Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is to issue digital certificates to its online customer base for use in authorising new product applications over the Internet.
The bank says the availability of CIBC Personal Digital Signatures will eliminate the time and costs of visiting a branch or resorting to mail and couriers to provide signed documents. The new service includes more personalised application forms, online notification of application status and results, and shortens the approval process for most applications to 24 hours.
Recently passed legislation by the federal government and several provinces in Canada, as well as the government of the United States, gives electronic signatures and documents in many types of contractual agreements the same legal status as their paper counterparts signed by pen and ink.
Kenn Lalonde, executive vice-president, direct to consumer banking, CIBC, says: "Eliminating the requirement for physical signatures in many types of contractual agreements, removes a key barrier to giving our customers a total online product procurement experience. The customer authorisation that digital signatures provide, will enable us to deliver on the promise of the Internet for moving beyond providing just transactional services online, towards making total online financial relationships a reality."
Initially CIBC Internet banking customers can use their digital IDs to apply and sign for unsecured personal lines of credit, transaction accounts, overdraft protection, Visa cards and to contribute to existing savings accounts.
"Applying digital signature technology to our Internet banking services will not only speed up and simplify many types of transactions that can be done over the Internet, it will also enable us to expand the range of products we can offer and deliver to our customers online," says Lalonde.
CIBC Personal Digital Signatures will be provided by the CIBC+ VeriSign division of CIBC, a Canadian certification authority.