With Plaid integration, Clause enables real-time access to consumer-permissioned  financial information within agreements which speeds up decisions and delivers an improved customer experience.

Agreements are at the heart of every business. From simple authorization forms to complex loan contracts, agreements contain and capture crucial data that determine actions, obligations, and insights. And yet, digital documents containing this information lack the intelligence required to take action. These critical documents are static and the information within them is disconnected from other systems. Such siloed data represent the root cause for expensive contract errors, poor customer experiences, expensive IT workarounds, and compliance gaps.

Clause was founded on the premise that agreement connectivity is essential to achieving the best digital experience when engaging with customers, vendors, partners, and employees. Today, as the leading infrastructure provider for computable or “smart” agreements, Clause has partnered with Plaid, a data network powering the fintech tools that millions of people rely on to improve their financial lives. Our integration with Plaid enriches time-sensitive loan applications with real-time, secure data allowing borrowers to be instantly authorized for the services they require. Beyond loans, the integration allows bank accounts, routing numbers, and individual and business identities to be verified in real time within agreements. Most importantly, a once-static Word document, PDF form, or eSignature envelope is now “smart” and can take action at the precise moment your business requires it—when you’re engaged with your customer.

The value of Plaid-enabled smart agreements

With Plaid’s technology, Clause is working with a broad set of financial institutions ranging from large banks to regional credit unions all of whom are eager to remove the friction associated with their disconnected agreements.  By bringing verified financial data into documents, the goal is to drive business processes, such as in lending through agreements.

Improving the customer experience has never been more important than in today’s uncertain, but increasingly digital, world. But it can be said that today’s process for gaining approval for critical business loans is anything but delightful. This is because the forms and contracts required to approve the loans are disconnected from the systems needed to verify and authorize customers. The typical enrollment or authorization process takes additional days—up to 72 hours—as a result of the manual audit required to assess the data entered. A slow, costly process that typically yields a poor customer experience regardless of the outcome.

Most banks and credit unions enroll customers with the help of an eSignature provider like DocuSign. These eSignature providers offer little control when it comes to verifying the critical financial data being submitted during the agreement signing process. This costly verification and audit step occurs after the data has been entered into the agreement. Clause is making it simple for these banks to verify essential information in real time while the customer is engaged in the transaction.

How it works

Our partnership with DocuSign, the global leader in e-signature and the agreement cloud, brings Smart Clause® technology to the eSignature envelope.  This, in turn, means that eSignature envelopes have access to consumer-permissioned data through Plaid, enabling immediate action as defined by Smart Clause templates. Clause’s unique value lies in the ability to instantly add computable components into any section of agreements in order to add functions that don’t exist today; Plaid provides critical financial data.

Our integration with Plaid enables smart agreements that are simple to implement and can be set up in as little time as a single day. It’s all possible through configuration—no code required. An experience that would otherwise require building a web application can be achieved by adding Smart Clause® templates within existing document software like DocuSign.

Fintech’s new foray into the agreement

This new integration integrates Plaid’s technology beyond digital apps allowing consumer-permissioned direct data verification into documents and agreements of all sorts. This is a significant step that represents a new category of where Plaid’s API-driven financial data network is available.

“Fintech isn’t just for financial institutions,” said Plaid’s Head of Partnerships Lowell Putnam. “With direct connectivity to financial data, we’ll see foundational business functions, like contracts, become more streamlined and efficient across all industries.”

By extending Plaid functionality to the DocuSign e-Signature product under our partnership with DocuSign, more than 500,000 DocuSign customers can easily permission access to their financial data within envelopes they use today across sales, HR, procurement, finance, services, and other areas of their businesses.

An improved user experience that addresses speed, cost, and compliance risk is essential, and yet, until now, this has not been possible when it comes to agreements. Our joint efforts to deliver smart agreement technology promises to transform how business is done by holding all of us to a higher, smarter standard by which we engage with our customers and other stakeholders.