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The security of the electronic signature must be enhanced

by

Alain Thériault

April 19, 2018 13:30

Photo : Stockvault.net

An expert of the authentic signature believes that the insurers will go further, if they want to underwrite significant amounts of insurance. Otherwise, the regulator could do it in their place.

Is it that the images of a handwritten signature on an electronic document or the solutions, click to sign, or the signatures generated by the system of the insurer are sufficient to ensure the security of transactions ? Yes and no, says Claude Charpentier, president and ceo of Notarius.

To go further

Mr. Carpenter believes that insurers and regulators could and should go further, by taking advantage of the development platforms of the subscriptions online to establish a process of more experienced and less easy to work around as the image of a signature or a signature based on a simple e-mail. Notarius offers, among others, notaries, engineers, lawyers and other canadian professionals a digital signature with encryption that helps ensure the integrity and the authenticity of the documents.

“We hear that the insurers began a transition to digital. It is a very big word. Our market analysis has revealed to us that most of the insurers that we aim are at the stage of reflecting on the notions of electronic signature or digital. This reflection attaches for the time being to allow for a better customer experience through a transaction that is carried out quickly, ” says Mr. Carpenter.

Upsurge of fraud

Insurers and regulators should according to him to look over the top. They must ensure that they are good players who are behind the keyboard when a transaction is made online.

“Fraud and identity theft are on the rise. In any transaction, the client must be sure that this is an advisor who is at the other end. It must be satisfied that the insurer or the broker may not have the power to change the policy after the signature. The image of a signature, I don’t believe it. It takes two minutes to copy. Just as it is easy to find on the Internet a software which allows you to unlock a PDF, ” says the CEO of Notarius.

Click to sign is a better way of signature, he adds. “But the authenticity of the signature is based only on an email address ? What happens if both spouses use the same e-mail in their communications ? The reliability of email is low. It is better to combine for example a code sent to the smartphone of the customer, ” suggests Mr. Carpenter.

It is the trust in the digital ecosystem of the industry, he thinks. “There must be a mode of prevention rather than reaction. It’s also important not to under-estimate the role of regulators in this folder. They will probably come to formulate requirements for the protection of the public in the electronic transactions of the insurance policy. If the industry does not do that copy-and-paste the current process of paper to digital, we do not improve confidence, ” said Mr Carpenter.

Identify the advisor

Suppliers Vasco (american firm, which recently acquired the canadian company Silanis), DocuSign, eSign ofAdobe and EsignLive invade the canadian market. They have become the main suppliers of technology signature of the insurance industry, people.

Many insurance companies will allow you to identify both the adviser and the client. For its part, Empire Life, said the identification of its advisors and clients, in a safe manner. The insurer allows the signatory to select a list of signatures pre-conceived notions, using a tool or the finger.

“We are improving the security of the process by identifying the signer with DocuSign,” added his spokesperson, Mary Beth Saulnier. The advisors are identified by accessing the system of Empire Life. The adviser identifies to turn his client in accordance with the requirements of the Law on the laundering of proceeds of crime and financing of terrorist activities. DocuSign creates a digital certificate in which the information allows you to find an individual online.

Insurers are adopting electronic signature

Sun Life financial launched a few weeks ago, its Web platform, Go to Sun Life, which allows a consumer to subscribe to a life insurance online at the end of a streamlined process. The transaction can be completed using a computer, a smart phone or a tablet. The client can use or not to use the services of a consultant.

RBC Insurance has adopted the electronic signature in may 2017. For the time being, this process of sale may not be concluded in term insurance for the amounts that do not exceed 500 000 $, said the senior director, life and living benefit to the insurer, Maria Winslow.

At BMO life Insurance, distance selling is for the moment only possible on the phone, for products that are temporary and severe illnesses only. “Universal life insurance, it has always had a certain reluctance. In light of provisions such as the Law on money laundering, we prefer that the sales of this product are concluded face-to-face, ” said Daniel Walsh, vice-president of business development of BMO.

Mr. Walsh said to abide by a certain unease at Quebec as to the signature at a distance, without a witness. “Many advisors believe that it is absolutely necessary to meet the client in person in order to be compliant. There is really no requirement in Quebec, but it is necessary to remind the advisor that carry out a remote transaction does not relieve them from its regulatory requirements “, he insists.

The validity of the permit

What chicote Mr. Carpenter is not only the identity of the signer, but also the validity of its licence. An electronic identity confidence during a transaction is, according to him, a missing link in the digital world.

“If I sign an electronic application at a distance, for example, I give personal information to the adviser. In the same way that the insurance company wishes to ensure that I am who I pretend to be, I also want to make sure the advisor has a permit in good and due form, and that he is not a fraudster who usurpera my identity, ” explains Mr. Carpenter.

He adds that the insurers have preferred the approach of making the client sign and ensure the conformity of this signature. “The digital systems of insurers are mainly used to make sign the insurance proposals, and forms of knowledge of the customer investment fund. They are not intended to verify the right of exercise of the advisor, who must sign or verify the integrity of the document as it passes. The identity of all parties is important when signing a document, ” said Mr Carpenter.

The consent as the only validation

According to Daniel Guillemette, president of the firm Diversico Expert Advice, a contract can be concluded in Quebec with the consent solely for validation. “The signature is not legally required “, said Mr. Guillemette.

Insurers requires all the signatures of clients and their advisers are attached to all forms of transaction, including the insurance proposal. “In insurance, we require the signature to allow the judge to decide in case of dispute, for example if one of two signatories repudiate his signature. This is why insurers will be able to ask a witness to attest to the signature of each party, ” he explains.

Effective Solution

Mr. Guillemette believes that technology type click to sign allows you to effectively bypass this problem. “In the remote transaction, a signature with your finger or a mouse is worth nothing. It is necessary to go further. For example, the advisor should identify the customer, validate and send a form with a link in the email. The customer clicks on the link, and must then enter a security code verbally over the phone, or ask the system to send you SMS “, describes Mr. Guillemette. He noted that Diversico uses iGenySign, its signature technology that enables this level of security.

The CEO of the firm’s software development Analystik, Michel Martel offers a signature technology by imaging, with an emerging company called Signder. To sign a life insurance policy of several million dollars, he acknowledges that the signature needs to be more solid.

“The signatory must register and obtain a unique identifier. The insurer must have the signature in its database, ” says Mr. Martel. The insurers shall not allow the conclusion of insurance of several million dollars with a type signature eSign, ” he adds.

Fear of the unknown

Insurers fear the unknown. “It is the case that blocks. There has not been a great cause brought before the courts, in which a plaintiff is contesting to be the signatory to a contract of life insurance for a high amount, ” says Mr. Martel.

The electronic signature may save millions to the insurers in the economy of time. But all insurers are expecting a law strong enough to increase the limits of insurance, with electronic signature, ” says Mr. Martel.

For smaller trades, electronic signatures, such as eSign, DocuSign and VeriSign are sufficient to allow the remote situation without witnesses. “A representative meeting a lady interested in purchase a joint insurance, but her husband is in Florida : the representative sends an e-mail. The guy opens the link and sign as well as if he was on the scene of the transaction. The processes include pick some validations, for example, with a code sent by text message. But it is not safe to the point of being able to sign a contract of insurance of$ 50 Million. The real problem will always remain the authentication, ” says the CEO of Analystik.

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