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How to Electronically Sign and Send a PDF in 2023?

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In recent years, electronic signatures have rapidly gained acceptance by major regulatory agencies around the globe. Electronic signature technology has evolved and matured to meet the evolving regulatory and business landscape. What have you seen recently? How does this affect your decision about electronic signature providers?

Electronic signature laws have seen significant changes over the past decade. They are now available in many countries, making it easier to understand what you need to do to ensure that electronic signatures remain legal. Many government agencies and regulators have allowed electronic signatures for transactions previously signed in ink and paper. The Federal Reserve Bank (SEC), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service have all published electronic signature guidance. This allows more forms, documents, and transactions to be signed electronically. Similar measures have been released by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

These changes directly impact your ability to use technology in a way that is compliant with current and future requirements. This article will focus on biometric signature options and advanced identity verification. These are important to consider because electronic signatures are becoming more common. All parties involved are not physically present at the same place, and identity documents cannot be verified in person.

What is an Electronic Signature?

Electronic signatures can be used to sign documents online. This eliminates the need for a paper signature with a wet signature. An electronic signature can be used for legal documents, contracts, invoices, financing documentation, and many other purposes. It can be a digital copy of an individual's signed signature. Electronic signatures are evidence that the signer has accepted or agreed to the terms of the document. Electronic signatures can be legal and secure. Many legal documents can be signed electronically.

How do Electronic Signatures Work?

Electronic signatures store, authenticate and track signatures at all stages of the contract's lifecycle. E-signatures, just like handwritten signatures, are unique for each signer.

Make sure your employees are trained on electronic signatures and given onboarding training to ensure they follow best practices. If customers are new to electronic signatures, they may appreciate brief instructions. To ensure that the electronic signature solution is right for you, it's a good idea to try it out. It is important to ensure that your selected solution conforms with industry and local e-signature standards.

Benefits of Using Electronic Signature

You can save time by using an electronic signature. An electronic signature is a modern way to confirm the signatory's identity and makes daily life easier.

PDF electronic signatures are emerging nowadays; such as orders or contracts. You can also electronically sign other documents, such as e-mails and data files.

Electronic Signature is Reliable

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency provides tools for creating electronic signatures. They are trusted. They guarantee the authenticity, integrity, and indisputableness of the signed information.

A sophisticated electronic signature provides certainty for the parties:

  • About who signed the document
  • The signed information has not been altered by anyone else after signing it.
  • The signatory can't deny that they signed the document or claim any changes were made after signing it.

Independent of Location and Time

Electronic signatures can be done anywhere, at any time. Remote work is becoming more common. It is, therefore, important that documents can be signed remotely rather than having to be signed in person.

It is important to have location independence, especially when multiple people must sign the same document. Signatories don't have to meet at the same location. They can sign the document from anywhere they may be.

Fast and Cost-Effective

Electronic signatures are almost as quick as paper signing, but it saves time handling the document.

It is easier to manage affairs when documents are not printed or scanned and sent by post.

You can save the document where it is easily accessible by the appropriate people.

Sending an electronic document to the recipient takes only a few seconds. You must ensure data security when you send the signed document by email to the recipient. If necessary, use encrypted email.

Less Paper – an Environmentally Friendly Choice

Electronically signed documents can also be processed electronically. It doesn't need to be printed, so storing it in a physical location is unnecessary. Many electronic workspace options can be used to store the document safely for a long time. Reduced paper consumption is an eco-friendly option.

No Scanning – the Text Remains Machine-Readable

The document can be read by machine because it doesn't need to be scanned between signatures. The document's content can be read using screen reading software. This can be useful when documents are archived and processed so that searches can be targeted at the contents of the documents.

Method of Signing Across Borders

Electronic signatures are also fast and efficient when documents must be shared across borders. This is often the case with contracts or tendering processes. The EU's eIDAS Regulation governs electronic signatures.

Qualified electronic signatures (QES) are valid in the European Union. It is legally binding without the need for additional evidence.

Several Applications

Electronic signatures of PDF documents such as contracts or decisions are a common use case. An electronic signature can be used in many different situations, such as email messages and different data files (e.g., Installation packages and application updates), online traffic security, or blockchain.

Top Predictions for Electronic Signature in 2023

We are in the midst of a signature boom. With businesses moving to the cloud rapidly and employees moving to remote offices, eSignature is quickly becoming an indispensable tool in this new digital workspace. It's a great time to review the signature management system in your company and brainstorm new ways to grow.

eSignly has analyzed trends and studied eSignature’s recent growth. Top predictions have been made about the future of eSignature in 2023.

E-signature will Become an Essential Part of the Contract Process

Businesses have made significant changes over the past two years to ensure continuity and adapt to new customer needs. E-signature was a simple first step for many teams who wanted to move to remote-friendly businesses. A survey was conducted in 2021 and found that 95% percent of organizations use eSignature today or plan to do so in the future. Additionally, two-thirds (63%) of the businesses that use e-signature have only used it within the past two years. E-signature is a popular tool. It's ubiquitous now. Organizations that adhere to old signature processes will lose a significant competitive advantage.

What does this mean for eSignature users? Your competitors have caught up, and the baseline has changed. A simple signature process to facilitate internal collaboration or external transactions is no longer an advantage. You need to think larger to regain your operational edge. Connect more tools to your signature stack to offer better customer and employee experiences. Integrations allow you to automate the filling out of agreement information instead of only offering electronic signatures. To reduce duplication of work, templates can be used instead of creating contracts from scratch. Digitally verify the identity of signers. Mobile signing can be enabled, and customers can receive SMS alerts. After you have removed the ink-and-paper signature bottleneck, integrate APIs and other APIs to improve the user experience.

E-signature Will Grow from a Team-Specific Tool to a Companywide Strategic Imperative 

Today's modern organizations have e-signature technology owned by the two teams most likely involved in digital agreements: IT and legal. Recent research shows that over 70% of organizations rely upon one of these teams as the primary leader for the internal expansion of electronic signature technology. Although it might seem that IT or legal teams were the ones who initially led efforts to adopt electronic signatures, the ownership of the agreement process goes beyond any single team.

Every team within an organization will be interested in the larger e-signature picture as more agreements are generated digitally, negotiated, completed, and stored. HR will look to simplify onboarding and hiring, especially for remote employees. Sales will seek to make contract approval and creation easier. Procurement must be more flexible in negotiating with existing and new vendors. While IT and Legal will remain central owners, other teams will be more invested in the success of e-signature.

New Laws Will Expand Usage of Witnessing Services for Electronically Signed Agreements

Some aspects of the transaction are still being done in person. For example, if a third-party witness is required to complete or sign an arrangement, this is common. Individual signers might need to undergo lengthy, inconvenient processes to properly sign documents that must be witnessed by a notary public (for instance: affidavits or powers of attorney). There has been much movement in some regions to legalize remote online witnessing as an alternative to face-to-face interaction to allow for more multiparty transactions. More than 35 states in the United States now allow remote online notarial services. Australia has several states that have approved remote electronic witnessing in various applications.

This is a steady trend. These trends are only moving in one direction. The United States and other countries now accept remote electronic witnessing. They will continue to develop laws to cover additional uses to maximize the benefits of a modern, secure and efficient digital infrastructure. Those states and countries that have not yet accepted remote electronic witnessing will be watching what is happening in other regions and making plans to do so soon. Remote electronic witnessing services such as remote online notaries are an evolution that allows multiple parties robustly to interact with critical agreements. Multi-party transactions are common in organizations, especially those that work in highly regulated industries. Organizations that need to interact with third parties witnesses should be aware of the latest laws and regulations. To take advantage of the evolving digital trends, they will need flexible eSignature platforms that can adapt to them.

Digital Agreement Collaboration Will Expand to Include New Functionality

Too often, eSignature is not involved until the end of an agreement process. Each party might develop an agreement, negotiate it traditionally, and then use eSignature to complete the last step. Although this process is still a significant improvement on traditional paper-based processes, it doesn't fully realize its full potential. Recent research has shown that electronic signatures are critical to enabling digital workflows. A document must not be printed, signed, or scanned. The effectiveness of digital tools has shown that an entire agreement workflow can be kept digital over the past few years. As companies integrate digital products, this will improve their workflow's robustness.

Employees have become more comfortable using digital tools to complete transactions in the hybrid workspace. These tools will be connected to create a seamless end-to-end workflow. Digital signing will not be limited to signatures. It will host virtual negotiations via video or chat solutions and allow for real-time cooperative contract revisions. The new system will enable people to do more with the technologies they already know. This will also allow companies to enhance their digital tools for employees, which will translate into better customer service and competitive advantage.

Digital Transformation Will Revolutionize Internal Processes

Organizations in all industries can streamline their agreement processes to reduce frustration and inefficiencies. Digitalization has made it easier to overlook the errors, bottlenecks, and delays caused by status quo workflows. Employees are equally attracted to efficiency gains in customer-facing processes. Teams that work quickly to process information in simpler, faster, and more connected ways will experience significant cost savings and revenue increases.

Santander U.K. is a large commercial and retail bank that is a great example of a digital trailblazer. Santander saw an opportunity to utilize new technology to alleviate customer pain points and digitalize the loan processing and onboarding processes. The bank used integrations and APIs to create a fully connected digital loan process and reduce loan application times by 83%. Santander's digital-first environment attracted modern customers, increasing the number of loans processed by 10x.

Touchless Experiences Will Skyrocket

The world is moving into new post-pandemic business patterns. Technology must be used to replace manual processes. Touchless interactions are a particularly attractive option. This allows consumers to avoid any physical contact with other people or technology. McKinsey reported that there had been a 20% increase in the preference for contactless operations in the United States. Instead of using a pen and paper to fill out paperwork, patients can use their devices to identify themselves, provide information, and complete the process electronically.

To create these touch-free environments, you need to do a lot of technical groundwork. Some are more difficult than others. You must plan your journey to take customers on a touchless journey. Then, create the digital tools to help make it happen. Do your research and find the right vendor for you?

Agreement Technologies Will Begin to Consolidate 

Many organizations begin their digitization efforts with an e-signature tool. This is a simple first step and one that many serious organizations have taken. However, the next steps in the larger contracting process are not uniform. There are actions before (generation, negotiation routing, authentication) and after (activation search management, notarization, signature). You can also sign agreements without signing. Many vendors offer products that can be used to help you manage each part of these processes.

A system of agreements that includes several point solutions is not sustainable. Every new product added to the agreement stack creates more incongruence, delays, and costs. Every product transition is a failure point. Instead of trying to find the right tool for each agreement step, take a step back and design a digital toolkit that provides the most functionality from the smallest number of vendors. Companies that offer agreement tools will respond by integrating with other companies or expanding their features.

How to Electronically Sign a PDF?

In seven simple steps, you can electronically sign a PDF document.

  1. Register for a free eSignly eSignature Account. Sign in to your existing account if you already have one. Check out our guide for new users to get started with eSignly
  2. Click the Start link. Select Create a Document.
  3. Select Upload, and choose the PDF document you wish to sign.
  4. If applicable, check the box "I'm only the signer."
  5. Click Sign.
  6. Drag and drop your signature to the desired place on your PDF document from the left-hand navigation panel.
  7. Click Finish.

How to Digitally Sign a PDF and Send a PDF Document?

Do you need to send a PDF document to another person for signature? You can quickly prepare PDF documents for electronic signature with eSignly. Three free sends are included in eSignly's free account!

Here are the steps to send a document that needs your signature

  1. Send documents to be signed.
  2. Drag and drop the fields you require the signer to complete: name, address data, initials, signature, etc.
  3. Click send to add an email address for the signer

The Key Takeaway

A dedicated app makes it much easier to add digital signatures on PDFs. Using eSignly, you can upload, store and track all your PDF documents through one secure dashboard. It takes just a few clicks to generate electronic signature pdf files. All recipient signatures are securely stored on our secure servers.

All premium packages come with a free trial. Our electronic signature plan is the only one that offers unlimited uploads and eSignatures without strings attached.