Founder & Head of Growth @ Pluto TV
With all the technological advances that have made our lives easier, there are still those occasional moments when we find ourselves thinking, “There has to be a better way to do this.” If you’ve tried to transfer stock shares recently, then you know this is exactly that type of situation.
Let me walk you through the traditional process to transfer stocks.
First, whether you realize it or not, there are a lot of scenarios when you want to transfer stocks outside of the market. Maybe you’re a parent making changes to your child’s trust or have recently inherited new stocks. Divorce settlements or private stock sales are other common situations when stocks change hands.
And when that happens, it’s necessary to get a green medallion signature. The signature verifies that the person transferring the stocks is, in fact, who they say they are. The transfer agent won’t allow the transfer without one. Unfortunately, it’s become difficult to obtain a medallion.
Recently, many banks have decided to stop offering medallion guarantees. As an investor, you can’t just pop into any corner bank and get the verification. For all of the United States and Canada, there are just 7,000 agents who can provide a medallion according to the SEC. And those agents aren’t distributed evenly across the two countries. In some areas you might even have to drive hundreds of miles to receive a green medallion signature, making the whole process a pain.
Thankfully, technology has finally found a solution to this hassle. Now there are ways to verify stockholders’ identification online. One company offering a better way to obtain a medallion signature is eSignatureGuarantee.com. In about 90 seconds you can set up an account that will be able to verify your identity safely and securely. Then you can send out your stock certificates and supporting documentation and they will return them to you or your transfer agent with the green medallion signature.
Instead of spending hours finding and driving to a location that can provide the guarantee, you can complete the whole process from your home or office in minutes. eSignatureGuarantee takes a common, but annoying process and makes it painless through the right use of technology.
As time passes, more and more financial situations will inevitably be made easier through the same tip of online verification tech. For example, a banking account can conceivably be opened over the internet using the same technology. Time will tell how much this digital form of identification will change the way we do business, but for now, it’s starting by making stock transfers easier.
What other business transactions could benefit from online ID verification technology? Share in the comments below!
Ilya Pozin is a serial entrepreneur, writer and investor. He is the founder ofPluto TV, a free television service, Coplex, a startup development studio, andOpen Me (acquired by Rowl). Named one of Inc.’s ’30 Under 30′ entrepreneurs, Ilya also has columns appearing on Forbes and Inc. You can keep up with Ilya on Twitter.