The Safety and Soundness of e-Signature

We wrote earlier this week about the exploding use of e-signature software by our clients. They are constantly finding new efficiencies to be gained by converting paper-based document approval processes into electronic processes.

However, as some clients have pointed out, this also expands the number of times a consumer comes in contact with paperless approvals, which pushes back the speed with which their electronic signatures are accepted.

True: Winning the trust of the consumer with regard to the safety and legal soundness of e-signatures is still a work-in-progress. Even though such critical legal activities as submitting your annual tax forms can be safely done online through services like TurboTax or H&R Block, a large minority of people still print out the forms, sign them with ink and send them off in the mail.

Our e-signature software must get over two hurdles of trust to gain market share:

Protection of Personal Information ? Does the electronic signature software have sufficient security features to keep the personal information I share safe and retrievable? We are constantly adding new security features like biometrics.

Legally Sound or Enforcable?? Will these signatures equal the legality of ink on paper?

ESign legislation was created to answer the second concern (although acceptance still has some way to go with consumers!) Other legislation, such as Canada?s PIPEDA*, specifically tie the uses of electronic signatures to existing legal protections for personal information.

We further strengthen our service to protect private information by enclosing each entity?s data in its own secure server space in the cloud. The administrator in charge is the only one who can offer access to new parties, and can limit that access severely.

In time, eSignature solutions like SutiSign will be the norm rather than the exception, but businesses much respect the concerns of their customers, and continue to offer both paper and electronic approval solutions until 90% or more of the buying public has come to terms with the retirement of ink-on-paper!

How has the transition been going in your business? Where have your clients resisted the movement to electronic signature capture?

*Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.

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  2. Claire

    I tend to very much agree with what was said although I don’t follow the subject very well. You probably have a much better grasp than me.