Standardization of Digital Transaction Management through the xDTM Standard

xDTM StandardCompanies are realizing the need for digital transaction management, due to its ability to make document-based transactions more efficient, easier and faster. It allows organizations to eliminate manual and paper-based tasks in collecting information, signatures and payments. In return, companies that have implemented digital transaction management (DTM) realize high returns on investment, reduced document processing errors, and unmatched customer experience and loyalty. With the office becoming more digital, this type of transaction management removes the complexity associated with accomplishing many types of transactions at different times, from different people in different locations. Globally, three quarters of large organizations have initiated DTM practices, and the market is set to reach $30 billion by 2020.

Need for secure digital transaction management

However, the modern digital office meets several challenges such as possible confidential and security breaches for private data and information. Thus secure transfer of signed documents through emails must be done carefully. In fact, with the rise in online data security breaches, the need for secure document exchange can no longer be ignored. The exchange of documents between parties must involve strategies such as encryption, for instance. Another challenge at the heart of the digital office is the use of various platforms, methods, procedures and policies in digital transaction management – which has called for the need of standardization.

Standardization of digital transactions

Standardization of any system allows interoperability of components and assures users that what they buy will be useful on other platforms floated by various players in an industry. Standardization will bring together various industry players providing different types of services and equipment. The xDTM Standard has, therefore, been developed as a result of need to organize digital transaction management and allow use of best practices by professionals. The cloud-based service will allow companies to manage digital document-based transactions while ensuring a set of rules, standards and policies are observed. The parties are also to use predictable, consistent and trustworthy systems among themselves. The xDTM Standard is now supported by over 300 organizations in different professions.

The xDTM Standard: Requirements, Methods and Procedures

The xDTM Standard is built on eight pillars, namely security, compliance, privacy, availability, universality, interoperability, enforceability and scalability. The standard will seek to comply to various policies depending on the industry in question.

Security: The system will ensure that all data and information is secured from illegal access and unauthorized leakages by implementing industry-standard encryption and offering secure access privileges as required, in addition to ensuring that other proactive measures are taken to improve data security. This will help curb crimes related to stealing sensitive customer and company data, for instance. First, a document will need a digital signature that can be proved to be authentic (not forged or tampered with): the signature allows an audit trail of the document. Signature authenticity and document integrity sits at the center of security of transactions. Methods such as type-to-sign, biometrics, Electronic notary, and Digital Certificates have been applied in authenticating electronic signature. Authenticity of a document is proved using the digital signature and the audit trail. Examples of electronic signatures being used include DocuSign, Adobe EchoSign and RightSigniture.

Privacy: Privacy of transactions is an important aspect in business today and many organizations are required by law to keep customer private data confidential. The xDTM Standard will allow people and organizations using the digital transaction management systems to have the discretion to reveal desired information. In addition, the xDTM Standard will ensure that such private data is not sold.

Compliance: The compliance with industry standards, laws and policies is verified by carrying out recurring third party auditing. the transactions will comply to ISO 27001, HIPAA controls, and SSAE 16, among other policies.

Openness: In addition to allowing collaboration, use of open gateways and APIs through the xDTM Standard will help in availing the data continuously.

Universal: The computer environment is already diverse, with different programming languages and devices, for instance. Unification of systems required that the xDTM transactions work uniformly across these diversities.

Scalability: The volume by which digital transactions by large organizations increase over time is unimaginable. Thus, the xDTM platform must be able to accept high volume of transactions while maintaining good performance.

Enforceability: The system will ensure provision of reliable and transparent platform that can provide an audit trail track for historical transactions in cases of regulatory and legal needs.

xDTM Standard will allow secure use of digital electronic signatures when companies are undertaking contracts and negotiations. Already, different countries around the world have laws allowing use of digital signals in carrying out international business. An example is the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA).

What type of organizations to implement DTM?

Large-scale firms with global presence are technically realizing that DTM is unavoidable since paper-based transactions are virtually impossible. Local firms are realizing that paper-based transactions can not cope with modern fast-paced business environment. In addition, there are calls for adoption of smart methods that will cut down on environmental footprint. Thus DTM becomes a standard for all firms.

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