eSignLive ships the first consumer e-signing solution designed for the loan origination process

January 20, 2002

New zero-download Web solution will increase consumer adoption

Montreal, January 21, 2002 - To decrease the high consumer abandonment rates that occur during online Web applications, Silanis Technology Inc. today introduced ApproveItĀ® Web Server - a new server-based, e-signature solution designed specifically for the loan origination industry.

"According to industry research, 91 percent of borrowers turn to the Web for faster loan approvals. Yet 50 to 95 percent of them abandon the application process in the time it takes for loan documents to be mailed to their homes for signature approval," explains Tommy Petrogiannis, President of Silanis.

Using ApproveIt Web Server, lenders can increase customer conversion rates by providing borrowers with the ability to complete loan applications immediately after being pre-approved online. Borrowers simply 'click to sign' loan documents and review legal disclosures presented according to state and federal regulations using nothing more than their Web browsers, while the solution works behind the scenes to secure the transaction and provide a legally enforceable transaction.

"Increasingly, lenders are using the Web as a new source for capturing customers and decreasing costs," said Avivah Litan, Vice President and Research Director, Financial Services Gartner Inc. "Eliminating paper from online mortgage applications enables lenders to automate this critical stage of the process and maximize the profit potential of the Web."

By enabling 100 percent automation, ApproveIt Web Server triggers other equally important benefits. Eliminating paper decreases shipping, handling, scanning and other associated costs, such as the manual verification, storage and retrieval of loan documents. With ApproveIt Web Server, information contained in e-signed loan documents is guaranteed to correspond to the online application form filled in during the pre-approval stage. Thus, lenders can increase their loan processing capacity and, ultimately, revenue.

"ApproveIt Web Server was designed for the Web from the ground up," said Petrogiannis. "Because the solution offers the right balance of ease-of-use, security, and legal enforceability, lenders can finally extend trusted e-signing capabilities to consumers over the Web."

Although the federal E-Sign legislation granted electronic signatures the same legal status as their pen and paper counterparts over a year ago, many organizations have only deployed e-signing for their internal processes. Very few have embraced the technology for consumer use over the Web for several reasons:

1) Consumer Adoption

Prior to ApproveIt Web Server, solutions required users to install e-signing software on their systems or acquire a digital certificate, thereby interrupting the transaction and creating a barrier to adoption. According to a recent report by American Banker, the appeal of Internet transactions is convenience. If they become too complex, most shoppers will opt for a non-Internet process. ApproveIt Web Server, on the other hand, is a zero-download solution. Therefore, borrowers can instantly e-sign documents on a lender's Web site using only their Web browser. Further, borrowers do not need to provide any additional personal information to authenticate themselves during an e-signing process, because their identities have already been corroborated by the lender during the pre-approval.

2) E-Sign Requirements

Lenders were unclear how to meet E-Sign requirements because the legislation is technology-neutral. To address this concern, Silanis consulted with legal experts who helped draft the E-Sign Act. As a result, ApproveIt Web Server complies with all consumer consent and process requirements, as well as provides lenders with plug-and-play legal text to use on their Web sites.

3) Regulation Requirements

Paper-intensive consumer applications that can benefit most from e-signatures, such as mortgage origination, are highly regulated - making it more challenging for lenders to transfer the process online. As David Whitaker, an attorney from Goodwin Procter who represented the banking industry's interests during the creation of the E-Sign Act explains, pre-signing events are just as critical as the borrower's e-signature in final documents:

"Borrowers must first consent to the use of electronic records before entering into an electronic agreement. Lenders must also prove that they've delivered effective legal disclosures to consumers. Lenders who can reliably reproduce these key stages of the Web process will strengthen the legal enforceability of e-signed agreements."

ApproveIt Web Server's built-in workflow ensures that borrowers follow the correct sequence of events, while its document presentment engine accurately displays regulated documents within the Web browser. Lenders can then demonstrate that all legislative and regulatory requirements were met by accurately reproducing the entire electronic review and signing process.

4) IT Interoperability

Lenders also require an e-signing solution that interoperates with their existing automation systems. ApproveIt Web Server's J2EE-compliant application server provides this capability. Hooking directly into lenders' Web sites, the solution leverages investments made in back-end loan origination systems, document preparation and document archiving with minimal integration or customization.

DealerTrack and another top online lender will become the first lenders to use ApproveIt Web Server. A top-five online mortgage provider, and DealerTrack, the automotive industry's leading loan aggregator, will provide consumers with a fully electronic, loan application process in the spring of 2002.

"Automating complex signing processes is Silanis' core competency," added Petrogiannis. "Ten years worth of supplying more than 900 organizations with e-signature solutions has taught us a lot about what businesses need. ApproveIt Web Server is the culmination of that experience."

About Silanis

Founded in 1992, Silanis Technology Inc. has ten years experience in developing and deploying electronic signature and approval management software to over 900 organizations in the financial, government and manufacturing industries. The company has acquired a deep understanding of business approval processes, and has become a veritable expert in process automation. A privately held company, Silanis is backed by New York's Lehman Brothers Venture Capital in addition to leading Canadian capital investors. (www.silanis.com)

To note: The statistics quoted in the release are general industry numbers. They should not be associated to a particular Silanis customer.