Anyone who signs and sends documents can distinguish between an electronic and ink-based signature. The term "e-Signature" refers to any signature that is communicated electronically, including digital signatures on documents and signatures produced through electronic document signing services. Digital signatures can be described as electronic signatures with advanced features that ensure compliance and security.
Standard eSignatures may be acceptable for approvals or agreements that do not have to meet strict security and compliance standards. Consider situations where an HR professional might need to approve vacation time for an employee. An electronic signature may be the best option for internal use.
A digital signature is essential when dealing with sensitive processes or strict compliance standards. In a basic sense, digital signatures are an electronic signing process subset better suited for industries such as legal and healthcare. Digital signatures and other backend tools can be encrypted and audited to ensure authenticity. These digital certificates are popular for signing contracts, tax documents, or insurance forms.
A regular signature, but better
Electronic signatures offer many advantages over ink-based counterparts. They can be carried around, are legally binding, portable, and have a minimal environmental impact. Technology is often used to verify the authenticity of signatures.
Instant, convenient, reliable
Electronic signatures reduce the time it takes to approve and sign agreements. Electronic signatures can be done instantly. You don't have to wait for the mail or even get in your car to drop off documents. Once you have signed the business document electronically, you can move on to the next step.
E-signatures make signing document workflow much simpler. Electronic signature solutions can be carried around so that you can sign business documents or request signatures wherever you are. You don't need to print, sign and scan the paper document, then resubmit it. You don't even need a facsimile machine to send or receive signed documents.
Small errors are not a problem since many electronic signature systems won't let you submit a critical document until each signature field is filled in.
The electronic seal can be legally binding, just like ink-based signatures. The E-Sign Act was adopted by the United States in 2000. It defines electronic signatures. They have the same legal requirements and authority as an ink-based signature. Nearly all states have adopted Uniform Electronic Transactions ACT which allows electronic signatures. Only a few digital documents can be signed electronically, such as wills.
Simple on the Environment
It is time-consuming and annoying to scan, print, and fax physical document control to create electronic signatures. It can also be harmful to the environment. Every appliance you purchase will increase your carbon footprint. You will have a more efficient workflow if there are fewer devices. You won't need as many trees to cut down for hardcopy paper.
Electronic signatures are a significant improvement on traditional ink-based signatures. They offer more security, speed, and convenience. If you are still using traditional wet signatures in your organization, you should consider eSignatures to reap all the benefits. We hope that this clarifies the difference between digital and E-signatures.