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By Dick Dekkers, Director Business Development, Digidentity

COVID-19 forced businesses to adapt. With employees stuck at home, many organisations realised that they needed access to solutions that enabled them to better streamline internal processes without the ability to meet in-person. 

For all of the benefits that flexible working brings, it also introduces complications – as much of the world found out last year. One such complication comes in the form of tracking workflows. While for many it may not have seemed a major issue at the time, when it came to specific use cases – gaining signatures, approvals or verification of certain documents – tasks began to quickly become clogged up.

The signing process had become an issue that quickly needed resolving and businesses turned to technology to overcome this newfound challenge. According to research undertaken by KPMG, 74% of businesses accelerated the digitisation of operations and the creation of a next-generation operating model by a matter of months or even years during the pandemic. For many, this included the adoption of digital identity services, allowing them to streamline workflow processes without the need to meet in-person.

Continuing While Remote

In the finance industry, where businesses are approving loans and mortgages, undertaking Know Your Customer (KYC) checks and dealing with significant sums of money on a daily basis, their operations must remain immaculate and precise.

There are robust processes in place that demand specific executives signing off on and approving a significant number of important documents. Tying these people down to a meeting is hard enough outside of a pandemic. Doing it all remotely became even more difficult.

Before the pandemic, organisations typically tracked workflows by going desk to desk, attaining internal signatures for sign-off and verifications. Even with the advancement of technology, this remained a manual process – forcing businesses to wait days or even weeks before people could meet face-to-face and sign documents in person before tasks could progress.

Through these internal approval processes, a significant amount of time would be taken away from employees. This turns staff into ‘postmen’ – using the time of lawyers or brokers inefficiently while generating bottlenecks throughout workflows.

Relying on Digital ID

Digital ID services are enabling organisations to significantly improve the efficiency of workflows despite now operating with a hybrid or remote workforce.

With a very simple 4 step registration process, first time verification for any user only takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Any time after that, logging in, approving items or signing documents can be achieved by simply using an app on a mobile phone. The entire process is streamlined and easy to use.     

In comparison to how businesses would operate manually before the pandemic, where users would wait weeks or months to have documents confirmed, not only is a significant amount of productive time saved – which greatly improves efficiency – but user satisfaction is also greatly enhanced.

Rather than scheduling and rescheduling meetings to visit someone in-person and verify certain documents face-to-face, users can now submit a document through the cloud. Once verified, the user can be issued a qualified electronic signature that can be used to sign documents online. Alternatively, in the case of a KYC verification, the outcome is shared directly with the relevant organisation. In both situations, the entire process becomes streamlined, saving a significant amount of time for both parties.      

A Secure Solution

Online verification and digital signatures are a highly reliable and secure alternative to traditional processes. Awareness around data privacy has never been higher. Consumers and businesses alike are incredibly tuned in to their rights and are highly conscious of how their data is used. By nature, digital identity services deal with highly sensitive information that must be protected at all costs.

In response to this, and to ensure that sensitive data remains secure, all identity providers or Qualified Trust Service Providers (QTSP) must follow rigorous regulations that uphold international standards for security and data protection. Digital identity services are highly secure and reliable, and all documents provide a readily available paper trail, accessible whenever needed for compliance purposes.

A Long Term Solution

While pandemic recovery is well underway, there is an expectation among many organisations to continue operating remotely, whether that is on a full-time basis or in a hybrid approach – splitting time between home and the office. Either way, it’s clear that the working environment of the future is going to be significantly different to how it was before COVID-19.

With this in mind, it is important for organisations to effectively improve workflows throughout the entire business. By utilising digital identity services, internal processes can be streamlined significantly, speeding up sign-off and verification on essential documents, and freeing time for staff to spend more time on other tasks.

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