ABA Calls for Inclusion of E-Sign Modernization Bill in Coronavirus Relief Package

As the Senate prepares to unveil its latest coronavirus relief bill, the American Bankers Association and several financial trades urged lawmakers to include S. 4159, the E-Sign Modernization Act, in the package. Originally authored by Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the bill would streamline how consumers consent to receiving electronic documents, such as bank statements, account information and contracts.

The bill would update the 20-year-old E-Sign Act to reflect advancements in technology and shifting consumer preferences. Specifically, it would remove the current requirement for consumers to reasonably demonstrate that they can access documents electronically before they can receive an electronic version—which the groups noted created obstacles for companies of all sizes during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Since the beginning of the current crisis, companies large and small have found compliance with the E-Sign Act reasonable demonstration requirement challenging,” the groups wrote. “Financial institutions have faced hurdles to quickly implement loan modifications, transfer balances, complete service requests begun on paper or over the phone, or fulfill requests from displaced customers for access to digital services.”