Author: Johanna Böhm

SIX digitizes contract management with cloud services from Swisscom Trust Services and DocuSign

Printing, sending, signing, scanning, and archiving documents are now past. Thanks to integrating the qualified electronic signature (QES) from Swisscom Trust Services into the existing SIX DocuSign solution, SIX processes contracts digitally and with legal validity. The result is a simple, efficient, secure, and accelerated process to delight customers, suppliers, and SIX.

The company: SIX

SIX operates the infrastructure for the financial centers in Switzerland and Spain, thus ensuring the flow of information and money between financial market players. SIX offers exchange services, financial information, and banking services to increase efficiency, quality, and innovative capacity along the entire value chain. SIX is also building a digital infrastructure for the new millennium.

SIX connects financial market participants in Switzerland, Spain, and worldwide. The company is owned by around 120 national and international financial institutions. They are the primary users of our services and our most important customers. Our close relationship with them guarantees financial infrastructure and processes stability, proximity to clients’ evolving business needs, and competitive prices.

Digital contracts create efficiency.

With the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, SIX experienced long delays in paper-based contract processing. Required signatories received contracts weeks later or not at all. Documents had to be printed, enveloped, stamped, mailed, signed, received, stored, scanned, and archived later in the home office: The situation was very demotivating for all parties involved.

"The goal was to provide our business units and corporate functions a solution that would meet their requirements: Easy and fast to use, customer and user-friendly, secure, compliant, stable, efficient, powerful, and integrative. Therefore, we launched the DocuSign digital cloud signature solution in mid-2020," says Christian Thometzek, Head of Business Excellence at SIX.

The contract digitization project was assigned to Turgut Dogan, Product, and Service Manager at SIX. He managed the whole project and now oversees the solution for the entire company. "Simply introducing and integrating a cloud service is not enough. We created a testimonial and an information hub with relevant information, presented the DocuSign solution at internal events, offered user training, conducted demos, and much more. Our usage statistics show that the efforts have paid off. Every document handled digitally provides significant added value."

Digitization of the contract management with DocuSign

The DocuSign self-service solution is embedded in the SIX IT-system landscape. Employees can order a SIX DocuSign account anytime via the SIX internal order portal, which is available to them fully automatically within a few minutes.

The following contract processing is straightforward: log in via single sign-on, upload the document via drag and drop, specify the mail addresses of the signers, declare the signature fields in the document, and send the copy. The signers receive an e-mail with a link to the document to be signed. After signing, the document's sender gets a notification about the conclusion of the contract.

Depending on the type of contract, different signature types are used. These range from Simple Electronic Signatures (SES) and Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) to Qualified Electronic Signature (QES). For most documents, an SES and AES provided by DocuSign are appropriate and sufficient.

SIX started using the qualified electronic signature (QES) by Swisscom Trust Services

Certain types of contracts are subject to regulatory requirements that demand QES as the most secure type of electronic signature. Therefore, SIX was challenged to find a QES provider that could be seamlessly integrated into its existing processes and DocuSign and that complied with the Swiss federal law ZertES and the EU regulation eIDAS for qualified electronic signatures.

At the time of the evaluation, Swisscom Trust Services was the only trust service provider on the market that could meet these requirements. The solution was able to meet SIX's expectations in terms of security and compliance.

Swisscom Trust Services provided SIX with a simple and user-friendly identification and registration process for QES. Signers can identify themselves for the use of the QES both in Swisscom stores, via trained SIX registration authority agents, or online. For registration and use of the QES, only a confirmation via the free Mobile ID app was necessary.

Use Case: Market maker concludes contracts legally with QES.

Market makers support exchange trading in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) or Exchange Traded Products (ETP) by setting prices for these financial products on both sides of the order book. Agreements between SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd and the market makers contain terms and conditions for pricing ETFs and ETPs offered on the Exchange. Legal & Compliance requires a handwritten or qualified electronic signature for these contractual agreements between SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd and the Market Makers.

Hanspeter Syfrig, Product Manager for the fund's area at SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd., found the opportunity to use QES very timely: "Obtaining signatures for documents after the start of the lockdown suddenly became a real challenge. This caused additional delays and inefficiencies when signing documents. Onboarding with DocuSign is very intuitive, and we were able to roll out the solution quickly at our site. We also completed the QES registrations quickly. In addition, the registration process was straightforward to manage. Once the registrations were completed, we could use QES through DocuSign."

When asked if SIX would recommend the QES-DocuSign solution to other users, Hanspeter Syfrig replies, "Yes, the solution has saved us a lot of time and administrative effort. I can, therefore, only recommend that everyone switch to electronic signatures."

Successes of the solution

SIX actively uses DocuSign. By the end of November 2021, more than 9,000 documents with over 23,000 digital signatures from more than 1,300 different signers from 15 countries were processed. DocuSign and the QES integration of Swisscom Trust Services also benefit SIX regarding sustainability. By switching to an almost entirely paperless office, SIX contributes to the environment, reduces paper consumption enormously, offers a faster, legally valid signing process, and successfully reduces effort and costs.


*According to DocuSign statistics

The solution has been very well received by users within SIX who already work with DocuSign. "As with every innovation, we had to do some convincing initially. But the solution is very convenient to use and easy to learn. Once used, colleagues quickly recognize the advantages. I hear again and over again from the staff that processes that used to take weeks are now completed within hours. On the customer side, this acceleration of processes is also well received. We are on the right track, and I can say that the introduction of DocuSign with the Swisscom extension has been a complete success. Swisscom Trust Services was an extremely reliable partner here, and the team always responded to our queries quickly and professionally. Overall, we were thus able to implement a perfect solution together," says Turgut Dogan.








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