Business transactions that require signatures are no longer contained in the physical world. Digital signatures can make a special online document legally binding and valid as if it is signed with an actual pen on an actual document. But first of all, you may be wondering what is digital signature and how it works.
In a nutshell, a digital signature is basically the electronic version of a physical, handwritten signature. It functions just the same, guaranteeing the authenticity of a message or an electronic document and its contents. The difference is that digital signatures are uniquely coded and specific to its signers. Electronic signatures are protected in layers of security and authentication protocols to prevent tampering and frauded.
Digital signature technology has been around for decades. But it is the emergence and the subsequent adoption of e-commerce all over the world and the increasing number of more modern revenue streams, such as monetizing ISP email, which has given rise to the need of electronic signature software. Here are 5 ways a digital signature solution can impact your business for the better.
Accelerates Turnaround Time
There are tasks and processes that require signatures from specific parties, like contracts, reports, and approvals, to mention a few. In a traditional setting, the turnaround time for these tasks can take hours, if not days. Delivering documents for signature from one office to another can take a while, especially if the signer is not around to receive and sign the document.
With digital signature software, the whole process can be completed in minutes. How to get digital signature from signers, you ask? The good news is that this is not a complicated task. Signers can sign online documents anytime and anywhere without worrying about security and other risks.
Improve Productivity and Efficiency
A solid digital signature tool eliminates the need to print, scan, and post documents. Waiting for documents to be delivered and signed is a thing of the past as well. As signature-based processes are streamlined and accelerated, you have more time to spend on more pressing priorities.
Repetitive tasks are scheduled and automated. Your document flow is tailored and optimized to suit your business processes. If you have similar documents that you use often, you can simply go inside the system and create/edit templates as required.
Decrease Operational Costs
While investing in a digital signature solution entails a cost, your company will enjoy huge savings in the long run. Incorporating digital signature into your document management processes cuts down the expenses that come from purchasing paper and printing supplies .
As documents are stored online or in your company’s own intranet and can be accessed through your desktop and mobile devices, the need for folders and storage cabinets is significantly diminished. You don’t only save on these fixtures but you also give your office more space that you can use for other purposes.
Secure Flow of Documents
Paper-based documents that are slated for signature are exposed to a variety of risks, including damage from the elements, moisture, and fire. Mismanagement and misplacement of documents can lead to their loss, which can result in the delay of processes and potentially the loss of business. Then, there is the probability of documents being returned to you only to find a few signatures missing. With electronic signature software, all these concerns are eliminated from the picture.
A digital signature system also puts you in total control over your document flow. The audit trail enables you to monitor changes made in the document. This functionality prevents and discourages tampering and other unauthorised modifications. All of your documents are safe and secure.
Even popular cloud-based document storage platform Dropbox is reported to considering adding an digital signature feature as an added security layer for its users, according to a 2018 Dropbox report. The management said that the digital signature functionality is designed to improve user experience, enabling clients to sign documents within the Dropbox environment.
Leveraging digital signature systems in conjunction with document management platforms dramatically decreases the risk of alterations and duplication of your documents. Your signatures are protected in layers of encryption plus a tamper-evident seal. The software instantly sends you an alert to let you know when there are changes made to your documents. Signers are given passwords, PINs, and codes for authentication and verification. These features validate their identities and approve their signature.
Check For Legality
Digital signature software is functional and efficient. Thus, its usage is projected to be on a steady rise in the years to come. In a 2018 research on digital signature software by Markets and Markets, the industry raked in $1.2 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to $5.5 billion by 2023.
But with all the advantages digital signature technology brings to any business, it is important to note that certain countries in the world have not yet adopted its use.
Digital signatures are valid in most countries in the world, including the United States, Canada, European Union, China, India, Russia, and Australia, to mention some. It may be legal in where you are based but not so in the country where you want to do business. It is advisable that you verify first a country’s laws on digital signature and gain a better understanding prior to entering into any business transaction with any entity from that country.