< 10minutes average time to remotely notarize
↑Increased convenience for members
↓Less heavy lifting for notaries
At Neighborhood Credit Union, member experience is everything. Originally founded for postal service workers during the Great Depression, the credit union has been delivering World Class Service, Neighborhood Convenience to the Dallas-Fort Worth Area for over 90 years.
But when the COVID-19 pandemic brought branch operations to a sudden halt, Neighborhood CU had to find a way to bring popular member services, such as document notarization, online for its 56,000 members.
Wayne Wallace, business analysis manager, has been at the credit union for more than a decade. Today, he leads many of Neighborhood CU’s transformation initiatives, including digitizing processes with DocuSign eSignature. Because of the work Wallace and his team did upfront to become digital-first, Neighborhood CU was able to quickly pivot to exceed member needs during a time when face-to-face service wasn’t a safe option.
The fast track from in-branch to remote online notarization
From an upgraded app with mobile wallet and Zelle to contactless lending through MeridianLink and DocuSign eSignature, Neighborhood Credit Union was already focused on increasing digital services for members. The pandemic accelerated its roadmap “almost overnight,” according to Wallace.
With branch operations limited to drive-through interactions, it didn’t take long for new needs to come to the forefront. During the lockdown, demand for notarizations hit an all-time high as requests for service on wills, powers of attorney, pension forms, advance medical directives, 401k withdrawal requests and other important personal documents surged. “We needed a way to offer this service that’s easy, convenient and safe for both members and notaries,” said Wallace.
The stars aligned when Wallace discovered the state of Texas authorized remote online notarization (RON) and learned that DocuSign offered a RON solution, DocuSign Notary. Since DocuSign was already a trusted partner, it was an easy decision to go with DocuSign as a single vendor for Neighborhood CU’s electronic signature and RON needs versus attempting a “too risky” in-house build.
“We work with a lot of vendors, but we view DocuSign as a true partner,” said Wallace. “When it came to evaluating RON providers, we knew DocuSign would provide the best solution and experience out on the market.”
Creating a better experience for members and notaries
Before implementing DocuSign Notary, Neighborhood CU had to get creative to keep notary services alive in the most socially distanced way possible. Members would go to the branch, send a text, and a notary would meet them in the parking lot to conduct a car-side notarization. Beyond the logistical challenges involved with reviewing, signing and stamping paper documents on a clipboard during the signing process, notaries had to then digitize and manually upload files into SharePoint for record-keeping purposes after the notarization was completed.
DocuSign Notary guides members and notaries through every step of the process, from verifying signers’ identities with knowledge-based authentication and ID verification to signing and notarizing in a secure, live audio-visual session. And since notarial assets are automatically stored in DocuSign, there’s a lot less heavy lifting for notaries, who are no longer chased down to scan and upload their files into SharePoint.
“Our employees wear many hats, so anything we can do to make things easier for them is a huge win,” said Wallace. Notary’s ease of use is driving an expanded RON roadmap that includes lending, mortgage and even HR use cases. “They look forward to using it more often, which is a great sign.”
Embracing digital-forward service
Long after the pandemic is in our rear view, DocuSign Notary will remain part of a growing digital service portfolio at Neighborhood CU—including virtual loan officers, AI-powered chatbots and smart ATMs—that enables members to engage with the credit union on their own terms.
“Our goal is to become more digital while maintaining the great service members are used to—and Notary definitely fits into that,” said Wallace. “We’re continuing to think of other ways to take advantage of new technologies to create a better experience for everyone.”