As technology is racing ahead, electronic signatures are becoming an increasingly popular method for payers to approve their Direct Debits and are legally binding. Electronic or “e-Signatures” could be depicted as any of the following:
- Simple Electronic Signatures
- Scanned Signatures, Tick Boxes, Unique representation of characters plus a declaration.
- Advanced Electronic Signatures
- Personal Identification i.e. physical signatures on an iPad or tablet, thumb prints which become invalidated if the content is modified.
- Digital Signature Programmes (such as DocuSign)
Electronic Signatures as a form of Paperless Direct Debit
While this is an easy, modern technique for your payers to sign up, it is important to note that this method is classed as “paperless” and therefore all the paperless direct debit rules will still apply. This means that the bank cannot accept responsibility of determining the relationship between the signature provided and the payer themselves.
Even if a physical signature has been provided using a digital device (i.e. an iPad), the technology sometimes causes a disrupted signature – making it difficult to compare to the information which the bank has on file.
There is also the potential when a signature is taken electronically, for it to be tampered with using digital technology.
For this reason, despite this signature physically being provided, it will similarly be classed as a form of paperless approval.
- If you opt to utilise e-signatures as an authorisation method for a DDI, the same procedures must be in place as with a paperless direct debit. As long as you are set up to accept paperless instructions, you are able to migrate your payers into modern technology and allow them to electronically sign their lives away (hypothetically)… the rest is down to your sales team.
- What information do I need to capture when signing up a payer?
- Can my payers sign up online?
- How to sign up your payers
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