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Easier Way to Sign Up for E-Statements: In-person

Question: 
We would like to create an easier way for our consumers to sign up for E-Statements. What are the requirements, compliance wise for this? Currently, our customers need to log into their online banking, view a PDF disclosure that generates a "code", and customer then has to type in code and agree to terms and conditions. Compliance wise- can consumers just sign the disclosure/consent in person at lobby?
Answer: 

by Brian Crow:

No. Signing a disclosure in the lobby of your bank does not establish demonstrable consent. In other words, your customer has to demonstrate on their own device that they can view the e-statements. If the enrollment process is available on a mobile app or via a tablet, your customer can bring their device into the bank to have a representative assist them with the process, but signing a paper form or enrolling on a bank device will not satisfy the requirements.

Answer: 

by Richard Insley:

I agree with Brian 100%, but can add that you are dealing with several intertwined laws/regs here.

Assuming your "e-statement" is a periodic statement that Regs. E, DD, or Z require you to deliver "in writing", then these requirements apply in the same way they always did when your only delivery medium was paper. The ESIGN act comes into play when you want to substitute electrons for paper.

The only way an electronic document (statement or otherwise) can be "in writing" (for federal disclosure purposes) is when you have put the consumer through the "informed demonstrable consent" drill--which sounds like the system you have inherited.

No doubt, you are researching this question because your business people aren't happy with sign-up rates. In addition to Brian's "no", you can add an illustration. It's a legitimate, well-intended question, but challenge the inquirer to recast it in terms of their drivers' license. What if the applicant for a driver's license only needed to sign a piece of paper saying "I know how to drive and don't want to take the behind-the-wheel test"? ESIGN is designed to confirm the consumer's ability, not just wishes or intent.

First published on 04/21/2019

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