Finding everything regarding electronic signature is a need of the day. The reason is the trend-setting popularity of digital signing in the world. The business owners and companies know the value of implementing the electronic signature policy, and they are ready to enjoy the benefits, this feature is offering. However, they have numerous questions about the usage, legal value, and benefits, which we need to discuss.
That’s why we decided to discuss electronically sign documents online in detail. Let us discuss everything you should know as a business owner about electronic signatures now!
How to use Electronic Signature?
Electronic signatures are almost the same in most countries. However, the definition is slightly different. In the United States, it is an electronic sound, symbol, or procedure that a signer attaches and associates logically with the contract with the intent to sign it. While talking about different states in the US, there is a slight difference, but overall, it is the same.
In the European Union, an electronic signature is data, available in the electronic form, and used by the signer to logically attach and associate with other data to sign the document. However, this difference is not as huge as you are expecting. Overall, electronic signature has its legal language, and official authorities understand it according to the definition, they adopt.
Electronic Signature has more significance in the market now!
Many people think that only an image of a handwritten signature plays equally well. However, it does not. According to the legal definition, it is more than that. The fact is that electronic signature works independently and there is no comparison with a handwritten signature.
Although many electronic signature service providers offer it according to the law, it has limited legal weight. Conversely, electronic signatures have electronic identification methods that keep an eye on signer’s identity and asymmetric encryption, which make these signatures more authentic and reputable.
Another important aspect is that forging is minimum with an electronic signature. These features make electronic signatures, more legal and approved when you use them for signing digital documents. The safety of these documents also increases while using electronic signatures.
In which industries and companies, electronic signatures are popular?
Large organizations, multinational companies, and educational and health departments prefer electronic signatures. More specifically, all 500 corporations, that are included in Fortune, use electronic signatures. The banks, hospitals, insurance companies, government offices, NGOs, freelancers, and educational institutions have also shown their interest in using electronic signatures.
Many medium and small businesses are also using this feature to manage the documentation process more authentically. According to P&S Market Research, the market will increase up to 35% at the end of 2023 because every organization needs it, and with time, people will be aware more about this feature that confirms the figures, given above.
Many electronic signature service providers are doing their efforts to make this solution more flexible. It becomes important when companies more confidentiality, where it is necessary. For example, in the financial, health, and legal sectors, it is required more. If e-signing technology becomes more flexible, the chances of acceptance will improve a lot.
For which documents and proposal, we can use electronic signatures?
Businesses and individuals can use electronic signatures in many ways. They can include e-signature in non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, purchase documents, sales proposals, lease agreements, tax documents, rental agreements, bank forms, school forms, hospital forms, permission slips, timesheets, insurance paperwork, hiring documents, and product releases, etc.
Understanding the E-signing Process
To initiate the process, businesses need to digitize the whole process of documentation. For that, a recognized documentation process should be implemented, which means that you need a document format.
Many formats are available to achieve this target in which.PDF, .PNG, .JPEG and DOCS are included. If you have done it, you can go for an e-signature solution.
Once you have digitized the whole documentation process, you need to request for E-Signature services. The service provider will send a document to the signer to complete the signing activity.
The companies offer different solutions to complete this process, however, overall, almost the same process is adopted.
Some companies ask for a handwritten signature to help the signer sign the document in a particular space. Some companies create a digital image that you will use when the sign with authority, given to you by the law.
However, the signer should be aware of the fact that unique electronic identification cannot be changed, once you have completed it. If you will try to change it, the invalidation will occur, and the document will be unapproved.
So, if you want to change it, you need to complete the above-described process, once again.
Why do we need to incorporate electronic signatures in our organization?
Numerous reasons can be given in favor of electronic signatures, but we will discuss only a few of them here:
The process of electronic signature is faster than a handwritten signature. To complete the process with a handwritten signature, you require five to six days. On the other hand, you only need a few minutes to complete the process with e-signing services.
The legal authorities accept it as an alternative to handwritten signatures.
You can control the paper and printer costs with ease and comfort. It will also help you reduce paper waste as well.
The experts find electronic signatures safer than handwritten signatures, as the e-signing process is difficult to hack and for malfunctioning.
You can also save a huge cost in the form of paying the fee to the courier services for sending the hard copies of the document.
You can change or update the digitally-drafted documents with ease. No cutting or modification is needed when you are using these documents. Previously, if you needed changes, you were bound to develop a new document.
As a business, you can reduce the errors and flaws, as electronically sign documents online services provide you the ability to control it without much involvement of the staff. It helps you control the issues, faced by the business due to the limited staff.
Confirming that Electronic Signatures are legal
Yes, the electronic signature process is legal. All the countries of the world accept it as a legal substitute for handwritten signatures.
Some small variations can be found in different countries. However, the overall concept remains the same.
The audit trails can follow the procedure with competence to confirm that the whole process should remain the same, efficient, and effective.
The security checkpoints and audit trails can help you lock the document after the completion of the signature process.
In this way, you can assure that the validity will not be denied, till the end of the contract.
To create non-repudiation, the service providers follow some basic methods, which are asymmetric encryption, digital certifications, IP address capturing process, account generation process, login requirements, and two-way verifications, etc.
All these processes make the electronic signature, the most secure one for document signing.
These processes will also boost the enforceability of law more effectively.
It is time to broaden the spectrum of the discussion. For that, we will discuss advanced electronic signature features and the value that will be included in the next versions.
Advanced features and working procedures of electronic signature
Most software solutions offer an extra level of protection to provide the maximum level of encryption and security. It means that authenticity should be confirmed when the organization issues the contract.
When all types of doubts are cleared, the organization can confirm that that the transaction should be accepted in any case. It also confirms that the electronic signatures are validated with complete authority.
The concept of encrypted signature is a new addition for making the electronic signature more secure and authentic. The experts consider it the most advanced electronic signature feature. This level of e-signature is called a digital signature in the United States.
The basic purpose of this encryption is to provide extra digital security to the signer. Moreover, these signatures have special significance because there are special standards that are followed by the organizations to differentiate digital signature from e-signature.
We will discuss the special types of data security while offering e-signatures to the organization. It will help us understand what type of data security, the services providers are offering when they say that digital signatures are more foolproof than the electronic signatures.
To confirm that the content of the document has not changed after the completion of the signing process, both parties need confirmation. For that, the latest tools offer public-key encryption.
In this solution, the parties, involved in the contract, use the encrypted keys to verify whether the document is secure, and there is no change in the content after signing. Through asymmetric key cryptography, the parties can check the validity by examining all or some of the versions of the document independently.
The most advanced software opens the document only if the parties accept that the contract is the same. If someone finds that there are errors in the signing process, or someone has changed the content of the contract, the process will refuse to open, and in that case, the agreed parties need to sign the document once again after completing the whole process.
The implementation of these extra safeguards develops audit trails and electronic identification to make sure that the document, which is signed, is the most authentic one. Moreover, it is an accepted way, the new versions of the software are coming with this extra feature. The best example in this regard is the latest version of Microsoft Word.
This type of authentication is already popular in many industries. For example, banking apps follow this level of authentication, as when you try to add a new account in the application, the system sends you an email and SMS to the authentic email address and phone number.
Both have a unique code that is needed to add to the app. The process can be completed only when both the values are correct. It is done in the same way when someone sends the document to a device that the signatory knows and controls it as well.
Along with that, a secondary passcode is also generated to create an extra layer of security. In this way, the authenticity of the document is increased.
For example, when a company sends a document to the signatory, an auto-generated text is also sent to him at the authentic number. If the process is completed, the document will be accessible.
In some cases, the document is sent to the signer to complete the signing process via online document service like Google Docs. In this way, the signer needs to create an account and verify it; otherwise, he will not be able to sign it.
In this way, the companies confirm the signer’s identity. When both the authentication techniques are incorporated and followed, enforceability can be increased while using a paperless signature.
The process of creating an electronic signature
The software solutions follow different procedures to complete this process. It all depends on the size of the business or according to the individual’s requirements. Here are some techniques:
Using the recognizable document formats
Many software solutions like Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word follow this procedure. In this way, they offer onboard signing solutions to the users for creating electronic signatures.
These solutions offer this service with the name of self-signing. It is simple and straightforward but you cannot enjoy the security features with this process. Therefore, large organizations do not prefer it because building a valid authenticity is missing in this case.
However, the complexity and cost, which business is expecting, is the issue and can be beyond the scope of the organization in many cases.
An Online Electronically Sign Document Solution
It is a more complex process, which is suitable for large organizations, where many signed documents are moved within and outside the organizations. To make this process more authentic, software solutions like doc sign pro signature app are used.
These software solutions have all the necessary certifications and legal permissions to help you create authentic electronic signatures. These solutions also come up with all the non-repudiation and compliance to make sure that your organization has everything, you need to move the most authentic document among the companies.
Many companies find the processing and signing the documents, difficult to handle. If you are one of them, you need an online document solution. Some may think that these solutions may be expensive, but it is not true.
You can enjoy the most suitable documentation services after paying a minimal account. So, if you have not used it till today, make sure that your next documentation process will be completed with an electronic signature.
How to select an E-Signature provider?
We are hopeful that you are convinced to use an electronic signature for signing the documents in the future. Now, the question is how to select the e-signature provider.
The best practice in this regard is to understand how these solutions work and what they are offering. For that, you need to follow the instructions, given here. We assure you that following these steps will help you choose the best e-signature to provide in the market.
The price should be affordable.
Some providers may claim that their products are designed exclusively for businesses. You may find them expensive. However, all organizations do not need to purchase expensive solutions. In most cases, a middle-level solution can address all your needs.
Security must be ensured
Technical specifications must be read before purchasing-signature software. If you may find all the features that we have described above, you should go for it. Many companies do not offer digital signatures.
It means that you will have fewer security features. However, if you do not need it, you can go only for electronic signatures. Conversely, large businesses must not ignore the value of security while signing a document electronically.
The experience is a must for e-signature provider
Yes, it is a key while purchasing software, whether it is e-signature software or any other. The reason is that the solution provider must know the issues and problems that an organization faces when performing a specific task.
It is possible only when the solution provider already has the experience of working with the organization of your size and industry.
Integration with the existing software
Can the new software integrate itself with the existing software that you are using currently in your organization? If yes, it is the best solution for your organization. It will help you streamline the whole process without changing the existing solution.
Other features that need to be kept in mind
You may need custom branding that will help you promote your electronic signature. Many solutions help you achieve this target. Scalability, regulatory compliance with the new laws, tools to track the process, notifications, and mass signature facility in the case of signing a document from many people should also be included in the software.
However, it is necessary to understand the organizational needs before buying a solution; otherwise, you may have the solution that is not needed in your organization or you need an advanced solution but have software that is well below the average.