Nashua Mobile has become the first telecommunications service provider in South Africa to offer a completely paperless process for customers that are signing up for cellular contracts. The company has implemented a digital signature solution in partnership with Signatura, a specialist provider of solutions for secure paperless contracts.
The move towards digital capture of signatures will make the process of signing up for contracts faster and more convenient for Nashua Mobile customers. In addition, it supports the company’s migration towards paperless business processes in line with its goal to conduct business in a more environmentally friendly manner. The system went live nationwide on September 1, just in time for Arbour Day.
Says Barry Venter, General Manager for Business Services at Nashua Mobile: “Customers that visit any of our stores countrywide to sign up for a new contract, or that get a new handset delivered to them by our courier partner RTT, will be able complete the process without signing a single piece of paper.
“They will enjoy a faster, more convenient experience since there will be no more need to print, scan and photocopy documents any more. In addition, we will be able to cut down on the amount of paper that we use, which will benefit the environment.”
Nashua Mobile has been long been on a drive to reduce the amount of paper in its business to benefit the environment. It has a longstanding partnership with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) and makes a donation of R10.00 to FTFA for every Nashua Mobile subscriber who opts to receive monthly accounts by email instead of in the post. To date, this initiative has helped FTFA to plant about 5,000 trees in total.
Customers will be able to store their contracts electronically on their cell phones or personal computers. In addition, the move towards a fully electronic process will reduce opportunities for data capture errors to creep in. From Nashua Mobile’s perspective, eliminating the need to recapture data from application forms and other documents will allow the company to streamline business processes and save time and money.
The customer’s signature is captured on a digital signature pad and is electronically attached to the electronic ‘paperwork’ generated by Nashua Mobile’s systems. The signature is stored in an encrypted format for security reasons and cannot be copied. It is also time and date stamped so that it cannot be reused for any purpose besides the original contract it is attached to. Any attempt to change the document after it has been signed will invalidate both the signature and the contract.
The digital signatures also strengthen security by offering more information than paper-based signatures and offers biometric functionality. This form of digital signature is recognised by the Electronic Communications & Transactions Act, and makes paperless contracts legally binding.