Bills Would Create Framework for Electronic Commerce

By Lago, Larry | THE JOURNAL RECORD, November 17, 1997 | Go to article overview

Bills Would Create Framework for Electronic Commerce


Lago, Larry, THE JOURNAL RECORD


The Electronic Task Force will draft two bills to create a framework for electronic commerce.

At its Dec. 3 meeting, the 23-member task force will divide into two committees:

* One to begin work on legislation enabling electronic commerce and record keeping. * The other to work on legislation for establishing a pilot program for state agencies to employ electronic signature technology. The draft Uniform Electronic Transactions Act by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws will serve as the basis for the first committee's legislation. Even with its bills, however, the task force expects additional legislation will be needed on parameters for transacting electronic commerce with the state. While the benefits of electronic commerce are almost endless in concept, lessons from practical applications remain few and far between. But James Lupton, assistant vice president with the American Fidelity Group, offered some positive insights from a pilot program his company conducted in two states. Currently his company's agents use laptop computers to work out details of its insurance policies with customers. They then print out the document and have the customer sign the hard copy, which is processed in traditional fashion. The pilot program called for customers to sign an electronic pad which automatically affixed the signature to the document. Lupton said it takes 47 days to issue a policy and six months for that policy to become profitable. As many of these policies would be canceled in an average of six and one-half months, very little profit was realized.

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