Meaning of us have heard people using or we are ourselves might be using two concepts interchangeably mainly electronic signatures and digital signatures. These two concepts might appear similar on the first side however there is a difference between these two technologies.
Here, let us understand what each technology means and how it is different from the other. Plus, we will have a look at the benefits of esignature solutions.
It is a well-known fact that many businesses across the sectors are using sector-specific esignature solutions in order to leverage these of the features this software has to offer. For example, there are many many digital signature solutions in the market focusing on certain sectors such as digital signature in banking, Esign solution for real estate, eSignature Solution for Government Agencies Or eSignature Healthcare Solutions, etc.
Electronic signatures are also popularly called e signatures are any electronic ways, actions or means that are used or performed by a person who wants to affirm that he has accepted the terms and conditions or the content mentioned in the concerned document/message/records, etc and he is in concerned with it. Electronic signatures are an electronic representation of the intent of the signer to sign the document. The value of the electronic signature and the work it does is similar to the traditional handwritten signature, except electronic signatures are more secure and better in many ways (we will see it below).
Many countries around the world, such as Canada, China, India, Brazil, the United States, Australia, the European Union, etc. have accepted the use of digital signatures. These countries allow the use of both traditional and digital signatures equally and their courts value them equally.
Digital signatures are easier to use and simple to perform as signatures are allowed to make signatures on the documents via online methods through a single mouse-click. A signer can draw a signature on the screen of his computing or movie device using a finger or a stylus. Signers can also have the option of clicking on the 'I agree' checkbox.
As far as the regulations governing the use of electronic signatures are concerned, they might vary from state to state or country to country. Plus, sometimes vendors have a lot of say when it comes to the operations of the esignature solutions. Hence, it is recommended to find the best vendor for the business and sticky to him.
As far as the safety and verification of the document and the signers are concerned, esignature solutions use a form of cryptographic mechanism to ensure that the right person has signed the document and the integrity of the data is intact. User authentication is proved via digital biometric or smart cards.
Esignature solutions are perfect for almost every use (unless stated otherwise by the government or laws of the land). Many businesses across the sectors around the world are leveraging this solution to conduct a smooth documentation process and offer positive customer experiences. There many vendors in the market offering reliable and credible esignature solutions. A business should choose the most suitable solution.
On the other hand, digital signatures are an umbrella term that covers electronic signatures too. However, digital signatures can work on a different security system. When digital signatures are used to sign a document, it uses an asymmetric cryptography algorithm. This algorithm connects the concerned document to the identity of the person who has signed the document. The algorithm generates two keys, a private key and a public key. These keys are used to verify the singer's identity.
Unlike the general perception, a digital signature alone doesn’t consider or use an image of the handwritten signature as proof showing the intent to sign the content. Digital signatures get connected to the content via a database application. These signatures are embedded permanently and hence it is more than hard for outsiders to tamper with them.
As far as the usability and benefits and disadvantages of digital and electronic signatures see concerned, they both have dominance in certain areas. Digital signatures work better when more than one signatory is going to sign the document or when more than one signature is needed. On the other hand, electronic signatures show the image of the handwritten signature. This signature is also connected to the document permanently.
Gone are the days when businesses and individuals used to make handwritten signatures to show their consent to the document. This process, though popular for many years, is time-consuming and risky in many ways. A person has to go through a long process of making a paper-based document, sending it to the parties via mail, waiting for signatures for days if not weeks, etc. The process is costly too as it involves posts of spending on papers stationery, inks printing, faxing, postage, mailing, etc.
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However, the time has changed and businesses and people overall are more inclined to rely on technologies to perform certain tasks than doing them manually completely. In the case of the signature making process and storage of documents, the electronic signature system is considered bliss as it lets parties sign the document without having to travel anywhere or standing in a long line. Plus, the signed documents can be stored safely in the cloud with limited accessibility and maximum security.
In today's fast-paced world, hardly anybody would want to waste time and efforts on doing something that is crucial but just a formality.
Here are the benefits for which businesses across the world from every sector of the economy are considering switching to the use of an electronic signature system to manage documentation and business workflow:
Flexibility to make a signature from anywhere in the world:
Businesses in today's world do not want to stay restricted to the local area. They want to expand their business across the borders and wish to serve people from different countries. For this to take place smoothly, the business must be able to communicate with the foreign customer base uninterruptedly and the deals must be signed without delay or errors. What can do it better than a professional electronic signature system?
Read the blog- Guidelines for e-Signature & e-Delivery of Documents
Parties involved in the agreement need to have a computing device or a mobile device with an internet connection and the document can be signed from anywhere at any time as per the convenience of the parties involved. Signing deals quickly means more revenue to the business, which also means better business performance. And all this is done by boosting work efficiency and streamlining the work process.
Saves Company Time:
Using a traditional way of signing a document, that is through a handwritten signature, is a time-consuming process. One has to print the document, sign it, fax it and even the drafter has to save them safely for years after the completion of the signing process. Plus, in case, there is any error or mistake in the signing process, it all starts a sin from scratch. Save documents are also subject to theft and other risks. To avoid this damage and waste of time, businesses are switching to e-Signatures. eSignature Healthcare Solutions or any other electronic signature solution saves time for the business. This saved time can be utilized somewhere else productively to generate more revenue.
Offers High Security:
An electronic signature system provides the ability to maintain document and signature security along with getting real-time updates on the status of the document. Using this software, parties can track how many signatures are made, who has made it, where the document is in the signing process, how many people have viewed the document etc. Any case a singer misses a field of signature, a software sends a reminder to him to ensure that there is no back and forth or errors on the doc.
Apart from the above benefits, here are a few more benefits of using esignature solutions:
Convenience for you.
An electronic signature system lets you accept signatures and approvals on a number of documents simultaneously.
Positive client experience.
Your clients can make signatures faster without disturbing their daily routine. They are assured of safety and access to the data. This adds to the client satisfaction and they are happy to associate with you as they are able to sign from anywhere across the world.
Get paid faster.
Businesses can request payment details and signatures on the same document. This is the secured way of collecting data. Quick sharing of data means faster payment.
Using an electronic signature system also helps in:
Centralized storage of documents ensures easy and safe access to the data in the time of need.
It is an opportunity for businesses to get approvals and signatures from different parties as per the requirements to boost communication, collaboration and keep projects running in time.
Using an electronic signature system is cost-effective.
Get all the required approvals in time.
Positive return on investment (ROI).
We hope these benefits have helped you make informed decisions and clear your confusion about the use and values e signature solutions can add to your business.