Signatures have been used in executing binding contracts for decades. Traditionally, handwritten signatures signify the written acceptance of contracts and agreements. They bind parties to certain rules or laws specified in a document. It is tangible proof of parties conveying their commitment to a transaction. However, in today’s world, ink signatures aren’t the only option for authorizing documents. Over the last few decades, technology has reinvented how we execute our document signing workflows, giving rise to modern-day electronic signatures, making this tech a natural choice for industries looking to transform their business processes.
Electronic signatures or E-signatures allow parties to submit their consent virtually from remote locations while offering the same integrity and trust as traditional, handwritten signatures. Moreover, e-signature laws in major countries worldwide have made it possible to accept electronic signatures on pertinent documents, covering everything from rental agreements to employee contracts to sales contracts.
Unlike wet signatures, there are different ways to sign a digital transaction, depending on the level of assurance needed. Here’s a quick glimpse into the three different types of electronic signatures:
- Standard Electronic Signatures (SES) – Standard eSignatures are the most basic form of electronic signature and contain only the signature of the signee. It is the responsibility of the receiver to verify the sender’s identity. A standard e-mail signature or an image of a handwritten signature are perfect examples of SES. The most common use cases of SES include contracts, purchase orders, or simple business transactions.
- Advanced Electronic Signatures (AES) – These offer a higher level of assurance as compared to SES and require the verification of the signee. They contain a certificate proving their authenticity attached to the digital document to give it validity.
- Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) – Qualified electronic signatures (QES) contain a qualified digital certificate stored and managed by a licensed Certifying Authority.
How E-signatures Benefit Industries
Industries undergoing digital transformation are focusing on solutions that can improve internal processes. E-signatures help industries in automating workflows and standardize processing between departments. As a result, industries can expedite daily production and help workers collaborate on projects. Some of the benefits of e-signatures are:
- Customization – E-signature solutions enable users to create and save templates of frequently used digital documents to reuse in the future. Industries can create and customize templates based on their line of work and add extra fields for signatures in the document.
- Security – E-signature solutions offer robust security features, including multi-factor authentication and password-protected documents to verify user identities. This helps eliminate the risk of fraud or forgery, usually prevalent in paper-based documentation and signatures.
- Transparency – E-signature solutions offer transparency in signing processes, requiring both parties to verify their identity. Moreover, digital signatures adhere to major e-signature laws worldwide, driving transparency in online transactions. In addition, digital signatures also offer a real-time trail allowing users to track and monitor modifications or alterations to the document.
- Convenience – Electronic signatures are highly convenient to be used by industries. They offer the ease of signing from anywhere, anytime, from any internet-enabled device, simplifying a plethora of processes, from signing deals to onboarding employees remotely to signing sales contracts or vendor agreements.
Industries that must use E-signatures
Enterprises on the verge of digital transformation are influenced by their peers’ decisions and the customers’ needs. Digital transformation provides flexibility and convenience to employees while streamlining processes. With enterprises automating various processes to become more agile, adapting new technologies such as e-signatures become a top priority to enhance efficiency and productivity.
- Human Resources
Human resources can speed up their operations and work smoothly with the help of e-signatures. Onboarding and exit of employees can be conducted with ease, and HR documents like non-disclosure agreements, appraisal forms, and employee benefit forms can be signed quickly and efficiently with the privacy of all signers intact.
Sales professionals can manage their teams and meet their targets by deploying esignatures. E-signatures can help sales teams achieve faster turnaround times, be it getting documents signed by clients, making quick amendments to documents, expediting invoicing, staying compliant with legal regulations, improving profit margins, and more.
The e-commerce industry allows distributors and sellers to conduct transactions quickly, securely and seamlessly using esignatures. Electronic signatures make contract signing an effortless process and help enhance the consumer experience. Businesses can also improve customer retention rates and facilitate legitimate and secure transactions between all parties involved using electronic signatures.
- Real Estate
The real estate industry can tremendously benefit from electronic signatures. From developers to agents, brokers, and sellers, e-signatures can be leveraged to conduct transactions on the go without the process being long-drawn and monotonous.
- Financial Services
The financial services industry is skeptical when it comes to embracing new technologies. With digital lending and neo-banking emerging to capture the attention of digitally native customers, e-signatures are a surefire way to onboard them with the least hurdles.
Education institutions and students alike require a decent share of paperwork to be filled in and processed, which can be a long, tedious process. Likewise, getting forms filled, signed, and scanned can be cumbersome and require considerable time, effort, and resources. This is where e-signatures can make the signing processes simpler, quicker, seamless, and secure for all parties involved.
Employees, vendors, and suppliers can use e-signatures to commit to contracts and agreements. The retail industry can curb expenses and track different departmental processes using electronic signatures. The real-time trail of e-signatures allows all parties to view the complete document workflow accompanied by timestamps.
The legal industry can capitalize on e-signatures to get various documents signed with ease. This can save clients frequent trips to the attorney’s office and sign from the convenience of their homes or offices. E-signatures can also help the legal industry to sign electronic documents securely while adhering to data privacy laws. E-signatures can save time and resources for law firms while preserving the integrity and security of documents.
The healthcare industry is dynamic and fast-paced, where providing the very best care and service is not an option but a necessity! Using e-signatures, healthcare professionals can expedite patient admissions and payments, claims, vendor agreements, etc., and have all documents stored online for easy access while keeping privacy and compliance intact.
- Non-profit Organization
Non-profit organizations can deploy e-signatures in their processes to free up volunteers to focus on their missions and noble causes. From volunteer applications to sponsorship contracts to membership renewals, E-signatures can expedite signing processes and make the processes more secure and efficient for non-profit organizations.
- Information Technology
Major IT sectors such as cybersecurity and SaaS can benefit from e-signatures as a preventive measure against forgeries and security leaks in crucial documentation. Moreover, with electronic signatures, documents can be accessed and signed from any location using any device, making processes highly convenient and efficient.
- Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC)
AEC sectors can take advantage of e-signatures to complete projects under tight deadlines and protect the intellectual property rights of blueprints, drawings, and proposals.
How DrySign Helps
DrySign is an e-signature solution that helps businesses eliminate signing and document workflow bottlenecks within their processes. It smoothens signing workflows between departments and improves efficiency and productivity by removing the hassle of archiving physical documents. In addition, DrySign works on all devices and operating systems making it convenient for customers or clients. With large enterprises looking to transform their processes to gain customers, e-signature solutions are the right step toward customer success.
In this day and age, e-signatures are a highly required solution in digital processes, helping companies conduct business faster, smarter, and with elevated ease. Trust DrySign to refine internal processes and help businesses maximize their ROIs.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.