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End-to-End Solutions

While start-to-finish e-signature vendors are few and far between, there are movements afoot to offer such a solution. Last year Zions Bancorp, which offers brokerage and insurance services, bought three technology companies for $50 million - think XML, icomXPpress and E-Lock Technologies - and folded them into a new entity, Lexgin.

Last October, Zions announced Lexgin would offer the first end-to-end e-sign-compliant solution to allow fund companies and other financial-service firms, as well as government agencies, to seamlessly process forms over the Web in a highly secure, simple and cost-effective way.

This past May, ING Direct announced a partnership with Adobe Acrobat and Entrust to transform ING Direct paper-based workflow and increase efficiency of its business processes. This solution includes routing, approval and the ability to add digital signatures with integrated data management and processing.

This kind of collaboration is vital, according to Jean-Paul Carbonnier of TowerGroup, if the industry is to move toward more widespread adoption of e-signatures.

While physical signatures will not vanish anytime soon, the cost savings and cross-selling opportunities presented by e-signatures will compel the industry over time.

"There are so many possible applications within institutions in both the retail and business lines - everywhere within a firm," he said.