Banks can offer their customers even more excellent service? Sure thing! 

Expanding the portfolio and offering customers even more options thanks to electronic signatures

(HERRENBERG) – 21.02.2024: The lively discussions since the end of December about the end of the free PIN letter for resetting and activating the digital identity on the electronic ID card have shown once again: digitalization in Germany unfortunately goes into reverse from time to time. Companies such as banks must set a positive example and exert pressure on politicians to drive forward important changes. There is no shortage of opportunities. And digitalization does not necessarily mean that all paper-based processes are banned from now on, but can also simply mean an expanded offering for customers. Especially when it comes to close, long-term customer relationships, the introduction of digital signatures can expand the offering and provide customers with another convenient way of signing and managing documents. 

Signing on paper or on a tablet or smartphone? Why either or? 

One thing that all customers appreciate is flexibility. Why commit to just one type of signature when it’s so easy to offer both processes: Signing on paper and on the tablet, but with the same feeling. A biometric signature on the tablet for so-called in-person signing on site feels just as intuitive as signing with a pen on paper. The biometric data is captured and stored in exactly the same way.   

And we can even go one step further. Private banks also have the option of enabling their customers to sign (advanced or, if desired, qualified) remotely in order to avoid long journeys or postal journeys. This means full flexibility for the bank and its customers. Processes can be optimally mapped, transparent for both sides and completely secure. This works from anywhere and gives both sides more options. 

Even if several people have to sign, e.g. both spouses, the signature process can be easily mapped digitally. The digital workflow also has the decisive advantage that it is always possible to trace exactly who has signed and when, and whose signature may still be missing.   

Banks that also operate abroad should choose solutions that offer the option of integrating other processes for generating electronic signatures in addition to handwritten signatures. The hybrid mode appeals to a larger number of customers and leaves nothing to be desired in the signature process – while the signatures, whether digital or analog, are legally valid. 

And speaking of foreign countries: EU Regulation 910/2014 eIDAS allows German banks to choose their providers for the integration of electronic signatures throughout the EU if they wish to use certificates to generate qualified signatures. There are major differences in the provision of certificates in terms of costs, legal compliance and technical implementation depending on the provider’s country of origin. 

Use cases for e-signatures at private banks 

There is no written form requirement for the majority of business processes in the banking sector. For these form-free transactions, the “arbitrary written form” is used. It arose from the idea of being able to use the signatures on paper as evidence of an active declaration of intent by the signatories in the event of a dispute. Electronic signature solutions already cover a wide range of processes in banks today. For example, changing and deleting accounts; receipts for deposits and withdrawals, transfers and direct debits, creating and processing standing orders and return debits, various contracts, access to safe deposit boxes, buying and selling foreign currencies. Advice protocols can also be signed electronically.  

Long-term certificates enable customers of private banks to electronically sign recurring documents that require the written form – even over a longer period of time. This means that they do not have to be identified again, but can sign directly with their existing certificate and thus save valuable time. 

Many good reasons for the use of electronic signatures at private banks 

Of course, the security aspect is always important for customers as well as for private banks themselves. Records, contracts, minutes and all other documents must be protected. The electronic form offers absolute data security. The identities of the signatories are checked and confirmed by an officially certified identification procedure – only then can signatures be set. Ideally, you should choose a provider that also offers you a solution with an on-premise version. This way, the entire process runs on your own servers.   

For banks themselves, the option of white label branding has a decisive advantage: it conveys security and familiarity when signing, as the person signing does not see any other company names and may be unsettled by this. This also creates a seamless signature process under your corporate identity, “in one go” so to speak. 

On 23 January this year, Michael Bentlage from the Bank Blog named sustainability as one of the most important topics for private banks in 2024. This means avoiding unnecessary mountains of paper, avoiding postal routes, but also reducing and minimizing any long journeys by customers as much as possible. With an electronic signature solution, private banks can at least offer this to their customers as an additional option and thus increase their sustainability efforts. 

Benefit from extensive project experience 

Namirial signature experts Daniel Peischl and Habib Bejaoui have extensive experience in the integration of electronic signatures. In recent years, they have supported numerous banks in simplifying their processes and further optimizing already digitalized processes. They have knowledge and experience in this area and are your contacts.   

There is a great need for advice on the new possibilities for identifying and generating signatures, their integration and the orchestration of workflows with signatures.   

In order to propose tailor-made solutions, the use cases that are in the foreground for the individual private bank, with their legal, technical and operational framework conditions, are reflected upon. The following questions, among others, can be examined: 

  • Responsibility: Who is responsible for the signature solutions and implements them in your company?  
  • Selection: What type of signatures are required? (Simple, advanced or qualified signature?) What formal requirements must be met, if any?  
  • Signature process: How many people need to sign and is there a set sequence?  
  • Integration: How do our signature solutions best fit into your processes so that they offer real added value for you and your customers? 

Book a free consultation appointment now and find out more about your options. 

The information in this article has been compiled to the best of our knowledge and belief and does not constitute legal advice. In particular, it cannot replace individual legal advice that takes into account the specifics of each individual case. We exclude any liability for incomplete, incorrect or outdated information. We are always happy to receive suggestions for clarification, updates and additions via e-mail to