Nucleus has introduced electronic signatures in a bid to support advice firms who are embedding remote ways of working.
From today (August 24), the adviser platform will accept e-signatures for new business and client instructions as platforms continue to digitise their service following the restrictions put in place during the coronavirus crisis.
Nucleus had already expanded its scanned documents policies to reduce dependency on posted documents, but until now had been unable to accept e-signatures for any transaction.
John Walls, head of proposition at Nucleus, said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve efficiency and maximise user experience, while keeping client security at the forefront of what we do.
“The introduction of e-signatures will streamline the new business process and our flexibility over software providers will allow advisers to select a supplier that works best for them.”
Nucleus will allow a choice of five e-signature software providers to be used to suit individual adviser preference, including Docusign and Adobe, but to maximise client security and minimise the risk of fraud, advisers will be asked to select a software provider that complies with European regulation.
The platform has compiled a document setting out its e-signature requirements, the types of e-signatures Nucleus will accept, an approved list of e-signature providers and the range of forms where an e-signature can be used.
The coronavirus crisis sent the UK into lockdown on March 23, effectively ending face-to-face meetings between advisers and clients for the foreseeable future.
This presented an issue for the platform industry, which still relied heavily on the use of wet signatures.
Platforms have moved relatively quickly to update these requirements — with Embark, True Potential and both Aegon platforms leading the paperless revolution — but lots still require a paper form with a wet signature for some processes.
Heather Hopkins, managing director of NextWealth, said: “Paperwork has always been a headache but the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules have meant that what was once a headache has become an impediment to writing business.”
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