E-Signature Laws, Regulations, and Standards for U.S. Financial Services

White Paper da OneSpan

This document provides an overview of relevant e-signature laws, regulations, and standards that apply to financial services organizations, as well as the industry laws and regulations that need to be accounted for when bringing processes online.


  • E-SIGN & UETA: The Federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the state Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) give legal recognition for electronic signatures and records to satisfy the “in writing” legal requirements for transactions, including disclosures, and permit companies to satisfy statutory record retention requirements solely through the use of electronic records. Both ESIGN and UETA require a person’s consent to conduct business electronically.
  • UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE (UCC): There are many types of transactions that are not covered by ESIGN or UETA but that fall under the Uniform Commercial Code, including:
    • Funds transfers (covered by UCC Article 4A)
    • Letters of Credit (covered by revised UCC Article 5)
    • Securities (covered by UCC Revised Article 8)
    • Security interests in goods and intangibles (covered by UCC Revised Article 9)


  • SPERS - Standards & Procedures for Electronic Records & Signatures: SPeRS, a committee formed by the Electronic Financial Services Council to produce best legal practices and guidelines to help the financial services industry implement compliant electronic signature, electronic disclosure and electronic vaulting solutions. OneSpan is a founding member. OneSpan’s solutions have been designed to comply with the best practice recommendations outlined in SPeRS.
  • ESRA - Electronic Signature and Records Association: ESRA is a centralized educational resource for its members and the public with respect to the legal, regulatory and operational issues in relation to the use of electronic signatures and records. Its original founding members — AIG, Adobe, DocuSign, eOriginal, Genworth Financial, OneSpan, and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage — represent a prestigious group of corporations, both technology-providers and “user” companies.
  • AFSA/X9.103 - American Financial Services Association: In 2004, AFSA through Accredited Standards Committee X9 Inc. published the ANSI X9.103 standard for auto finance e-contracts. The scope of this standard includes signature capture and the creation, storage and assignment of Electronic Chattel. OneSpan was a member of the X9.103 drafting committee.
  • AFSA/TOLEC X9.110 - Transfer of Location of Electronic Contracts: The Transfer of Location of Electronic Contract (TOLEC) technical standard provides commonality for the physical transfer of electronic contracts between banks, nondepository finance companies, underwriters and investors. OneSpan was a member of the TOLEC standard drafting committee.
  • STAR - Standards for Technology in Automotive Retail: STAR has developed standards for data transfer and XML messaging within the auto finance industry. OneSpan supports these standards.
  • MISMO - Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance OrganizationMISMO developed the SMARTDoc standard, a data standard for electronic mortgages. OneSpan is an active member of the MISMO eMortgage workgroup and OneSpan solutions support the ability to e-sign MISMO SMARTDoc format according to MISMO eMortgage guidelines.
  • Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: Originally published in 2005, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae issued statements around the policies and procedures for selling e-mortgages to investors. The guides completely recognize electronic mortgages including the eNote, security instrument and application, as well as hybrid paper-electronic mortgages.
  • MERS - Mortgage Electronic Registration System: MERS provides online eNote registration services for mortgage lenders to track electronic mortgage promissory notes. OneSpan was a member of the MERS National eNote Registry Development Advisory Team, a group that reviewed and advised MERS registry development efforts. OneSpan’s solutions exceed MERS National eNote Registry requirements for authentication, registration, transfers, messaging, and control of the eNote.
  • IRI - Insured Retirement Institute: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI, formerly NAVA) represents the supply chain of the insured retirement income industry: major insurers, broker-dealers, banks, asset managers, financial advisors and industry solution providers. In 2006, IRI produced Guiding Principles (standards) related to Straight-Through-Processing (STP) in new business processing, including the use of an electronic application with an electronic signature at point of sale. OneSpan participated on the committee responsible for developing standards and guidance on the use of electronic signatures in the variable annuity industry. OneSpan was one of only two vendors chosen for the Association’s subsequent proof of concept implementation.

NOTE: The above references should not be regarded as legal opinion. OneSpan recommends seeking professional legal advice for guidance on compliance and legal matters.