U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Todd Young (R-Ind.), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which has jurisdiction over technology and consumer protection, today introduced the E-SIGN Modernization Act, legislation that would streamline how consumers consent to receiving electronic documents like bank statements, account information, and contracts. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) became law in 2000 and provides a framework for how transactions involved in interstate or foreign commerce can be completed using electronic signatures and electronic documents.
“As technology continues to advance and transform, so too should the laws that govern it,” said Thune. “Computers, smart phones, and other devices are more reliable and accessible than ever before. This legislation makes necessary updates to E-SIGN to reflect these advancements in technology and make it easier for consumers to receive documents electronically.”
“Given the major advancements in technology and consumer accessibility that have occurred in the past two decades since the E-SIGN Act was first enacted, it’s time to modernize this law,” Moran. “This legislation is a timely update to expand consumer access to online and mobile financial services in line with modern practices.”
“During this challenging time, Americans are increasingly faced with outdated barriers to accessing critical documents and bank statements electronically,” said Young. “The E-SIGN Modernization Act will streamline this decades-old system and allow more people to access their bank information from a computer or other electronic device.”
“As we mark the E-SIGN Act’s 20th anniversary this week, we applaud Senator Thune’s leadership in modernizing the law while preserving its important consumer protections,” said Rob Nichols, president and CEO of American Bankers Association. “This legislation will help ensure customers’ requests to access digital banking services are quickly honored, particularly when brick-and-mortar operations are disrupted or customers are temporarily displaced. This update to one of the landmark laws of the internet age will also mean more widely-available and innovative choices for bank customers, including the ability to more easily manage how much paper they receive.”
“The E-Sign Modernization Act of 2020 is a strong step toward balancing community health with financial well-being,” said Jim Nussle, president and CEO of Credit Union National Association. “Enhancing consumer access to online services will ensure that consumers and the financial first responders meeting their pecuniary needs remain safe in our current operating environment.”
E-SIGN currently requires consumers to reasonably demonstrate that they can access documents electronically before they can receive an electronic version, which is an outdated requirement that is no longer necessary given advancements in technology. The E-SIGN Modernization Act would remove this requirement, so once a consumer is provided with disclosure information and consents to receiving documents electronically, he or she can obtain them through those means.