CONSIDERING MEDIA REPORTS from 2018, the durable medium is mainly associated with banks. The penalties imposed by UOKiK – Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection – have significantly contributed to the awareness of the existence of a durable medium in the law.

What is a durable medium and what is its purpose?

According to the definition, it is a medium that is used by firms to transmit documents to customers. Companies must ensure that the content of the document remains unchanged and is available even after the end of the contract with the customer.

The purpose of a durable medium is to secure both parties partaking in a transaction against unauthorized changes in contractual provisions. In particular, it protects the consumer against unfair practices on the part of the publisher of the document.

Who is obliged to use a durable medium?

The concept of a durable medium has been known in the European Union since 2004. It was used for the first time in the MiFID and PSD directives. The problem of a durable medium also affects the insurance industry.The Acts on Insurance Intermediation and Distribution define the obligations to use a durable medium.

Particular attention should be paid to the Consumer Rights Act 2014. It follows that all contracts concluded in the seat of a company must use a durable medium. This also applies to insurance companies and their intermediaries.

What instead of paper?

One interesting proposal is the S3DOC system. It is a complete ecosystem of IT services focused on a durable medium. The ecosystem consists of a portal for publishers and recipients of documents, a mobile application and the S3DOC eSign electronic signature module, which allows for the immediate signing of agreements and acceptance of the documents. The S3DOC system is the only one with built-in two-way communication, which means that a client of a financial institution also has the possibility to transfer documents on a durable medium. The system uses the blockchain platform, which acts as a distributed register. It records in a permanent way all events related to document activities.

Paper documents are passe

It is estimated that sending one paper letter is about PLN 5. For example, for a company that traditionally distributes 100,000 documents per year, the cost of sending documents is PLN 500,000. In contrast, the cost of handling a similar volume of electronic documents in the S3DOC system is about PLN 100,000. The savings are enormous.

It is also worthwhile to look at the use of a durable medium through the prism of social responsibility. By using such solutions we ensure the safety of our customers and guarantee that we do not use unfair practices. In this way, we create the image of an institution of public trust. In the financial sector, this is a very important attribute.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic can be an impulse for a digital transformation and a change from paper to electronic documents. The aforementioned S3DOC system in the time of the pandemic is available for free to companies in a difficult financial situation.

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