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5 Reasons Your Business Should Use Electronic Signatures
It is one thing to share files digitally and another to sign documents digitally. Almost everyone nowadays uses emails, chat applications, and cloud storage to share files and documents for convenience’s sake. However, there are still some who remain skeptical about the benefits of e-signatures. There are those who would do it the traditional way and send physical copies of their documents for signing. As a result, they spend more time and money just to get their documents signed.
The rise of hybrid workplaces and remote work will boost the global demand for electronic signatures. In fact, a recent study predicts that the demand for digital and electronic signature solutions will reach almost $8 billion by 2027. So if you are still debating on whether your business should use electronic signatures, read on to find out why.
What are Electronic Signatures?
An electronic signature or e-signature is a convenient and legally recognized way to sign digital forms or documents. To do this, you usually need to invest in electronic signature software. You can also use additional hardware like a tablet to plug into your device to make it easier to recreate your signature digitally.
But to get a better idea of what electronic signatures are, you must first learn how to differentiate it from digital signatures. It’s so easy to mix the two up since they’re almost the same. However, these two refer to distinct methods of signing. Choosing the wrong one for your business can have repercussions on the legality and authenticity of your documents or transactions.
The main difference between digital and electronic signatures is their purpose. You use electronic signatures for contracts and transactions to be legally binding for both parties. On the other hand, you use digital signatures to prevent anyone else from tampering with a document or form.
When it comes to security, digital signatures have more to offer than electronic ones. In fact, one of the features of digital signatures is a “Personal Key Infrastructure” or PKI. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that e-signatures aren’t secure anymore. Electronic signatures have their own security features depending on the software you use.
Many countries recognize the legality and authenticity of electronic and digital signatures. In fact, some have established laws for them. However, there are some areas that only accept digital signatures since it complies with international standards for security. So make sure you check your area’s laws, policies, and regulations regarding electronic signatures first to avoid issues later on.
Benefits of E-signatures
Electronic signatures have more benefits to offer than traditional methods of signing. With that, here are reasons why you need it for your business.
1. Save up on cost
The traditional way of signing is most expensive compared to using electronic signatures. If you are to break down this cost, you’ll get paper consumption, pens, inks, printer, fax machines, and mailing fees. You need to print several copies of the documents before securing the necessary signatures. And if the person who needs to sign isn’t in the same vicinity as you are, you have to mail the document to them or fax it.
Fortunately, you can reduce such expenses through electronic signatures. According to a recent study, corporations spend more than $120 billion a year on paper. Through electronic signatures, you can lessen your paper consumption and save up on costs. Moreover, it does away with mailing fees since you can simply send the document for signing via the internet for free. It can also cut down the financial impact of unforeseen human errors and potential damages to the document or signature itself.
Some electronic signature software provides its services for free. However, they lack the usual security and guarantees that paid solutions have. Consider reinvesting the money you’ve saved in a reliable e-signature solution for your business. There are solutions that offer flexible subscription plans to meet your budget. So make sure to check them out.
2. Faster turnaround time
You can also save up on time and effort in finishing transactions using an electronic signature. It results in a faster document turnaround time since the entire process can be done digitally. All you need to do is send the document via email, a chat application, or cloud storage. In just a few seconds, the other party will receive the document and sign it on the spot. In another few seconds, you can then receive the signed document using the same channels.
This shows the importance of digital signatures and electronic signatures for faster implementation of decisions within your organization. Through it, you can quickly secure the signatures of all the stakeholders involved to gain approval for a project or proposal. As a result, you can reduce the time gap between decision and execution.
Another reason why you need electronic signatures for your business is its added security to your documents or forms. A common fear is that electronic signatures are not secure due to potential cyberattacks. However, this is just one of the myths surrounding e-signatures. In fact, electronic signatures can prevent forgery since it uses advanced algorithms to protect it from unauthorized access.
Moreover, electronic signatures can protect your documents from possible risks and harm. Physical signatures tend to be fragile. It can get smudged, wet, torn, or tampered with while it gets passed around. Any damage to it can render it useless and invalid. But with electronic signatures, you can prevent such things from happening.
With electronic signatures, you can fully embrace digital transformation for your business. It allows you to go completely paperless with all your transactions with clients, suppliers, partners, and employees. The best part is that it provides convenience for you and the other party.
For one, neither party has to worry about appearing personally just to sign a document or form. This does away with the hassle of traveling and moving around. Another convenience is the preparation process for signing. There’s no need to print the documents beforehand and prepare the right pens for the signing. In just a few clicks, you can have the signature you need for your document.
You can further streamline document signing and processing by allowing your e-signature solution to store your signature. This way, you don’t have to re-write your signature again and again on different contracts and documents. You simply have to insert it on the file itself to save time and effort. Also, you may simply send the finalized document for signature to all participants, which will greatly simplify communication and reduce the work time on the contract.
Businesses nowadays rely heavily on productivity tools like word processors, spreadsheets, and PDF readers. You use it to create and read forms, contracts, and other business documents. However, these tools are quite limited for document signing. Hence, you still need a reliable electronic signature software.
You can make the most out of an e-signature software by integrating it with your other business applications. For example, you can connect it to your word processing software, email service provider, and project management software.
You can also integrate it with your content management software. A CMS or content management software is a good tool for keeping your customers engaged. It ensures that your content remains effective and updated to boost your website’s traffic. Other uses of content management software include allowing users to collaborate in the creation, editing, and production of digital content. Integrating your e-signature solution into your content management software ensures your ownership of your content.
Choosing the Right Software
Businesses are getting more digital nowadays, thanks to the rise of remote and hybrid workplaces. To fully embrace the digital experience, it’s high time you invest in electronic or digital signature software. This allows you to virtually sign documents wherever and whenever you are.
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