The demand for convenience is noticeable and tangible now more than ever. Express elevators and transportations, motion-sensor home appliances and tools, online health consultation, and online shopping are just some of the innovations that improve lives and create a sense of satisfaction, only requiring minuscule effort to use. They are proof that with the consistent progress in technology, such a demand for convenience finds itself satisfied.
As technology continues to enhance lives, in a business-driven viewpoint, it provides companies opportunities to streamline their operations for improved workforce efficiency and more output, resulting in an increase in profit.
Computers replaced typewriters and electronic mail replaced postal mail and telefax — companies around the globe, whether startups or multinational corporations and spanning almost all industries, are in the process of transitioning towards digitization.
While some businesses may find digital transformation as a venture that is too complex to handle, the advantages of embracing digital solutions far outweigh the deterrents. With proper system integration, knowledge training, and implementation, utilizing digital solutions can lead to better results, such as a reduction in operational costs, improved customer relationships, and faster transactions.
One of the business procedures that continue to undergo digital transformation is documentation. This upgrade introduced the creation of adaptive digital solutions, including electronic signatures.
The U.S. Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN Act) of 2000 defines an electronic signature as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to, or associated with, a contract or other record and adopted by a person with the intent to sign a record.” Electronic signatures are the digital counterpart of traditional wet signatures; through the act, both now hold the same legal status.
Advantages of electronic signatures
Improving signature workflows enables companies to achieve their business objectives quicker, and in some circumstances, with less work. Since signatures are a vital component of many documentation processes, it is beneficial and even considerably profitable to introduce electronic signature solutions that would improve and fast-track the requesting of signatures for and signing of documents.
Using electronic signature solutions, businesses can perform faster and better. Here are the noteworthy advantages that electronic signatures bring to a company:
- Faster transactions
The goal of any business is to speed up transactions and produce more quality output to generate profit faster. Preparing documents for signature can be time-consuming and tedious. Using electronic signatures enables signatories to sign documents in minutes, no matter their location, provided that they have a stable internet connection and an appropriate device.
Gone are the days when you have to wait for several days or weeks for clients to sign and mail documents back. In addition, you no longer need to spend long hours or stay up late just to prepare paperwork, as using an electronic signature software gives you access to thousands of documents. Nevertheless, you can upload, complete, and send documents using it. This cuts down the documentation turnaround time significantly and is most beneficial for companies with time-sensitive processes, such as sales, insurance, and human resource companies.
Using an electronic signature program, your business can operate anywhere in the globe, unbothered by the differences in timezones and postal schedules. With it, you are not confined in a single location and can transact with clients no matter their location and time. Collaboration with signatories will not be an impediment to close deals faster. Due to transactions taking place online, you can complete deals securely and without delays. On top of it all, you do not have to install any application or tool to utilize an electronic signature program.
Signing documents is simple and straightforward using electronic signatures software as most are intuitive, making its users experts in using them in minutes. As you make things easier for your customers, you also add value to your own business, such as simplified internal processes and elimination of useless back-and-forth.
- Improved accuracy
Electronic signatures leave less room for human errors, including signing in the wrong field or forgetting to sign or answer the required fields; thus, electronic signature platforms let users specify mandatory signature and information fields, requiring signatories to complete all fields before returning the document. This ensures that documents are always thoroughly finished.
- Cost savings
Electronic signatures help lower and even totally eliminate paper, printing, and mailing costs. The traditional pen and paper method of signing documents, which is prone to human errors, may seem inexpensive; however, over the years, the costs add up. The financial consequences of human error can be prevented using electronic signature programs. By going paperless, you can earmark the money for operational improvements, taking your business to new heights.
In addition, by reducing or doing away with the use of paper, you contribute to the reduction in the production of paper, helping lower the demand, promoting the preservation of our environmental resources, and taking part in decreasing the cost of environmental maintenance.
- Organized file management
Managing business documents on a regular basis can be tedious and difficult, regardless of having a well-organized filing system. The risks of documents being damaged, stolen, lost, and forged are also present. Electronic signature programs eliminate those threats, as it provides an online storage where you can archive and retrieve files easier. Moreover, they come with a digital log that specifies the details of the document and the activities done to it for reference.
- High-level of security
Security is of the utmost importance when completing legal documents; however, signatures are easy to forge. Electronic signatures not only reduce the risk of fraud but also ensure authenticity using identity verification and track traceable information of signatories, including the date and time of signing and the location of signatories.
Digital signatures, a type of electronic signature, use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology to verify the identity of a signer and cryptographic algorithms that turn a signature into data that restricts unauthorized access. By implementing the highest levels of security and following global standards, it ensures that copying, altering, and tampering of signatures are impossible.
Electronic signatures have innumerable benefits that help businesses achieve their long-term goals. As it increasingly becomes a standard instrument to improve operational processes and to not stagnate or fall behind competitors, utilizing electronic signature solutions is all-important.