In 2020, together with two other Banks and VC funds, BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. announced an investment in Polish fintech Autenti offering a platform for electronic contract signing and digital document workflow. According to forecasts, in 2023 the global market for electronic signatures will be worth $5.5 billion. A joint investment of the three Banks, which represent approx. 30% of the assets of the Polish banking sector, is yet another proof that partnership in the Polish banking sector is possible and that it can contribute to the development of key solutions that are beneficial to the economy, the environment and the Customers.
Autenti is a Polish company that started its operations in 2014. It offers solutions to sign any document online, on any device with internet access. Fast, convenient, secure and in compliance with the law. Since its market debut, the company has acquired more than 1,200 business Customers and has already sent e-signature documents to more than a million Polish people.
Within twelve months, e-signature was implemented in subsequent areas of the Bank's operations, which resulted in over 290,879 documents signed without using paper in all areas of the organization. Upon the order of BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A., Autenti issued 420 qualified signatures with remote identity verification and 80 signatures in a traditional method.
When making our investment decision, we were guided by the idea that Autenti has a chance to become a universal platform for electronic document signing. Very quickly it turned out that thanks to the platform it became much easier to work remotely and to offer services to Customers while maintaining the principles of social distancing. We electronically signed, among others, documents from the Management Board meetings, contracts with our contractors, product documents with corporate Clients or internal credit risk documents. Circulation of documents became much faster and easier, especially when working remotely.
Since April 2020, the platform can be used by both the Bank's Clients and employees sending documents as part of internal procedures. The e-signature is used in the process of remote account opening by individual Customers and when granting instalment loans and credit cards. The improvement is also used in the process of opening an account in the Bank's branches. The documents are not printed, but signed electronically using a smartphone. In May 2020, thanks to the electronic signature, BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A. improved the process of concluding lease agreements at car dealerships. In the same month, entrepreneurs also gained access to e-signature. Soon afterwards, the technology was also used in the branches. Bank's Customers only need a smartphone to confirm deposits and cash withdrawals. They can also sign contracts without using paper. Such a solution is not only more convenient, but also environmentally friendly. Additionally, it relieves the advisor from several additional activities, which allows to devote more time to the Client. Autenti can also be used by Clients of Wealth Management, SMEs and Corpo Centers. The Bank more and more extensively uses e-signatures in internal operations (i.e. Management Office, Investor Relations Office, Finance, BNP Paribas Foundation, HR, Operations, Collections, Risk and Procurement. Using short-term qualified signatures issued by Autenti, B2B contracts with contractors are signed remotely.
In 2021, we intend to further develop our cooperation with Autenti and implement the e-signature solutions in more business areas.