Could leasing a car, dealing with auto insurance and wading through payment processes be as easy as click, sign and drive? According to eSignature leader DocuSign, the answer is yes — and the company says reinventing the car leasing and insurance-choosing process is tantalizingly closer to reality than you might think.

A new proof-of-concept prototype, in which a DocuSign app is embedded into the dashboard of a Visa-connected car, debuted recently in Las Vegas through a partnership between two global innovation talent incubators: DocuSign Labs and Visa Innovation Labs.

The prototype brings together DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform and eSignature solution with Visa’s secure payment technology, so secure contracts and payments can be made digitally within a connected car. The demo showcased how consumers can securely sign all necessary documents, choose insurance coverage and pay electronically right from the driver's seat.

“We thought about what the best experience could be for a customer,” says Ron Hirson, DocuSign’s head of product. “Currently, every step involved in leasing a car and getting insurance ends up being separate. We started with a persona, named Danielle, who doesn’t want to deal with a salesperson and endless paperwork.”

The demo served up the possibility of allowing Danielle to review paperwork, sign documents, see preferred insurance providers, and add payment credentials, all while sitting in the car she’s about to lease. The prototype imagines the process beginning when a prospective buyer chooses a car after test-driving and completing pre-approvals. That car’s identity would then registered on the Bitcoin Blockchain, a secure ledger database that records transactions over computer networks.

While sitting in the driver’s seat, the customer would then tap a digital console to choose lease options and DocuSign the lease contract. Then, she could then evaluate and choose an auto insurance option within an open marketplace that has been created by car manufacturers, auto retailers and insurers. Everything would again be updated within the Blockchain.

After that, the customer would then link a Visa credit card to pay for the lease and insurance, as well as automatically cover any in-car payments such as tolls, maintenance services, parking and even DMV charges. After that, the customer would literally be ready to drive off the lot – in a matter of minutes.

Of course, the DocuSign/Visa project is only a prototype that offers proof-of-concept. The next step, Hirson says, would be to partner with car manufacturers and insurers to move the idea forward. But what is exciting, he adds, is that this kind of fully-automated experience among the Internet of Things is really not that futuristic.

The response to the prototype has been overwhelming. “This was a project our teams actually did on the side,” he explains. But when it was unveiled at the recent Money2020 conference in Las Vegas, “the line for the demo was around the corner.”

The reason for the excitement? “It’s something a customer would really want,” says Hirson. “People don’t necessarily want to deal with salespeople, they want to execute on the car and drive off the lot.”

 

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