Contractual documentation among traders is crucial in the precious metals market due to the very nature of the traded items. Contracts, records, forms or other documents must be hundred percent correct and accessible at any time and from anywhere (ideally all in electronic form). That is why IXTENT’s portfolio comprises a solution for the digitization of the handover process using biometric document signing technology with the help of signature tablets.
About the company
GOLDEN GATE is the leader of the Czech market with precious metals for investment purposes. But it can offer to its clients something even more valuable than the precious metals: an economic context and understanding of the principles of how the world of money works, and last but not least, a long-term vision of how to build their own wealth in line with economic cycles. Golden gate sets trends in investments into precious metals, creating a revolutionary product called the Commodity Account, which is the first on the market to offer investments in gold, silver and platinum in a single product.
GOLDEN GATE currently performs a large number of manual document operations associated with their routine functioning of the company, using hardcopies of documents. As both the company and the number of its customers grow, so does the complexity in terms of the content and volume of the contractual documentation. This results in an increase of the archiving costs, but mainly of the documents management in general.
The digitization of key documentary agendas, especially the process of precious metals handover to the customer or purchase of metals, aims to save costs, simplify the work of its employees and, last but not least, increase the comfort of customer service. At the same time, it is important that the entire process complies with the applicable legislation and that the newly created digital documents stand up to possible legal disputes.
The client also required use of their existing platform (GOLDEN GATE information system – GIS) as a central document repository.
IXTENT’s solution design
After analyzing the client’s needs, a suitable software was selected (from Signotec, Germany), which specializes exclusively in the area of electronic signing. The advantage of the offered solution consists in its robustness, provenness and integration with third-party systems into any environment using standardized interfaces for communication with systems.
The solution consists of signoSign UNIVERSAL software and signature tablets, including an implementation based on the provision of services for receiving the document and automated transmission of signed document to web service of the customer information system.
The signoSign/Universal Server software is a multi-platform solution that can provide signing on workstations and laptops via signature pads, as well as on special tablets equipped with active display and pen. Tablets can run Windows, Android, or iOS operating systems. The signing itself is done directly in the web browser.
Solution scenario description
The signoSign/Universal system can be integrated with almost any system. After an initial analysis, integration using REST services – REST API – was chosen for communication with the client’s IS and for the signing process:
A web service for document reception will be created as part of the implementation.
The end customer will report to the reception upon arrival to the GOLDEN GATE premises. The receptionist puts them in the “queue” in GIS (GOLDEN GATE information system). The employee issuing the goods can see the customer in the GIS system (Pickup > Branch) – there is a button new “Send document to Tablet”, which the employee can press, GIS generates a pre-completed record/contract already signed on behalf of Golden gate, the PDF file comprises one field for filling-in the ID card number and one field for signature. The source system sends the PDF document for signing via REST-API.
GIS further sends the following data together with the document:
• Document ID (unique identifier);
The document is stored in the signature server’s internal DB and is accessible through the Document Pool. The customer service worker takes the tablet, the goods (in case of issue) and moves to the issue point. The worker opens the signature application on the tablet and logs in (link to the User item as mentioned above). The document pool with documents for signature will appear. Each document has a camera icon for taking photographs, which will be attached to the document.
Scenario for issue without a power of attorney:
Signature fields are automatically added at the time of document opening according to the definition. At the same time, a form field for filling-in the ID card number is added to the document. The GOLDEN GATE staff member asks for the ID card and fills-in the ID card number on the tablet. The staff member then hands over the goods to the client and shows them the handover record on the tablet. The client checks the record and signs it biometrically. Once the document is signed, it is saved using the button with a floppy disk icon. The customer service worker finishes editing the document on the tablet and the signed PDF document is transferred back to GIS, where it is stored. The client leaves. The signature server sends the signed document to the GIS service, which also forwards it by e-mail to the customer. The document is then removed from the document pool. (Note: If the handover takes place through an intermediary, the intermediary further receives two more copies of the handover record for the end customer, however, these have no effect on the biometric signing.)
Scenario for issue with a power of attorney:
Signature fields are automatically added at the time of document opening according to the definition. At the same time, a form field for filling-in the ID card number is added to the document. The GOLDEN GATE staff member requests the ID card and a power of attorney, fills-in the ID card number into the record directly on the tablet and takes a picture of the power of attorney with the tablet directly in the room. The photograph of the power of attorney will become part of the PDF. The staff member then hands over the goods to the client and shows them the handover record on the tablet. The client checks the record and signs it biometrically. Once the document is signed, it is saved using the button with a floppy disk icon. The customer service worker leaves with the power of attorney (hardcopy), finishes editing the document on the tablet and the signed PDF document is transferred back to GIS, where it is stored and transmitted by e-mail to the customer. The client leaves. The document is then removed from the document pool.
Scenario for purchase without a power of attorney:
The GOLDEN GATE staff member asks for the ID card and fills-in the ID card number into the purchase contract on the tablet. The staff member checks the essential parts of the contract with the client – their account number and the price. Then he/she checks the goods from the client and reviews the list in the contract (using the tablet). If anything needs to be corrected in the contract, he/she returns to their workplace to the PC with GIS, makes the correction in GIS and sends the updated version of the contract to the tablet by pressing the “Send document to Tablet” button again. The client checks the final contract and attaches its biometric signature. The goods is then handed over. Once the contract is signed on the tablet, the contract is transmitted to GIS which who also forwards it to the customer by e-mail. The customer service worker then asks the client if they want the hardcopy of the contract. If so, he leaves with the goods and prints the contract from GIS. After that, he/she returns into the room and hands the hardcopy of the contract to the client. The client leaves.
Scenario for purchase with a power of attorney:
The only difference is that the photograph of the power of attorney is taken just after the ID card number is entered. After the signed document is saved back to GIS, the document is always sent to the customer’s e-mail. If the power of attorney is used during the issue or purchase, the employee will store the power of attorney in the company archive sorted by date (without a hardcopy of the handover record or contract) . Paper powers of attorney are therefore still kept in the paper form! Their photograph forms part of the record.
Each signature includes:
Visual form of the signature in a document (initials).
Signature data in encrypted form. When decrypted, this data can be used by a forensic expert to compare the signatures. This means that the process is identical to a paper signature and there is no need to have a database of signatures for comparison purposes.
Biometric signing is available at 12 branches and is operated by approximately 20 users. Two signature devices are available at each branch. The signing process can also be done “in the field” (internet connectivity is required), the signature device then connects to the central server which is accessible over the internet. The signed document can be saved in GIS system and e-mailed to the appropriate address.
Main benefits and added value of the solution by IXTENT
- A proven world-class solution with many relevant references;
- Scalability and future use of the solution for other document types;
- Licensing model based on the number of users and not on the number of signed documents;
- Simple user interface and resulting positive user experience;
- Integrity of the software on the client’s infrastructure;
- “Compliance” solution – the solution is fully compatible with the Czech and EU’s legislation.
From the legislative point of view, the newly implemented solution complies with both European (eIDAS) and Czech legislation. This will enable ex-post guaranteed identification of the signatories and the inalterability of the signed document, which in the final effect means legally “equivalent” status of an electronic document bearing a biometric signature with a paper version of the contract. In addition, the need for physical archiving of binders or production of hardcopies of the documents are eliminated and any aging, damage, or loss of documents is minimized.
The aim of the solution was also to use the existing platform (GOLDEN GATE information system – GIS) as a central repository of documents. This aim has been accomplished. With this move, GOLDEN GATE has leveraged its existing IT infrastructure, moving closer to its vision of paperless company while keeping pace with competing innovators in the market. The solution is currently used for biometric signing of handover records, however, it will be possible to use it (after modifications) also for signing other document agendas in the future.