The Client of the project was a polish branch of a large international bank. It is a universal bank that offers services in the field of daily banking, personal accounts and credit cards, savings and loans, as well as in the field of leasing, investment and insurance. The bank, which was the beneficiary of the project, has an extensive network of its own branches and partner outlets throughout Poland. It is one of the most innovative banks in Poland, very advanced in electronic banking.
The introduction of the electronic signatures system in the organization was motivated by several important factors. First of all, it opened new possibilities for communication with people and organizations outside the client’s organizational structure. Another important aspect was the banking sector’s security requirements, which did not provide for the use of a lower security degree of signature than the qualified one.
The introduction of an electronic signatures system in an organization with such a large operating scale yielded tangible benefits – with a shipping plan of around 500 documents per week, the Customer could have saved tens of thousands of PLN a month in comparison to sending printed documents by post and signing them manually. Another important advantage was the significant saving of time of employees who had been responsible for the manual mailing of correspondence.
The implementation of the electronic signature significantly accelerated the process of communication with external entities in the client’s organization, as well as allowed the organization to focus on strategic goals, leaving the repetitive but necessary tasks to the IT system. Digitization of the correspondence also made the management of it easier less costly, because it was no longer necessary to store huge amounts of documents in secure cabinets.
An electronic signature is a digital equivalent of a handwritten signature, i.e. a confirmation of the person’s intention, e.g. consent to the content of the contract. A qualified electronic signature has the same legal consequences as a handwritten signature and can fully replace it (except notarial acts). Starting from 1 July 2016, electronic signatures in the European Union are subject to the eIDAS regulation. This regulation provides a predictable business environment that can be directly implemented in the legal systems of the EU Member State in order to allow a safe and unified way for digital interactions between organizations, individuals and government units.
The solution consisted of an implementation of a document handling system with the “ordinary” electronic signature. It was later improved by introducing qualified electronic signature. The solution is fully compliant with the eIDAS regulation, thanks to which documents can be uthenticated throughout the European Union. An important feature of the system is the possibility of two-way operation. The system allows for the validation of documents coming from third parties, as well as for signing documents leaving the client’s organization. As the system is based on service architecture, it is possible to easily use its functionalities in existing business applications without the need to make time-consuming and expensive changes in them.