State Associations: Include E-Sign Modernization Bill in COVID Relief Package

As Senate leaders continue to negotiate provisions in the latest round of legislative coronavirus relief, the 51 state bankers associations today urged them 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.

“Because of temporary branch closures, concerns about postal mail, and other factors, more Americans are asking to use digital channels to work with their bank,” the associations wrote. “But an outdated provision in the E-Sign Act is impeding the ability of banks and other businesses to quickly fulfill these requests. As America’s banks continue to support their customers through both traditional banking and the delivery of COVID-related government programs, updating this law is a simple way to ensure maximum access to efficient and timely services.”