TD Ameritrade Institutional (TDAI) just showed me its new system to help advisors get client signatures electronically.
To streamline the process of getting clients to sign account applications and other documents, TDAI integrated its brokerage recordkeeping system for investment advisors with LaserApp, an app for automatic form-filling used widely in the financial services industry, and DocuSign, an app for collecting electronic signatures securely.
“Until now, advisors would print the account application and mail it to the client,” says Jon Patullo, director of technology product management at TDAI. “Time is wasted on getting accounts opened.”
With the integration, Patullo says the advisor pre-populates an account form with a client’s name, address, phone number, social security number, beneficiaries, and other data stored in Laser App’s desktop version.
The advisor sends the filled-in account form to DocuSign, which sends an email that can be personalized by the advisor to the client asking him to sign the document digitally. The email to clients contains a link to the document, which is stored on DocuSign’s server.
Before a client can view a document that needs a signature, however, clients must answer identity verification questions, such as which of several addresses listed they lived in 10 years ago and which state their father owned real estate.
Clients click on a distinctive icon in the document where a signature or initials are required. Clicking on the icons are equivalent to a client’s signature.
Advisors have a dashboard in DocuSign that displays a list of documents awaiting signatures as well as those already signed.
Once the client finishes signing the document, it is sent to TDAI and stored on its servers.
A client can save a copy of the signed document for his own records on his computer, but its up to the client to encrypt, password-protect, and store it in a safe place with other financial records. An advisor receives a notification when this occurs.
Patullo says integrating Laser App and DocuSign e-signature capabilities into the TDAI’s custodial platform will make advisors less likely to submit incomplete account forms, which could improve TDAI’s clients.
It looks to me like this e-signature app will streamline account opening, but I’d like to hear from A4A readers about how much of a time saver it could be.