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Subcommittee Examines Ways to Encourage Use of E-signatures

June 28, 2001

The House Financial Services Domestic Monetary Policy, Technology and Economic Growth Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Peter T. King (NY), will hold a hearing -- at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, June 28 in room 2128 Rayburn House Office Building -- on encouraging the use of electronic signatures in financial services transactions.

Last year Congress enacted legislation -- the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, known as ESIGN -- to allow the use of electronic signatures in interstate commerce and to ensure adequate consumer protections.

"Understandably, there is no other sector of the economy more interested in the efficiency of the ESIGN law than financial services providers and their customers. Consumers and businesses need certainty when conducting electronic financial transactions, and it is the role of Congress to support, and not hinder, the potential the electronic world presents," said King. "This is the first of many hearings this Subcommittee will hold specific to ?high-tech? financial services."

The Subcommittee will hear how the consumer consent provisions of ESIGN impact the delivery of financial services as well as hear from witnesses on a report expected from the Commerce Department and Federal Trade Commission evaluating the benefits and burdens of ESIGN?s electronic commerce provisions.

"As we pioneer new territory, many issues remain to be worked out in electronic commerce," said Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley. "I look forward to hearing what Congress, and the financial services industry, can do to facilitate - rather than impede - greater consumer benefits through the use of electronic signatures in financial transactions."

A common form of electronic signature is the password or personal identification number (PIN), which is used by many Internet retailers. Other forms include smart cards, biometrics devices -- which read human characteristics such as fingerprints or voice patterns, and digitized signatures written with a special computerized pad and pen.

Click Here for Witness Schedule and Links to Testimony

Source: House Financial Services Domestic Monetary Policy, Technology and Economic Growth Subcommittee

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