BNP Paribas consolidates the use of digital signature.
Reduced average time for formalizing contracts from 10 to 2 days.
QualiSign e-DOC solution: QualiSign portal installed on the client's infrastructure (on-premises).
Replacement of digital signature software.
About the BNP Paribas Bank
As a leader in banking and financial services in Europe, the Group is present in 75 countries and employs about 188 thousand people, half of which are based in its four national markets: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg.
In Brazil, BNP Paribas offers an extensive range of services and products through its three main business areas in the country:
• BNP Paribas Asset Management
• BNP Paribas Corporate & Institutional Banking
• BNP Paribas Wealth Management
As a result of a merger of banks in 1966 in France, Banco BNP PARIBAS began its growth trajectory in 1999, when it gained control of Paribas, thus beginning a virtuous phase to quickly become one of the largest financial conglomerates in the world. BNP PARIBAS has its brand consolidated worldwide, with a marked share in cultural and sporting events such as the Roland Garros tennis tournament.
In Brazil since 1996, it operates in several sectors of the financial market. In its foreign exchange operations, it operated US$ 113 billion in 2015, resulting from more than 80,000 operations between the primary (exports, imports and transfers to and from abroad) and interbank markets. With such a significant volume of operations, the use of technology is essential to achieve operational efficiency.
In 2005, shortly after releasing the Central Bank's circular letter regulating the use of digital signatures for foreign exchange contracts, the IT department of BNP PARIBAS hired a supplier to develop a software solution for digital signatures. After a few years, BNP PARIBAS identified a likely discontinuation of the software maintenance by the supplier. The bank's IT team wasted no time and went after a more robust and recognized solution in the market. Luckily, it ended up valuing another supplier that had been already working with BNP PARIBAS for some years and had a solution to match it, namely QualiSign.
The digital signature portal solution was installed at the bank's infrastructure (on-premises) due to the security and compliance policies on data and documents transferring, adopted by BNP PARIBAS. From then on, the portal was implemented and was “run in parallel”, that is, it operated simultaneously with the former system for a two-month period, until everything was working perfectly. “These are cares that the IT area must always adopt to guarantee the quality of the service and not to impact the business,” reinforces José Ricardo Oliveira (IT Manager).
Cultural Resistance – “Blessed Paper!”
Those who live the daily routine of companies know that formalizing on paper is hard work to everyone involved: clients, directors, attorneys-in-fact and Backoffice staff. It is a time-consuming process by its very nature, as it involves printing paper copies, sending shipments of documents, controlling contracts that are still pending, locating and controlling those who have not signed, checking signatures and then storing them in a safe place for at least 5 years. This is the daily work done by the Backoffice people. “With the digital signature, the processes improved for clients, the bank and for us at the Backoffice,” emphasizes Reynaldo Pinto Junior, Backoffice Manager at the BNP PARIBAS Foreign Exchange area.
If it takes so long and takes so much work, why don't people change it? This is a question that is always asked. "Many clients are used to the manual process, are focused on the operation and, therefore, do not feel a great motivation to switch to the digital medium; however, as they change, they become fans of this technology," replies Reynaldo.
In addition to the Backoffice personnel's perception, the digital signature brought agility to the directors who sign the contracts, because in addition to the ease of digitally signing, the portal offers the facility to allow one to sign in batches, that is, signing multiple contracts with just one signing action, which gives even more agility and productivity to signatories
One of the weapons that the BNP PARIBAS IT staff uses to achieve these goals is innovation. Following the worldwide initiative of BNP PARIBAS Digital Working – which is based on offering the digital experience to BNP PARIBAS clients worldwide – the IT area has implemented and consolidated the use of digital signature with its customers. “This was one of the initiatives that the IT area used to securely provide the digital experience to clients. This experience conveys a perception of innovation, sustainability and mobility to the clients. Not to mention the agility, which is exceptional. There are no couriers involved, several contracts can be signed in batches, and that allow us to optimize the Backoffice staff and attorneys-in-fact's time. The whole process becomes even more secure, as the contract is always inside the bank, ensuring no risk of documents being lost along the way”, says José Ricardo.
With an annual volume of approximately 37,000 foreign exchange transactions, BNP PARIBAS already has 35% of it digitally signed. In 2012, this percentage was 10%. At each year, there is a growing adherence to the use of digital signatures. This volume has grown over the years through customer awareness and the efforts of the Foreign Exchange area, which seeks to demonstrate the advantages of digital signatures instead of paper signatures. The gains are very expressive, starting with the formalization time. “The paper process takes 10 days on average, while the digital process takes no longer than 2 days,” emphasizes Reynaldo. Productivity has increased significantly, thus reducing the daily time spent by the Backoffice with the formalization of contracts from 90 to 15 minutes. In addition to eliminating paper, one of the main gains achieved by the Backoffice staff was in the process implemented to check clients' signatures. Paper signature requires a lot of time to be checked, whereas digital signature requires no time to be checked, as the entire process is electronic, including the verification of powers and authority.
BNP PARIBAS has increasingly reinforced the use of digital media. It has recently implemented the digital process into a new niche market named Middle Market. In this segment, contracts are formalized exclusively by means of digital signatures.
Although there are still no figures, there is a clear perception in the IT and Backoffice area that a significant cost reduction was achieved for banks and clients as well.
“Innovation is not just about ideas. We must roll up our sleeves and make them a reality, working in partnership with business areas and suppliers to reap the expected results,” concluded José Ricardo.