In a perfect world, the introduction of solutions supporting a paperless business process would completely eliminate the need for physical paper. When copying and faxing were first introduced, paper was converted to digital, ultimately being reverted back to paper. When word processors were introduced, documents were created electronically, only to be printed to paper. Email attachments, scanning, document management, and workflow, all promised the death of paper.
The reality is, paper will continue to persist; and, while significant strides are continually made by technology providers and organizations that use these technologies, there will always be a need to move between the two worlds. Any well thought-out solution will provide the ability for all of the appropriate considerations: ease, compliance, and accuracy.
Paper In® Process
Our Paper In® functionality, a feature of our eAsset® Management platform, supports paper signing when electronic signing is not an option. Approved by the top Rating Agencies and financial institutions, it allows businesses the ability to manage these paper assets electronically post-signature, while maintaining compliance and top valuations of these assets.
The process is a four-step procedure combining business and technical tasks to covert a paper or electronically generated original file to an Electronic Original® document:
The Paper In process first requires the source file, which was initiated as a wet-ink signed paper original, to be scanned to produce an electronic file. The document is then uploaded into a Paper In request within the eCore® secure repository. This step secures the electronic copy and locks it from further process until the request is completed.
The source file, in addition to any other paper or electronic copies of the file, must be destroyed or permanently marked; ensuring the Electronic Original document in the eCore secure repository is the unique original document. It is important to be able to prove, via documented and enforced policies or other artifacts, that the source file has been destroyed and that the business treats and identifies the Electronic Original document as the sole original document.
A business user electronically signs the deposited document, attesting to the successful destruction of the paper original and its unmarked copies. This results in a visible electronic signature added to the document, typically in a margin on the first or last page, notating the person or system performing the Paper In process and the date and time of the Paper In conversion.
The system then completes the process by digitally sealing the deposited document using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology and an X509 digital certificate, binding the content and signatures of the document with a tamper-evident digital signature.
Paper In® Flow Diagram
Paper Out® Process
Conversely, when electronic stops being a viable format (i.e. transfer of ownership to a third party that does not have the means to support electronic documents in compliance with applicable law), eOriginal’s Paper Out functionality allows for the conversion of these assets from electronic format to a legally-compliant and enforceable paper document. The process is a multi‐step procedure by which an authorized user generates a Paper Out request; another authorized user authorizes the request; and a third authorized user verifies the request.
The authorization step produces a packet of materials that together constitute the original document:
1. Certification Statement.
The user verifying the Paper Out must read and sign this statement. In doing so, it confirms that he or she has authorization by the owning organization to perform the Paper Out; and ensures he or she has reviewed the resulting documentation to confirm it is a true and accurate representation of both the document and its document history as managed within the repository.
2. Original Document.
The original document is produced and removed from the repository. Upon verification of the Paper Out process, the user may request to retain a permanently watermarked eCopy document in the repository for historical purposes.
3. Document History Report.
A full record of the document’s history is produced, describing all of the user interactions with the document within the repository: from its creation as an Electronic Original document through to its Paper Out request. Although the document has been removed from the repository upon verification of the Paper Out request, the document history is retained and may be accessed at any point in time.
Paper Out® Flow Diagram