The “Customer Spotlight” series takes an inside look at DocuSign customers who are benefiting from digitising their business processes with eSignature.
This time around we spoke to Mary Hunt, Head of Personal & Business Credit Process Re-Invention, about how Allied Irish Bank (AIB) went about automating the car finance process.
Q: Please can you describe a high-level overview of your organisation and your role within it?
A: We are one of Ireland’s major retail banks serving personal, business and corporate customers. We offer a range of banking products and services such as mortgages, savings and business banking. I work in the personal and business credit side of the business as part of the Business Transformation team.
Q: How is AIB using DocuSign electronic signature?
A: We have car finance intermediaries that sell finance on dealers’ forecourts, so typically if someone goes to buy a car they will offer them the option of applying for finance and we are one of the finance houses that are used to provide this in the dealerships.
If the customer wishes to apply for car finance, the car dealer inputs the details of their credit application into our ePortal and we’ll give them back a decision almost immediately on whether the customer has been approved or not. Capturing the electronic signature on the credit agreement via DocuSign comes at the end of the credit process when the customer collects the car and enables us to make a much quicker payment to the Dealer. So the process is digital from start to finish. We are now busy rolling it out to 290 dealers nationwide.
Q: What business challenge were you trying to resolve when you began looking at eSignature?
A: The DocuSign project was part of a larger deployment for us. I had been on a process re-engineering journey for up to two years prior to this. We chose to digitise the car finance process because it was extremely manual, which meant it was very hard for us to grow the business.
A key challenge was the fact that the transaction wasn’t taking place on AIB premises and it wasn’t taking place through one of our authenticated channels; it was happening in a third-party location. As part of the digitisation process, we had to figure out how we were going to capture the signature as I was very keen to remove the paper aspect, so that’s how I came upon incorporating DocuSign eSignature into the process.
Q: What was your process prior to implementing eSignature?
A: Prior to DocuSign, we were faxing documents to the dealerships. The customer would put a wet signature on the documents and the Dealer would fax them back to us. We would then have to wait for the original document to come back as well to close the case so it was very laborious and time-consuming.
Q: During your search for an eSignature solution, what aspects of DocuSign made it the best fit for your business and use case?
A: We chose DocuSign for its eSignature capabilities. Security was certainly part of the criteria that was assessed when we were evaluating DocuSign. The security and the data residency piece was also a big issue at the time.
The penetration DocuSign has within other financial services companies was a big factor as the leading provider of this type of technology to financial services. That and the fact that it is used worldwide, and to a lesser extent the fact DocuSign has a presence in Ireland, would have played a part as well.
Q: You mentioned the use of an ePortal. Are you using DocuSign’s API for a custom integration?
A: Yes, DocuSign is integrated with an ePortal that we built in-house. As part of that, we’ve incorporated the DocuSign’s eSignature API to allow for the signing of the credit agreements before the customers’ funds are drawn.
Q: What was your implementation and deployment experience like?
A: My experience has been very positive. I’ve been very closely involved and it’s worked out very well for us. We’ve gone from 1980s technology to the 21st century in one big leap!
Q: What devices are you using DocuSign on?
A: Our initial deployment has been on PC using the in-person signing ceremony via a desktop. The original model involved customers being taken into an office where the signing was hosted by a business manager in the car dealership so we have maintained this interaction to fit it in with our existing business model and process.
Q: Since your initial deployment, have you begun using DocuSign eSignature in other departments and on other use cases?
A: We’ve been doing several things internally in the last 12 months to raise awareness of DocuSign and have generated a lot of interest in the organisation; we’re moving along with other use cases now in areas like Procurement and HR as there’s quite a bit of activity in there that would benefit hugely from DocuSign.
As an organisation, there’s massive potential in terms of the number of paper-based processes that could benefit from eSignature, so that’s where we’re going next. This will form part of a lot of other customer journeys as we continue to re-engineer and digitise to achieve our paperless vision.
Q: What do you value most about your experience so far using DocuSign?
A: The whole solution is fantastic in terms of the capabilities that it offers to transform everything in the organisation. I’ve been saying to people internally, ‘If we didn’t do anything except deploy DocuSign for the next five years, there’d be tremendous benefits’. There is so much change going on in our organisation right now and the more processes we can get it integrated with the better.
Q: How has DocuSign eSignature resolved your business challenge?
A: We wanted to create a paperless straight-through process, so it certainly solves the challenge we had with our documentation. In terms of the end-to-end process that we’re digitising, that transformation journey isn’t complete yet, but DocuSign is a key part of that and we’ll see much bigger benefits once we complete the rest of the broader work outside of DocuSign.
Q: And to wrap up, do you have any advice for people in other enterprises that would like to digitally transform their business?
A: There’s never a ‘good’ time to start a project like this. You just have to start and keep going!
Thanks, Mary! We appreciate your time and insights.
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