23/11/2018 (Updated on: 16/01/2019)

Dematerialization in the financial sector in France will begin to lay its foundations with the entry into force, on April 1, of Decree 2017-1433 of 4 October, 2017. The aim is to grant the same validity to digital support as to paper in contractual relationships between financial sector organizations and their clients. In other words, how to handle safekeeping of the contracts exchanged in the financial sector, both between companies and with users, so that their integrity and availability are guaranteed for the time period required.

Application of the eIDAS regulation and trust services gives e-documents equal status to their traditional counterparts on paper. This means that companies no longer need to print out and handle large volumes of documents physically, such as contracts, salaries, invoices or orders.

What does dematerialization involve?

The challenge facing banks and insurers in France consists of guaranteeing the security and trust of users when contracting their services, in particular as regards the validity and preservation of documents, once documents on paper are dispensed with and everything becomes digital.

Contractual documents, after being digitally signed by the parties involved, must be stored automatically in a long-term archiving service. In addition, they must be accessible and retrievable for all participants.

For a bank or an insurance company, this will mean optimizing and streamlining the process which, to date, has taken up human and physical resources. Instantly and automatically, they will be able to send all their documents to the e-archiving service, where they can be retrieved for any type of audit or consultation. For a client, access to the document will be just as simple, from the online platform of the bank or insurer with which the contract has been signed.

For the digital switchover to take place with full guarantees and legal validity, it is essential to use qualified trust services to store the documents securely for the time required by the legislation, or due to aspects related with business activities, such as agreements reached with customers. Nowadays, the solution is electronic archiving that can preserve the legal conditions of the documents and apply the security policies required by the eIDAS regulations.

In this sense, an e-archiving system covered by the eIDAS Regulation must have the capacity to keep e-signatures, stamps and certificates linked to the data or documents archived recurrently over time.

EDICOMLta

The responsibility of financial institutions increases when they move into an area, the digital sphere, in which not all clients feel safe. Providing users with a good service also in the digital environment will be crucial to ensure their satisfaction and trust.

EDICOM is a technology solutions supplier accredited as a Qualified Trust Services Provider under the eIDAS Regulation. This European level certification acknowledges EDICOM as a Trusted Third Party and thanks to the certification of our Qualified Electronic Seal archiving service, EDICOM is able to preserve the legal status of archived documents and files with guarantees of authenticity and integrity through time.

EDICOM has a solution for long-term electronic archiving: EDICOMLta. The service applies the methods of qualified electronic seal, preservation of these electronic seals and time stamping set forth in the eIDAS regulation. The platform is certified for the safekeeping of e-documents for the period of time required by businesses or set by the legislation in each case. The solution ensures permanent access and retrieval of 100% of documents uploaded to the platform, as well as managing proofs evidencing the integrity of archived documents.

How would it be applied in the financial sector in France?

  1. Once the contract document is signed, it is sent electronically to the EDICOMLta platform, where the time stamp and qualified electronic seal are applied to ensure the integrity of the documents.
  2. The document is stored in the platform along with its associated metadata.
  3. The client will be able to access the documents from a secure online environment of the company with which the contract was signed. All actions taken on each document, whether viewing or downloading, are recorded as evidence.

Benefits for the sector

  • Having a single solution for services qualified under the eIDAS regulation will provide security and reliability in the safekeeping of contracts.
  • Businesses will enjoy cost savings, as they will no longer need to print out and manage large volumes of physical documents such as contracts.
  • Company productivity will increase thanks to automation through electronic management of documents.
  • Security in contractual relationships will be enhanced, as it facilitates subsequent data queries and their retrieval, while preventing losses.

This will inspire greater trust in clients, who can access the documents easily and securely through the online platform of the bank or insurer with which the contract is signed.