31 August, 2018
Digital signatures are new, but not nearly as
new as you might think. In the US, President Bill Clinton signed the Electronic
Signatures In Global Commerce Act (ESIGN) in 2000, nearly twenty years ago. For
context, that’s two years after Google and four years before Facebook. So it’s hardly untested territory. Digital signatures are faster and easier
than traditional “wet” signatures, and here are seven reasons why.
1) It’s Legally Recognized All Around the World
The law requires that a signature is legally
binding because it identifies the signatory, his or her intend, and tracks any
changes to the signature (has document integrity). These are a few of the key requirements for
an electronic signature to be considered reliable. The following is a condensed
list of the countries that accept electronic signatures and the laws or acts
that they passed that recognizes them:
Australia – Electronic
Transactions Act (2000-2003, depending on state)
Canada - Uniform Electronic
Commerce Act (UECA)
China - Electronic Signature Law
of the People's Republic of China
Europe - EU Directive for
Electronic Signatures (1999/93/EC); EU VAT Directive
New Zealand – Electronic
Transactions Act 2002
South Africa - Electronic
Communications and Transactions Act, 2002
UK - Electronic Communications Act
2000 (chapter 7)
US Electronic Signature in Global
and National Commerce Act (ESIGN)
2) It Can Be Used With Mobile Devices
Six of the seven billion people on the planet
have access to a cell phone. Many people only use a cell phone, and don’t have a home computer at all. So, if your document requires a
signature, it wouldn’t be feasible to print it out and scan a copy. Secured signing can work
with mobile apps because it fits the requirements that it have data integrity,
authenticate the signer’s identity, and the signer cannot
later deny that it their signature (called non-repudiation).
3) It Saves Paper
When you save paper, you’re
doing more than just saving a few trees. You’re
saving the money it takes for paper and printer ink (which is more expensive
than many campaigns), and the space it would take to store all that paper as
well. And unlike paper, you can actually use it in a search engine—so you’ll never misfile it, either.
4) Digital Signatures Are Faster Than Paper
As I mentioned above, you can use Secured
Signing on mobile devices, which includes tablets. You will be able to keep
your line moving quickly if your business requires it. You can have many people
sign a form at once using Secured Signing’s Broadcast feature.
No more need to “pass the clipboard around.”
5) It Saves Time by Keeping Records Together
The Smart Tag feature automates document
creation and organization by tagging a signature with important metadata about
the signatory. In other words, when you create a signature, you also associate
it with the pertinent information, like emails and addresses. This saves you
time and lowers the chances of making mistakes or losing data.
6) Customers Like It
According to a recent study, 77% of customers are
moderately to very comfortable signing a document online. And 77% is also the
number of people who have used an electronic signature three or more times in
the last year. Your customers are probably already using it in some fashion or
another, you should get ahead of the trend.
7) It’s Secure. Really Secure
Digital signatures are protected by secure
sockets layer (SSL) encryption, which ensures that all data passed between the
web servers and browsers remains private and maintains integrity. In addition,
it secures the date and local time of the signatory, which is something paper
records can’t verify. Secured Signing creates a unique digital certificate to a
user, an invitee, and a witness.
In fact, The top clients for digital signatures
are finance, which make up 39% of digital signature customers, more than twice
the adoption rate of human resources, which make up 17% of digital signature
clients. If an industry that requires one of the highest levels of security is
the most frequent adopter of digital signatures, you can be assured that your
data will be safe.
The Final Word
If you’re unsure about whether to adopt a
digital signing solution, there’s nothing new or scary about it.
Electronic and digital signatures have been legally recognized for twenty
years. It will save you time, money, space, and in some ways it’s more secure than paper. You should take advantage by reading up what to look for in a digital signature solution,
and then try a free trial of it.
About the Author:
Reuben Yonatan is the CEO @ GetVoIP,
a leading VoIP systems comparison guide that connects shoppers with relevant