Case Study: Online Voting at the PSD Cooperative Bank

The PSD Bank Westfalen-Lippe eG headquartered in Münster, Germany, is one of 14 independent banks of the PSD banking group. As a cooperative bank, the members regularly elect representatives to represent their interests as owners on the bank’s committees.

Representatives’ elections at the PSD Bank have been carried out online since 2009. The online representatives election of the cooperative bank was carried out in the period from March 31 2014 to April 27, 2014, as an election by list. The election list with proposals for a future representative body was established by the election committee.

The members were asked to vote with the click of a mouse on whether they agreed with the suggested list or not. The application to participate in the online election took place via the homepage of the PSD Bank.

Comfortable online voting

Since 2009, the PSD Bank Westfalen-Lippe eG has allowed its members to vote quickly and conveniently in representatives’ elections. In 2014, a total of 43,591 eligible voters were once more called to exercise their right to vote online.

Conducting online elections shows that a cooperative is forward-looking and employs innovative technologies to facilitate and increase participation.

The bank was able to provide its members with a secret ballot and a legally valid election result because POLYAS’ online voting system is the first election system which adheres to the electoral principles online.

PSD Bank Westfalen-Lippe eG was, therefore able to provide its members with a modern and comfortable voting process.

Secure access for online voters

To access the online voting system, each cooperative member received a username and one-time password. At a credit union such as the PSD-Bank, using the customer account numbers of members as usernames was the obvious choice. The unique one-time password was created by POLYAS through complex security algorithms.

The PSD Bank opted for postal delivery of election documents to their cooperative members, which was also carried out by POLYAS. POLYAS generally sends the authentication data to voters through digital channels. On request, however, other delivery options for distributing the access data are available.

POLYAS Tip: Let your voters decide how they want to vote. You can combine an online election with an absentee ballot, with a ballot box election or with live voting at your general meeting. Request a non-binding offer now!

Effective election management through digital services

The credit union as a whole benefited from the election being managed in such a fast and easy way. By conducting their elections online and avoiding the need to print large amounts of election documents, the bank was able to significantly reduce its election costs.

“The PSD Bank Westfalen-Lippe eG is one of the first banks in Germany which has conducted its representatives’ elections in an innovative and resource-saving way online,” explains PSD Chairman Reinhard Schlottbom. “This fits very well with our banking strategy, and the resulting decrease in paper consumption perfectly reflects the sustainable values and environmental awareness of the bank.”