European Court of Justice Paves the Way for Digital Mailboxes

Authors: DSwiss and S&N

Digital mailboxes are an exciting opportunity for financial service providers to transmit bank documents in a paperless fashion. The digital solution also experiences tailwinds by a judgement passed by the European Court of Justice.

In January 2017, the European Court of Justice provided clarification about how digital mailboxes have to be used in the banking sector. This relates to the use of highly secure digital mailboxes usually connected to e-banking systems. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) defines the requirements as follows: «An electronic mailbox meets the requirements to be imposed on a durable medium if it can be ensured that such instrument allows the payment service user to store information addressed personally to that payment user in a way accessible for future reference for a period of time adequate to the purposes of the information and allows the unchanged reproduction of the information stored.»

In contrast to traditional e-banking solutions, the documents leave the area of access of the bank. Delivery of the documents takes place in a digital mailbox, which can only be managed and accessed by the customer. This also means that the banks will no longer be able to subsequently modify the documents sent. Concerning this matter, the European Court of Justice writes as follows: «Any possibility that the payment service provider or another professional to whom the management of that site has been entrusted could change the content unilaterally must be excluded»

Approval of the Customer Required

Use of the digital mailbox is subject to the customer’s approval. Apart from that, the procedure agreed upon with the customer ensures that the customer can be informed of the receipt of important documents and has thus the opportunity to take note of the documents.