September 16, 2020

Young, Thune, Moran Bill to Update E-Sign Clears Key Senate Hurdle

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today applauded the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which has jurisdiction over technology and consumer protection, for passing their E-SIGN Modernization Act, legislation that would streamline how consumers consent to receiving electronic documents like bank statements, account information, and contracts. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN) became law in 2000 and provides a framework for how transactions involved in interstate or foreign commerce can be completed using electronic signatures and electronic documents.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues, it’s time we help more people easily access their bank information from a computer or other electronic device,” said Senator Young. “I’m encouraged by today’s passage of the E-SIGN Modernization Act in the Commerce Committee as we work to get this bill over the finish line so that Americans can access critical documents and bank statements electronically.”

“Technology has come a long ways since E-SIGN became law20 yearsago, so it only makes sense that we update this legislation to adjust to the new normal,” said Senator Thune.“Today’s passage in the Commerce Committee brings this bill one step closer to reality – making it easier for consumers to receiveelectronic documents.”

“Eliminating unnecessary and harmful rules that do not reflect the capabilities of modern technology while improving consumers’ abilities to participate in online commerce has been a significant priority of mine as Chairman of the Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection,” said Senator Moran.“This legislation is a timely update as the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the importance of streamlining online banking processes for all Americans.”

E-SIGN currently requires consumers to reasonably demonstrate that they can access documents electronically before they can receive an electronic version, which is an outdated requirement that is no longer necessary given advancements in technology. The E-SIGN Modernization Act would remove this requirement, so once a consumer is provided with disclosure information and consents to receiving documents electronically, he or she can obtain them through those means.