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How Online Car Dealerships Can Use Verified eSignature

Verified eSignatures can help to reduce fraud and allow dealerships to provide a fully-digital car buying experience — with confidence.
Andrew MacDougall
December 19, 2023

The automotive industry is embracing technology like never before. According to the Digitization of End-to-End Retailing study by Cox Automotive, 69% of dealers have added at least one digital step since the start of the pandemic, and 74% reported that their customers have used digital retailing tools to research, fund and purchase their new vehicle.

As dealers build out their digital retailing toolbox, verified eSignatures have gained traction as a simple and secure alternative to the document signing process. But verified eSignatures offer more than convenience: they have a trickle-down effect that benefits dealers and their consumers.

Here’s how car dealerships can use verified eSignatures to grow their business.

Strengthen existing security measures

Fraud is an overwhelming concern for every dealer, but by adopting the right technologies, dealers can make it more difficult for bad actors to reach their intended goal.

The primary benefit of verified eSignatures is that it helps dealerships feel more confident in the integrity of their transactions. As dealers prioritize and execute more online and out-of-state transactions, eSignatures are a fundamental cog in the fully-digital retail experience.

But eSignatures alone have many of the same security concerns as wet-ink signatures. Namely, without the proper security measures in place, it’s difficult for dealerships to know who actually signed a given document. This includes everything from the traditional notion of identity theft to someone applying an eSignature intended for their spouse without their spouse’s consent.

Many states that allow for eSignatures on auto documents require that they are attributable to the intended signee. That’s because to fully understand who a dealer is working with, they must be able to connect the identity, the document, and the electronic signature.

The verified eSignature process confirms signer identity and offers the security and tools to validate that the contract has not been tampered with after the fact.

Faster funding streamlines the signing process

One of the greatest opportunities for growth in the auto space is around funding and insurance.

The Digitization of End-to-End Retailing study found that from start to finish, the areas buyers preferred to complete online or at home were applying for credit and financing, receiving notification of financing qualifications, and selecting their preferred financing and insurance products.

In the paper world, applying for funding and receiving approval can take days. Many in the auto space are pivoting to solutions that cut into lengthy turnaround times without impacting the customer experience.

Verified eSignatures add trust to the equation by helping to validate signer identity and intent. For example, on the Notarize℠ platform, dealers send eSign requests to signers from their business portal.  The signer must then verify their identity through knowledge-based authentication  before they can apply their signature to the document package.

The transparency offered by verified eSignatures during the purchase process makes it easier for dealers and their lender partners to make funding decisions with confidence.

Exceed changing consumer expectations

Beyond the business benefits, signers have come to expect the convenience of eSignatures, and nearly 4 in 5 consumers trust eSignatures when submitting an official document online. 

Verified eSignatures have an opportunity to add to growing customer satisfaction with the car buying process. Some 72% of buyers were “highly satisfied” with the overall shopping experience – up from 60% in 2019. The jump is attributed to a more efficient purchase process that requires a buyer to spend less time at the dealership.

The customer journey will continue to shorten as more states adopt legislation and policies, where needed, in support of eSignatures for auto transactions. Now is the time for dealers to consider the impact verified eSignatures may have on the future of their business.

Because when dealers embrace remote online notarization (RON) technology that adds integrity to their transactions without compromising convenience, everyone’s a winner. Schedule a demo to learn more about how we can help your car dealership today.

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