eSign, the ability to capture and archive a customer’s electronic signature as soon as it’s written, is becoming the Savings Institute Bank & Trust Company’s latest technology hero. The $939M bank, based in Willimantic, Connecticut, is using eSign to slice its turnaround time for mortgage applications by one third, creating one of the fastest origination processes in the market.
“Our eSign process reveals the power of our fully integrated document management system,” said Jaclyn Petrizzo, Vice President – Retail Lending Manager at the Savings Institute. “Because all the bank’s mortgage originators and underwriters are connected to the document archive, we can use the customer’s eSignature as a trigger to start the application review.”
Petrizzo explained that scanned documents are immediately accessible to every department involved in the mortgage origination process. When the application is signed, the scanned documents, such as credit reports, flood certifications, tax returns, and appraisals, are all available at the click of a mouse.
“With eSign, we have automatically reduced the start of the underwriting process from days to hours,” said Petrizzo. “Our underwriters can open the attachments immediately and get to work on the application.”
Industry-wide, e-signatures and document archives have only recently become part of banks’ loan origination processes. That’s because the technologies aren’t typically included with the loan origination systems on the market today. Instead, three separate systems must integrate seamlessly to make the magic happen: eSign, loan origination, and an interactive document archive.
Only the most advanced technology platforms can integrate the three systems tightly enough to deliver eSign functionality in real time. The Savings Institute uses COCC’s INSIGHT core platform and its advanced integration to literally ‘plug in’ new features such as eSign document archive and sophisticated loan origination systems such as Power Lender.
“We are using the plug in capabilities of COCC’s INSIGHT platform to enable our originators to bring their entire office to the customer’s home or business,” said Petrizzo. “The customer can sign or initial the appropriate documents on the spot. These capabilities are setting a new standard for customer service that other financial institutions will struggle to match any time soon.”
Petrizzo reports that today’s customers are more than willing to give up paper signatures. The superior service, the ability to receive electronic appraisals, and to close their loans faster have proven far more important than paper. Besides, Petrizzo says that documents can be printed whenever the customer wants them.
Installation of the eSign system involved mapping the locations for signatures and initials on all the bank’s origination documents, testing and then training originators on the new process. The biggest holdout in the conversion has been attorney’s offices, which aren’t set up for eSign yet, and the federal government, which doesn’t recognize electronic signatures in its first time buyers and FHA programs.
“If we didn’t have to scan all those closing documents, we could set up the loan for servicing in minutes,” said Petrizzo. “That will come in time.”
In the meantime, Petrizzo is working on incorporating eSign into consumer loans and equity lines while giving advice to the deposit area – they’re installing eSign too as part of the bank’s onboarding process. She’s going to be busy.
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