The FINANCIAL -- Thanks to an initiative by the National Bank of Georgia, a new service is now available in the Georgian banking system: the electronic signature.
ProCredit Bank, which joined the new initiative at an early stage of the project, contributed significantly to its development and was the first to introduce this innovation through active co-operation with the National Bank. ProCredit Bank clients can now sign an electronic signature pad for certain banking transactions rather than actual paper documents.
Not only is the electronic signature an easier and more convenient way to do banking. It also reflects ProCredit Bank’s commitment to social responsibility: this enhanced technology enables us to reduce the daily consumption of paper, which ultimately has a positive impact on the environment.
The first ProCredit branch to implement the new system was the freshly renovated Agmashenebeli Branch in Tbilisi, where the first banking transaction with an electronic signature was performed by the president of the National Bank, George Kadagidze. “Banking innovations and infrastructure reforms are an irreversible and permanent process. We can say with certainty that today Georgian financial institutions offer customers the most advanced products and services, which is demonstrated by the electronic signature service currently offered by the bank. A similar service is available at banks in Germany, Italy, Spain and the US. This system provides a simple, fast and safe procedure” said George Kadagidze.
This innovative service will be introduced at ProCredit Bank's other branches step-by-step.
Electronic signature is an alternative to signing paper documents. Based on the model agreed with the National Bank, an electronic signature has the same legal effect as a signature on paper documents, conferring identical rights and obligations on the bank and its clients. ProCredit Bank’s electronic signature system is automatically able to identify the author of a signature and thus verify its authenticity.
As with signatures on paper documents, clients have to come to the bank’s offices to sign documents electronically, using a special device called a SignPad. The advantage of this system over a normal signature on paper is that, by entering a unique code, clients can download original copies of documents free of charge through the web portal of ProCredit Bank on http://edocs.procreditbank.ge within 30 days of electronic signature and save the electronic documents wherever they wish.
The National Bank works with LLEP (legal entity under public law) State Services Development Agency and LLEP Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau to ensure a safe and secure environment. The safety of transactions is also guaranteed by verifying that documents are intact and unchanged. Any changes made to a document and/or its content after signature render the signature invalid. Electronic signature is used only on documents which are directly certified by the person signing them.
ProCredit Bank’s electronic signature system ensures that the client’s personal signature data are safe and that they cannot be used on any other document.
A high degree of protection against forgery is very important. According to international statistics, cases where a secure electronic signature has been forged are very rare. If necessary, electronic signatures can also be examined by a forensic expert.
Thanks to all the benefits of electronic signature, ProCredit Bank’s clients will be able to use a modern, secure and flexible system for their banking activities.
In developing this project, the National Bank of Georgia as a regulatory body was guided by relevant decrees of the European Parliament and European Council and recommendations of the European Electronic Signature Standardisation Initiative.
Electronic signature is a significant step forward, contributing to both the short-term and the long-term development of the Georgian banking sector.
“The electronic signature system is an innovation for the Georgian banking sector. We have implemented it in active co-operation with the National Bank, and are very pleased that ProCredit Bank’s clients will be the first to use this new service. The project is also important in terms of its environmental impact. As you know, a huge amount of paper is used every day for signing bank documents, and that has a harmful effect on forests. Signed receipts often become useless after the services have been provided. By introducing the electronic signature system, we will use less paper and that will help to protect the environment. In their turn, customers will not have to keep signed receipts, because an original electronic copy of their documents is available to them at any time,” Sascha Ternes, General Director of ProCredit Bank said.