Answer by Richard Insley: If your sign-up process complies with ESIGN, electronic delivery becomes the legal equivalent of paper delivery the moment your customer demonstrates successful retrieval and use of a test document. Before making any change, review the terms of your service agreement and the steps you take to comply with ESIGN. Perhaps your ESIGN compliance mechanism relies on the customer's successful retrieval of the first e-statement as the "test drive."
Answer by Andy Zavoina: My concern is that your E-SIGN agreement should define what will be provided electronically. If it includes e-statements, that is fine. But I worry if it is conditional, "it includes e-statements after you open the first e-statement..." As Richard noted, if this is the test drive, that may be sufficient, but I hate to have conditional agreements out there because how long does the consumer have to get an e-statement. If 9 months later they retrieve an e-statement because they know they are archived, but their intent is not now to enroll in e-statements, you have problems when you automatically convert them.
First published on BankersOnline.com 4/8/13.