The Standards and Procedures for Electronic Records and Signatures (“SPeRS”) project is an eCommerce initiative sponsored by the Electronic Financial Services Council (“EFSC”). SPeRS creates voluntary, industry wide guidelines for the electronic execution of signatures, record retention, printing, delivery, and presentation of information. The development of such guidelines will permit businesses to establish a common understanding with vendors concerning design specifications, provide the customer with a “common experience” across various online transactions and establish industry practice for enforceable structures and processes under the recently enacted federal ESIGN law and the various state adoptions of UETA. As a result, customers and service providers should experience a greater level of comfort in the use of electronic documents and implementation of such technology. Finally, the existence of widely used standards would provide courts with a reference point in determining if particular practices related to e-signatures and e-records are “commercially reasonable.”
The Drafting Committee Meeting worked over a year and a half to create SPeRS. Participants included Adobe, AIG, Dell Financial Services, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GE Capital Mortgage Corporation, Harland Financial, Intuit Inc., MassMutual Financial Group, Mortgage Guarantee Insurance Corporation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, TIAA-CREF, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Zions Bancorporation/Digital Signature Trust, as well as the following trade associations: American Bankers Association, ACLI, MBA/MISMO, and the Software and Information Industry Association.
Initially released in September 2003, SPeRS consists of five areas:
- ESIGN Consent
- Agreements, Disclosures and Notices
- Record Retention
Although SPeRS has published its initial volume, SPeRS is seeking additional participants to build upon its future innovations. Your company need not be a member of the EFSC in order to join the SPeRS Drafting Committee.