Paper-based contracts involve a “wet” signature or a hand-written name. Some formal documents or agreements need some witnesses to the signature, and initials of both the signatory and witness on each page.
This process is quite cumbersome and time-consuming and can result in a document going unsigned. Even signed agreements run the risk of being challenged in the Court to verify the authentication of the signature or the document. And sometimes, such significant documents are tampered by fraudsters.
Business can solve these issues by implementing electronic signatures, which are the most secure and tamper-proof method of document signing. Most countries have permitted e-signature through legislation by defining what constitutes a digital signature.
The advantages of using e-signature are as follows:
1. Efficiency: Contracts can be signed within seconds from anywhere across the world using an internet connection. All pages will be automatically initialized, and the process does not require any witness. It is a customer friendly and enables contracts to be signed quickly, thus allowing the business to generate more revenue.
2. Authentication: A specific user is the bound owner of the digital key and now the signature does not need to be authenticated by a handwriting expert.
3. Integrity: A contract is linked to a particular signatory, and it is impossible to make any changes once the document has been signed.
4. Non-repudiation: An entity cannot deny after signing digitally.
An e-signature management solution automates the life cycle of contracting process like drafting, signing, and storing any business or third-party documents.
There are many business processes such as HR forms and contracts, board papers, policies, and procedures, purchase orders (PO), and invoices that require sign-off on a daily basis. E-signature enable these documents to be signed digitally thus eliminating the need to print them out and have someone sign physically and then worry about where the documents should be stored or scanned back into a file.
Electronic forms operate in a similar way to that of electronic signatures, except the data residing in the forms can be captured electronically and stored in a database, along with the physically signed agreement. These forms are very useful for customer or supplier onboarding processes.
The Bottom Line
Businesses adopting e-signatures can improve customer experience, and this is a proven fact. Utilizing an e-signature solution represents a customer-first mindset, taking the burden of the previous paper and ink-based approach, out of signing important documents and making the process secure, easy, and user-friendly.