Digital signatures quickly proved popular with major corporates, but the Covid-19 epidemic is now accelerating take up by companies while the service is expanding to more countries
Nearly two years ago Deutsche Bank introduced digital signature capabilities for its corporate clients. The principal aim behind the July 2018 launch was making it easier for companies to do business by eliminating much of the time and complexity involved in document management and contract signing, particularly for employees in more remote locations.
Digital signature offers an easy to use but secure solution, enabling the exchange, authorisation and signing of documents to be completed digitally and for the process to be faster and simpler. The benefits, for both corporates and their banks in managing documents more easily and efficiently, have been highlighted in recent weeks by the speed and severity with which Covid-19 has become a global pandemic and disrupted established business practices.1
So digital signatures are now quickly being adopted by companies around the world. Having initially piloted the service in the Benelux region, Deutsche Bank soon extended it to 20 other countries, including Germany, the US, the UK and much of Europe, with the Bank’s client Honeywell an early adopter. In August 2019 digital signatures were rolled out to clients across the Asia Pacific region, with chemicals producer BASF’s regional treasury centre in Hong Kong completing the first digitally signed document. Following the Asia Pacific launch, Unilever began using the solution for its global cash management activities with the Bank.
“We devised a solution that enabled clients to be onboarded to our products without the need for physical documents to go back and forth,” says Dennis De-Weerdt, Global Head of Service and Implementations, Cash Management for Deutsche Bank Corporate Bank. “The process also had to enable instructions to be received and executed securely. So it needed to combine ease of use with security, both for clients and for our own people.”