signatures making a significant shift towards seamless transactions. Our webinar, moderated by AuthBridge’s own Mansi Bhatia, featured two esteemed speakers:

  1. Aniket Poddar, Managing Director at Jeevan Utthan Financial Services
  2. Harish Damodaran, VP of Fintech Solutions at AuthBridge. 

Click on this link to watch the full webinar recording, on demand.

In the meantime, here is a quick webinar recap for you. 

Challenges With Traditional Paper-Based Processes

Aniket began the webinar by highlighting the difficulties faced by NBFCs, particularly those serving rural areas. “The first step is for us to understand our borrowers, our employees, and their educational levels,” he said focusing on the unique challenges encountered in these regions. 

In rural areas, borrowers often struggle with limited literacy, making it difficult for them to fill out lengthy loan application forms. This challenge required them to manually sign each paper. However, with technological advancements revolutionising processes, Jeevan Utthan has succeeded in eliminating the need for handwritten signatures, automating the entire process. By leveraging Aadhaar OTP, they have significantly reduced turnaround times, streamlining their operations to mere seconds. 

Expanding on Aniket’s insights, Harish chimed in to highlight the widespread nature of these challenges, emphasising how these are not just confined to the lending industry. He pointed out the inefficiencies associated with filling out endless forms and paperwork that are prevalent in various sectors, including insurance, securities, and beyond. 

Aniket then explained deeper into the transition from traditional to digital methods. “While digital signing and OTP-based methods are becoming more common, not everyone has their mobile number linked with Aadhaar,” he stated while mentioning the alternative options for virtual signing. These innovative solutions help build trust and confidence among customers as they smoothly navigate through the shift from traditional to digital processes. 

Benefits Of Digital Signatures

The landscape of digital signing methods has undergone a revolutionary transformation in recent years, with automation transforming the entire journey. The digitisation of signatures has played an important role in reshaping this journey, turning what was once a long and tiring process into a streamlined, efficient experience.

Harish explained this with the example of the lending industry, “On one end, you have a customer eager to get a loan as soon as possible, and on the other, a lending institution trying to disburse the loan quickly. Once negotiations are complete and the loan is approved, significant automation is essential. This is where robotic process automation (RPA) comes into play, reducing the time traditionally taken to get a signature.” 

Earlier, customers were stuck with a mountain of paperwork, often leading to erroneous signatures and huge delays. However, the automation of processes has eliminated such issues with a significant reduction in the turnaround time. 

Further, Aniket shared a real-time example to present the impact of this technological shift. During one of his loan disbursement experiences, a customer expressed her frustration about repeatedly having to call her husband for signatures. She contrasted this with another organization that had automated the entire process using just a click and an Aadhaar OTP. This made them realise how they were lagging behind competitors in embracing new technologies.  

Security Concerns And Building Trust

Security is a major deal for both the customer and the lender, especially when it comes to the financial sector. Fortunately, with AuthBridge’s digital signing platform, SignDrive, organisations can ensure transparency and provide an audit trail to reassure both customers and lenders. This platform is ISO-certified, with compliances such as ISO 9001 and 27001 that help keep transparency all around, helping create a secure environment in the entire industry. With audit trails, including time stamps, customers can be completely aware of every document they sign. 

Creating A Customer-Centric Experience

In today’s fast-paced world, creating a customer-centric experience is paramount, especially in the financial sector. Because obviously who wants to wait around for a loan? That too when you need money fast. To describe this, Harish rightly pointed out three key elements crucial in achieving this:

  • Transparency

In any process, especially when it comes to lending, every individual craves clarity and openness. Digitizing signatures and documents ensures a transparent, easy-to-understand system where customers can trust the process and feel confident in their decisions.

  • Urgency

Microfinance customers often need loans to address immediate concerns. Leveraging technology to streamline and speed up processes helps both lending institutions and customers, enabling quicker access to necessary funds.

  • Convenience

Imagine having the comfort of signing documents from anywhere, at any time. By providing the ability to sign securely from anywhere, customers are not restricted by logistics or timings.

Addressing Potential Frauds

Concerns regarding potential fraud are tackled comprehensively from both the employee and customer perspectives. To explain this, Aniket significantly highlighted Jeevan Utthan’s approach, implementing diverse training panels and modules. These include regular presentations and training sessions in collaboration with various organizations. Their field agents undergo rigorous training, ensuring they are well-prepared to educate and support borrowers effectively.

When it comes to borrowers, there’s a noticeable shift towards adopting paperless initiatives and digital signing. Borrowers have increasingly embraced digital signatures and Aadhaar OTP methods, recognizing the convenience, safety, and security they provide in today’s digital landscape.

Improvements In Turnaround Time (TAT)

When it comes to reduction in TAT, Jeevan Utthan has successfully managed to reduce its turnaround times for loan disbursement. Initially, they streamlined their process to initiate loan disbursement within 15 days. Moving forward they have managed to further optimise it to 10 days, leading to making it a 48 to 32 hours process. “Thanks to technology from AuthBridge and SignDrive, we’re aiming for on-tap disbursement, reducing TAT to just 24 hours,” stated Aniket expressing his confidence in these advancements. 

Future Of Digital Transformation

Lastly, when asked about the future of digitisation or digital transformation, both Harish and Aniket shared positive perspectives. 

Harish emphasised the diverse nature of digitisation, highlighting its role in enhancing the customer journey. He predicted the trend moving forward, with institutions embracing more integrated processes for convenience. 

Aniket agreed with Harish’s viewpoints expressing a strong belief in the industry’s future. 

Webinar Q&A Session

During the webinar, numerous participants posed insightful questions that enriched the audience’s understanding of our digital e-signing platform, SignDrive. Here are some of the key questions and answers:

Q1. How are digital signatures used in the engineering valuations?

Digital signatures can revolutionize engineering valuations, particularly when contracts are involved. Our platform allows for complete automation of the signing process, defining workflows to determine who needs to sign the contract and when. The true beauty of SignDrive lies in its customizability. Users can tailor their workflows according to their specific processes, selecting signatories and establishing signing frequencies that suit their unique needs.

Q2. From a tech standpoint, how do you ensure compliance with RBI and other regulatory norms?

SignDrive’s platform is ISO-certified, boasting compliances such as ISO 9001 and 27001. We adhere strictly to RBI guidelines by offering Aadhaar-based signatures, authenticated signatures, digital signatures, and electronic signatures. To ensure the authenticity of signatures, we maintain comprehensive audit trails. These records document the entire process, identifying signatories and capturing live images during the signing, thus ensuring full transparency and regulatory compliance.

Q3. How fast has loan approval become with the adoption of digital signatures?

The adoption of digital signatures has not only accelerated the loan approval process but has made it lightning-fast, significantly reducing turnaround times (TAT).

Q4. Can you elaborate on the use of digital signatures in other industries?

Digital signatures extend far beyond the BFSI sector. Any industry dealing with contracts and agreements can benefit from SignDrive. 

Q5. Have digital signatures improved customer satisfaction beyond speeding up the loan processing time?

Absolutely! With digital signatures, customer satisfaction has improved to a great extent. With everything happening digitally, customers no longer have to go through piles of paper signing them, enjoying a smoother and more efficient experience.

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