Together with Baloise Insurance | SoBa Bank we have been using a solution for electronic signing very successfully since August 2019. At the end of the 2020 financial year, an unbelievable 27,366 qualified electronic signatures [QES] had already been used – several thousand per month! Find out more about the successful collaboration here.
In 2019, Basler Versicherung and Baloise Bank SoBa faced the joint challenge of using digital solutions to simplify their previously time-consuming processes, particularly in the area of account openings and life insurance applications, and thus make them more customer-friendly.
DIGITAL CONTRACT SOLUTION
ROCKON, a Swiss FinTech and expert in the field of customer identification and legally binding contract signing via e-signature, provided the necessary process knowledge and technical know-how. The objective was to realize simplified and faster business processes together with Basler Versicherung and Baloise Bank SoBa.
Since the “Go Live”, customers have been able to sign various documents, such as credit card contracts, basic contracts, custody account openings and pension agreements for the 2nd and 3rd pillars, digitally in just a few minutes from the comfort of their own home or via a tablet solution at the premises of Basler Versicherung or Baloise Bank SoBa – using a qualified electronic signature (QES). A customer advisor supports and advises them in this process. The guided digital conclusion of contracts, including advice, both optimally meets individual customer needs and eliminates errors that often occur when filling out documents. This saves valuable time and nerves on the part of the customer. In addition, QES ensures the highest level of legal certainty when concluding a contract digitally, as it is equivalent to a handwritten signature on paper in accordance with Art. 14 Para. 2 of the Swiss Code of Obligations.
REQUIREMENTS FOR QUALIFIED E-SIGNATURES
In order to sign with a qualified electronic signature (QES), the identity of the customer must be verified and confirmed. For this purpose, Swiss law requires that the identity be established through physical presence by means of a valid identification document. The physical presence of the customer can be ensured by means of identification via video in real-time at a distance or by personal appearance in a branch office. In both cases, a trained employee checks the customer’s identification document and ensures that the person in front of the customer corresponds to the person on the document.
On the part of Basler Versicherung and Baloise Bank SoBa, this verification takes place during the personal consultation on-site and is technically supported by components of the ROCKON identification service “IdentON”. The identification document is technically read and checked for authenticity. This is a big and important step towards a completely automated identification.
If the customer’s identity could be established beyond doubt, the customer is authorized to sign the contracts and documents digitally on the tablet. To do this, after viewing the contract content, the customer is sent an SMS with a number code to their cell phone as part of the two-factor authentication. This code is then entered into the tablet and confirmed. In this way, various contracts can be signed in a legally valid manner within a few seconds.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED WITH E-SIGNATURES?
The first question to be clarified is which type of contract is to be signed with an eSignature.
In principle, Swiss contract law grants freedom of form. This means that the contractual partners are free to decide how they want to conclude their business. A contract can be concluded in a legally valid manner either verbally or in writing. In this context, the general conditions or subjects of the contract must not contradict the minimum legal standards, e.g. no contract that is inherently illegal may be concluded.
Furthermore, the legislator stipulates certain formal requirements for some types of contract, e.g. when concluding a consumer loan, it is assumed that the contract must be in writing. This is clear from the wording of Art. 9 Para. 1 KKG. Therefore, it must always be clarified whether the type of contract in question is linked to certain formal requirements by law.
Generally, a distinction is made between three different types of forms:
Simple Signature: Exists as soon as the specification of the written agreement of both contracting parties is required. The content of the contract must be specified in writing and also concluded by means of a handwritten signature or a qualified eSignature (QES).
QualifiedSignature: Provides for certain framework conditions, e.g., certain mandatory content, such as appeal instructions or the use of determinative forms.
Public notarization: This type additionally provides for public notarization by notary.
TYPES OF E-SIGNATURES
CONCLUSIONS ON TYPES OF E-SIGNATURES
In summary, it can be stated that regardless of the legal form requirement, a “Qualified Electronic Signature” (QES) always offers the highest legal certainty for a reliable contract conclusion. Which type of eSignature is ultimately offered depends on the product range and internal guidelines of a company.
With QES, Baloise Bank SoBa and Basler Versicherung have deliberately chosen the most legally secure option, which on the one hand offers their customers the best protection and on the other sets high internal standards.
Customers and employees benefit from a seamless and digital process for signing contracts. The digitally managed process eliminates typical errors on paper forms, such as ticking two conflicting answers, which has led to frustratingly long turnaround times for both customers and the company.
“We offer the customer an uncomplicated conclusion entirely without paper forms. The customer advisor guides the customer in dialog through the interactive and completely digital process – simply and securely,” says Marco Meneghini, Project Manager | Baloise Bank SoBa.
Overall, the acceleration of signature processes, lower bounce rates, and cost-effectiveness were achieved. In addition, Swiss legal and data standards, as well as regulatory certainty and seamless integration into the existing infrastructure are ensured.