August 6, 2020

Updated e-sign guidance could propel digital retailing

Modernizing the legal framework surrounding digital signatures is of utmost importance for automotive retailers and lenders, particularly in the age of the coronavirus.
A new piece of federal legislation has the potential to update an older law covering digital signatures in financial transactions and bring the statute into the 21st century.
Ann Harter, vice president of congressional affairs at the American Financial Services Association, said The E-SIGN Modernization Act, sponsored by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., and submitted July 2, could be the key to allowing customers the option to move notices to computer and mobile in-boxes rather than physical mailboxes.
“Provisions in current law require manpower and resources at auto finance companies that can be better applied elsewhere while maintaining important protections for consumers,” Harter said in an emailed statement. “Moreover, given the unexpected need for social distancing for both consumers and those working in the vehicle finance industry, online auto sales are likely to increase in the foreseeable future.”
Facilitating transactions in the digital age, and in particular during a period when distance is key, federal laws must be updated to allow auto lenders to remain competitive and smooth out transactions for a positive customer experience.