Paper-based contracts make use of a wet sign or a handwritten name.
Some of the formal documents or agreements require some witnesses to the signature. They also need initials of both the signatory and witness on each page.
This process is quite cumbersome and time-consuming. It can even result in a document going unsigned. Also signed agreements face the risk of being challenged in the Court to verify the authentication of the signature or the paper. And sometimes, such significant documents are tempered by hoaxers.
Business can resolve these issues by implementing electronic signature solutions. They are the most secure and tamper-proof method of document signing. Most countries have allowed e-signature through legislation by defining what constitutes a digital signature. Here are some of the reasons why the electronic signature is the future of business contract signing for any industry;
1. Electronic Signatures Fit Modern Business Practices
These days, it’s hard to imagine how businesses managed to get things done before the invention of the Internet. Most people use email and Internet research in their day-to-day business operations. They additionally check-in from their smartphone or another mobile device when they’re away from the office. The speed of communication, the depth and breadth of information available through online sources is difficult to match elsewhere.
Some estimates predict e-commerce sales for retail will double in the next few years. They may reach $4 trillion in 2020. This growth isn’t, however, restricted to retail sales. Organizations in almost every industry can get found online. There is every reason to expect that businesses will continue seeking more openings and negotiate relationships online.
E-signatures assimilate seamlessly into the way many organizations conduct their business. There is no need to suddenly dust off the fax machine or send someone across town with a pile of papers to sign after using computers to draft, edit, and send versions of a contract back and forth. Businesses can complete their contract agreement online in a fast and secure format.
2. Electronic Signatures Can Enhance Security
Cutting down the need to chase stacks of paper doesn’t only cut down on time. It might be a safer way to use a digital storage solution, with data encryption measures, user verification, and secure servers, to store contracts than bundled into a filing cabinet. You can more easily track when the document gets viewed and when it got signed by the recipient. This added control is essential to protect private information. It is also useful to avoid legal disputes over precisely when a contract went into effect.
One of the critical elements of using electronic signature software is the ability to prove the identity of any signing party. It also demonstrates that they knew what agreement they were entering into by providing an electronic signature.
An entity cannot deny after signing digitally. An e-signature management solution systematizes the life cycle of the contracting process, such as drafting, signing, and storing any business or third-party documents.
There are several business processes such as HR forms and contracts, board papers, policies, and procedures, purchase orders, and invoices that require sign-off daily. E-signature enable these documents to get signed digitally. It thus eliminates the need to print them out and have someone sign physically. With the electronic solution, you don’t have to worry about where the documents should get stored or scanned back into a file.
Electronic forms operate in a comparable way to that of the electronic signature app. However, it is different in that the data residing in the forms can get captured electronically. The data can then get stored in a database, along with the physically signed agreement. These forms are beneficial for customer or supplier onboarding processes.
4. Enabling the future of business
The productivity above and efficiency benefits of e-signatures have gotten well known among industry stakeholders. It offers a tremendous value to forward-thinking organizations. The issue is that an unwillingness to replace paper processes has often got in the way of widespread business adoption. Additionally, the conversation is often side-tracked by a focus on the technologies underpinning digital signatures. It also gets treated as something for the IT department to grapple.
Businesses have to look at the broader picture and get prepared to transition from conventional means to a digital way of working. The transition will help them to overcome this hesitancy.
E-signatures bring speed and simplicity to the process of signing contracts. They also bring transparency, a higher level of security, and improved user experience. These are some of the explanations as to why they will play a vital role in the future of business. However, this will only take place as long as organizations are brave enough to take the plunge and get away from the slow, paper-based processes.
Ultimately, e-signatures are the future. They can’t get ignored by any organization looking to stay ahead of its competitors in what is becoming an increasingly paperless world. The Law Commission’s recent ruling has removed any doubts around their legality.
Read the blog: What Industries Must Use Electronic Signature Software?
5. Changes in Security
The security threat in today’s digital landscape is no secret. However, physical documents are just as vulnerable or more. Paper can get damaged in a flood, fire, or another unforeseen disaster. Also, they can get stolen or get misplaced.
With the adoption of digital esign app, documents are no longer aimlessly floating around, waiting for a sign like a physical document. Once they get signed, they can get stored digitally for safekeeping. Best of all, they can get accessed from anywhere at any time.
It is a proven fact that businesses adopting e-signatures can improve customer experience. It represents a customer-first mindset when utilizing an e-signature solution. It takes the burden of the previous paper and ink-based approach out of signing relevant documents. It also makes the process secure, easy, and user-friendly.
Although it seems that electronic signatures are here to stay, wet ink signatures have not entirely died, either. There is a possibility that they’ll never become altogether outdated. Most probably, coming years will see handwritten signatures increasingly relegated to certain specialized cases. E-signatures may continually rise as a preferred method of formalizing contracts between businesses across most industries.