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Pem Guerry, executive vice president of Signix, left, and Jay Jumper, president and CEO of Signix, right, show a computer page that can be used by clients. / Photo by Angela Lewis

As electronic commerce grows amid the coronavirus pandemic, a Chattanooga-based digital signature company is adding more staff and users, especially in notarizing documents remotely.

SIGNiX Digital Signatures, which began in 2002 as one of the early developers of electronic signature verification for the real estate, title, wealth management, healthcare and government, is quickly expanding this year with remote online notarization (RON) that provides electronic notarization where a notary and signer are in different physical locations.

With more individuals working from home and fewer people traveling or making in-person visits, the use of digital signatures and remote online notarization has exploded in recent months. SIGNiX, which is headquarted in Warehouse Row in downtown Chattanooga, has added four new employees in the past six weeks to reach nearly 50 employees as business has grown to record levels.

SIGNiX has been a pioneer in creating new business opportunities for notaries with its eNotary platform to enable in-person eNotarization as well as RON capabilities. Last month, SIGNiX began offering its electronic and remote online notarizaton products and software in both Stewart Title's roughly 500 offices and in the Stewart Trusted Provide network of title agencies which includes nearly 3,000 offices.

"As more and more states have passed RON legislation, it's important we offer our associates and agents a suite of reliable and proven digital solutions," said Scott Gillen, a senior vice president with Stewart. "SIGNiX's electronic notarization platform will allow our issuing offices to add electronic notarization capabilities, as well as provide an additional resource for agents or escrow officers looking to perform Remote Online Notarizations."

Stewart provides policy support and title expertise through a nationwide network of direct operations and independent agency partners providing a personalized experience for agencies, lender partners and borrowers on a local level. Stewart enables its network to support digitizing the closing process for purchase, refinance, home equity and cash transactions.

"Stewart Title is an industry leader when it comes to RON and digital transaction solutions," said Jay Jumper, CEO nd founder of SIGNiX. "By partnering with them on this critical issue, we can provide both independent and in-house notaries the tools to further expand their notary business in a secure and convenient environment."

Remote online notarization, which prior to this year was available only in about 15 states, has exploded in use as most states have now authorized RON usage either through executive orders or new legislation. SIGiX began offering remote online notarization in 2013 in Virginia, one of the first states to allow RON, but use was limited before the coronavirus forced more lenders to use such technology. In February, the product was revamped by SIGNiX to comply with different state standards adopted after Virginia.

In New York, for instance, Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order easing the requirement for in-person notarizations by permitting the use of remote or electronic notarization. U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner, D-Virginia, and Kevin Cramer, R-North Dakota, have introduced the Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2020 to permit immediate nationwide use of remote online notarizations.

SIGNiX owns eight patents for its digital signature process and is the largest cloud-based digital signature provider based in North America.

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