Modernizing agriculture: AgTrust Farm Credit embraces digital transformation with OneSpan Sign

OneSpan Team,

As financial services continue to evolve, the need for digitization has become paramount. This is especially true in the farming and agricultural credit sectors, where traditional pen-and-paper methods of business have been the norm for decades. Michelle King, Loan Documentation Director of AgTrust Farm Credit, provides insights into how the company has successfully navigated this digital transformation using OneSpan Sign.

AgTrust Farm Credit caters to a diverse range of clients, from full-time farmers to professionals who own acreage for recreational purposes. This diversity has made the need for a digital solution even more pronounced, particularly when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With the onset of the pandemic, traditional methods of in-person signings for loan and line of credit agreements became impractical. This pushed the company to expedite the implementation of OneSpan Sign, a digital signing platform.

OneSpan Sign offered several benefits over traditional methods. It streamlined the loan closing process, significantly reducing the time and effort required to obtain signatures. This not only improved efficiency but also enhanced document integrity, as well as the customer experience. The ease-of-use of the new document signing solution was central to the success of the initiative, especially for loan officers who value the face-to-face interactions they have with their agricultural customers. By transforming the loan closing process from a pen-and-paper experience to a digital, smartphone-driven experience, loan officers could retain face-to-face relationships while getting agreements signed quickly and safely. They can still maintain a personal relationship, but it’s now enhanced by technology. Michelle King summarizes this as,

"it’s no longer pen and paper on the tailgate of their truck; it's now at their fingertips whether smartphone or tablet."

AgTrust Farm Credit has witnessed an impressive 98% user adoption rate since implementing OneSpan Sign. This high rate of adoption underscores the platform’s intuitive interface and user-friendly design, making it easy for both employees and customers to embrace digital signing.

The transition to OneSpan Sign also had a significant impact on the volume of paperwork involved in loan closings. Before the implementation, AgTrust Farm Credit typically provided borrowers and title companies with large packets of documents, totaling around 80 pages. These documents would need to be printed, signed, and returned, adding time and complexity to the process. However, with OneSpan Sign, the number of pages involved was reduced to just 12. This streamlined approach not only saved time and resources but also simplified the process for all parties involved. Borrowers and title companies appreciated the reduction in paperwork, and AgTrust Farm Credit saw a significant improvement in efficiency.

One of the most significant benefits of implementing OneSpan Sign for AgTrust Farm Credit was the time saved by employees who were previously responsible for manually checking documents. Prior to the digital transformation, a full-time employee was spending around 50 hours per week reviewing closing papers that required wet signatures. However, with the introduction of OneSpan Sign, this workload was significantly reduced, freeing up valuable time for other important tasks. This not only improved work-life balance but also increased overall productivity within the organization. The efficiency gains were felt across the board, from front line to backroom staff, resulting in a more streamlined and effective operation for AgTrust Farm Credit. In addition to efficiency gains, the implementation of electronic document signing also improved the integrity of agreements, as the internal team could be sure that key information had not been changed in the documents before they were signed.

OneSpan Sign's white-labeling capabilities were another crucial factor in the success of AgTrust Farm Credit’s digital transformation. The platform allowed AgTrust Farm Credit to maintain their branding throughout the entire signing process, from start to finish. This meant that their customers saw the AgTrust Farm Credit logo and branding at every step, reinforcing trust and confidence in the process. This was a significant advantage as it ensured that customers felt comfortable and secure throughout the digital signing process, ultimately improving the overall customer experience.

Working with OneSpan has been a positive experience for AgTrust Farm Credit and the company has found the support to be very responsive and helpful. The platform's user-friendly interface and intuitive design made it easy for employees to adapt to the new system. Furthermore, OneSpan's customer support team was readily available to address any questions or concerns that arose during the implementation process, which was completed within four weeks. In addition to technical support, OneSpan also offered guidance on how to maximize the benefits of the platform. They provided insights into best practices for electronic signatures and helped AgTrust Farm Credit develop strategies to improve their overall workflow and document management processes. This proactive approach to customer support allowed AgTrust Farm Credit to fully leverage the capabilities of OneSpan Sign and realize the maximum return on their investment.

Michelle King's advice to other farm credit associations considering a digital transformation is straightforward: "Do it." By embracing digital solutions like OneSpan Sign, organizations can improve efficiency, enhance customer experience, and stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.

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