The role of technology has grown wider and bigger after the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world.
This has led people to maintain a contactless life, practice social distancing, and a large number of people are bound to work from home. Various business, organisations, legal, banking and government sectors are incorporating technologies to make their work process simpler. During this work from home situation, a question that arises is how we can sign crucial documents and validate it with legal backing? As an answer to this question e signature online seems a great option.
It is quite impossible to keep your transactions or operations on hold for a long time. Especially for organizations. In this case, where traditional ways and face to face working is not possible, they will have to go for better options like app for signing documents. Moreover, the drawbacks of paper-based transactions have been known to the organizations for a while now. This is the right time to move to a much better, safer and more efficient option for transactions.
In this contact-less environment, various agencies, banking institutions and government sectors have to opt for electronic signature free. Incorporating these new technologies will not only smoothen down the process but will be a great relief for most of the organisations in terms of financial transaction and Digital Document Signing. Now that social distancing and work from home have become a normal phenomenon, all the organisations and every sector is walking towards a better and more digitized work environment.
Let's take a deeper dig into the Global e signature software market
According to a study conducted by Forrester, by the end of 2020, the growth that is expected in the market of the best electronic signature solution and the digital signature is almost around 60% CAGR. Especially in the banking and other legal sectors. It is also expected that the market can easily cover 90 million transactions during this period of time. Even the banking sector thinks that in order to provide a complete Digital solution to their customers it has become crucial for them to incorporate and integrate e signature solutions.
E signature online and a new approach
Somewhere down the line esignatures are being used in our work-life on a considerable scale. However, many of us do not think about their legal status. Still, the growth of electronic signatures in the organisations and various other sectors is increasing day by day. It is considered that COVID-19 pandemic has caused the growth and expected that the number will keep growing. However, the users need to understand the restrictions of the use which differ from state to state, especially in the scenarios where notarization is required. However, the law is extending its reach and inclusiveness at a great pace to adapt solutions that facilitate all the requirements of this contactless lifestyle; the new normal.
Laws on the electronic signature
In order to provide states with a structure of rules that gives digital signatures the exact legal value and validity as traditional/wet/ink signatures, UETA Act was formed back in 1999, a couple of decades ago. This act has been adopted by various states and districts. This includes 47 States of the US. Only the three remaining states of Illinois, Washington and New York that declined to accept the 1999 act, formed The US Electronic Signatures Act in 2000.
Here are the requirements:
An electronic signature is defined in both US Electronic Signatures Act and the1999 act as an electronic/digital symbol, sound or a process that is connected to or attached to a record and implemented or adopted by an individual that intends to sign the content/record/document.
It is highly recommended to determine all the requirements of laws of the land for e signature online by all the parties before accepting or using an electronic signature. However, the local laws are overlooked sometimes in minor transactions, still it is extremely crucial to validate the electronic signatures.
Before making an electronic signature binding the following terms must be fulfilled:
1. Validation & Attribution:
There are two things that are considered for a digital/esignature to be applicable effectively. One is that the identity of the person who is signing should be clear and authorised enough to perform as a business representative and two, is to provide any evidence that validates the signature is to the signatory. To determine the attribution the scenario present at the time of implementation of the signature is taken into consideration. This can be verified by tracking each signature to the signatories' valid profiles available on a secured portal. There are other ways as well, such as comparing the signature by sending an affirmation email to the signers’ email address.
An electronic signature according to the law is considered authorised only when both the parties or all the parties have given their consent to the use of an electronic signature. Implied from circumstances or are clearly stated in the agreement electronic signatures can be considered binding only after the consent of all the parties. In terms of consumer transactions, most of the jurisdictions will require the clear consent of the consumer. However, the standard clauses mentioned in corporate and real estate contracts do usually allow the use of e-signatures limited to the contract itself.
3. Retention of the record:
If any law states that it requires an individual to deliver or send data/content/information in written to another individual, electronic signature has to be provided in a sustainable form that can be retained. This has been cleared in the Model Act that retrievable and personable forms of e signatures are accepted. It is also stated in the US Electronic Signatures Act that any digital signature can be retained and accurately reproduced if needed for the references in the future.
When it comes to personal use there are some restrictions to the use of electronic signatures. All the (federal and state) laws are applicable for the use of digital signatures in commercial or public transactions. There are some documents and scenarios that do not accept electronic signatures; these exceptions are excluded from the statutes.
5. Entity Filings:
You are recommended to confirm with the related government agency and see what kind of signatures they are accepting for what purpose S and scenarios. Rules for entity filings may differ from state to state.
While above, we have talked about the legality and the market share of the Digital Document Signing or free electronic signature solutions, let us also look at the sectors that can leverage this growing trend and get benefited from their features. Let us understand how much can the health care sector benefit from electronic signature free.
Right from the healthcare sector to the government sector, every organisation can leverage this technological advancement for better performance, productivity, customer relation and comfort of the customers or the public. Healthcare sector has to deal with the life of the people and delay in the procedure of the treatment of insurance cover or the bill payment can make the overall process time consuming and tiresome.
The patient’s family must not have to deal with the paperwork and long lines while they are the one suffering after the patient. At the same time, doctors are under pressure of treating the patients and hence should not have to bother about the paperwork of the patient. Medical reports, history, everything has to be available to them in a timely manner. Digital signature solutions help here as it saves both the parties from the long waiting period, efforts and cost of performing the documentation.
Electronic signatures are faster secured, offer audit trail features, are backed by the law, and most of all are loved by the customers/users across the world. There are many features of the solution that attract organizations across the globe. However, we will talk about them some other time.
At present, we should get thrilled by the increasing use of the e signature online during this pandemic as the social distancing and contactless transactions are being performed across the world. This trend is not going to look back. As the world is moving ahead, the more digital we get, better will be our competitiveness and productivity.