Modern business operations will be based on e-signature technology.
For many years, digital transformation has been a hot topic for business decision-makers. In 2019, an estimated $2 trillion was spent on digital transformation. Despite the many benefits of e-signatures, they are not used widely in business processes.
Although uncertainty about E-signatures legality is often cited as a barrier to mass adoption, the Law Commission's 2018 ruling means that they are now equal to handwritten signatures. This gives the technology an important boost.
Businesses have taken action to digitize their processes to ensure business continuity due to the unpredictable effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
We look at the top reasons why digital transformation strategies should include e-signatures.
Customer experience enhanced
E-signatures offer a superior experience to their paper counterparts. This is one of the main benefits. Customers expect digital services from businesses, no matter where they may be located in the world. This extends to document signing. When they can sign electronically, no one wants to waste time printing, signing, and posting paper documents.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend, resulting in customers becoming less inclined to handle paper documents containing bacteria. Companies must now have remote signing options that enable customers to sign documents from any location, at any time, on any device. E-signature technology allows businesses to keep going even in times of crisis, which is a huge saving for them.
This will not only improve your relationship with customers but also allow you to stay ahead of your competitors and attract new customers. This will result in increased revenue and a healthier bottom.
Securer than paper
Businesses across all industries have been concerned about security breaches and increased fraud risk. This has historically been a barrier to electronic signature adoption. However, electronic signatures are a more secure and safer alternative to traditional paper documents as authentication and identity become a priority.
It is more difficult to track paper documents, and they are more likely to be lost. This increases the risk of confidential material being stolen. Traditional wet signatures are also easier to forge, which presents a higher risk of fraud.
E-signing platforms, on the other hand, offer a variety of features that minimize fraud and provide a complete audit trail. These include GPS coordinates and timestamps. You can view the exact signatures, their location, and the time they were signed. Digital encryption technology can protect e-signature documents from tampering. They can also be automatically archived to a Content Management System using business workflow rules so that the document can always be accessed.
There are other ways to optimize e-signature technology in order to verify the identity of the signer and reduce fraud risk. For documents that require witnesses to sign, these include biometric authentication, ID document collection, and webcam and video link.
The audit trail allows for the review of any information to detect suspicious or fraudulent activity. This makes it much easier to protect the customer and the business than if they were using paper documents.
Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation is based on having the appropriate measures in place for capturing, recording, and managing customer consent. Non-compliance can result in severe consequences, including fines up to EUR20mln or 4 percent of the annual revenue (whichever is greater). E-signatures are able to capture consent on any device and comply with the active opt-in requirement. They also provide details about the consent. They can also create a detailed audit trail that records the exact consent given by the signer, as well as the date and method of signing. This is a valuable tool for GDPR as it allows businesses to prove compliance after the fact. It also provides visibility that will be useful to compliance and legal teams.
The right e-signature solution will also help ensure compliance with the eIDAS regulations, which were implemented in 2016 to allow widespread electronic identification throughout Europe. To ensure customer satisfaction, businesses should search for solutions that comply with the Advanced Electronic Signatures or the Qualified Electronic Signature requirements.
Operational costs are reduced
E-signatures eliminate the need to sign, transport, and file documents in paper format. This can reduce costs associated with manually handling papers. This allows you to save money on paper, postage, and mailing supplies as well as the time it takes for admin staff to process paperwork. OneMain, an American financial services company, has reduced its annual toner cost by $500,000 and produces fewer than a thousand loan papers per month since the implementation of e-signatures. The Bank of Montreal (BMO), will also be able to save up to 100 million dollars annually in paper costs.
Improves employee productivity
E-signatures are able to save employees money and time. Instead of spending time processing documents, correcting mistakes, or redrafting documents, they can be used to save time. Employees can now spend more time on more important work, such as customer relations, by switching to e-signatures. Wright-Patt Credit Union employees once spent 22 minutes on paperwork preparation. However, this time has been reduced by 50% using e-signatures to digitize their lending process. Similar results can be seen in the Canadian branches of BMO. Since the rollout of electronic signatures nationwide, errors rates have decreased significantly. Scanner errors dropped by 92 percent, and missing files fell by 66%.
The pandemic has driven e-signatures adoption because it helps thousands of people maintain operational continuity. However, businesses will not be able to stop enjoying the benefits that e-signatures bring to their daily operations once they have experienced these benefits. E-signature technology is likely to become a keystone of modern business operations.