An electronic signature, commonly referred to as e-signature, is an electronic symbol, sound, or process attached to or associated with an electronic document or record. It is the digital counterpart of the traditional wet-ink signature.
In the United States., through several laws, including the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-SIGN Act) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act of 1999 (UETA), electronic signatures were granted the same legal recognition as ink-on-paper signatures. Today, individuals who execute and affix their electronic signatures on electronic documents validate their consent, agreeing to the terms of their signed documents.
Almost all business industries have adopted electronic signatures. From fast-growing startups to global corporations, electronic signatures enable companies to introduce efficiency and convenience into their workflows and transactions, whether in-house or external. As they strive to attain and sustain a competitive edge among their business rivals, electronic signatures aid them in achieving their goals. Cost-saving, secure, efficient, and accessible, are just a few of the countless benefits electronic signatures provide to users.
Regardless of the benefits that electronic signatures provide, not all individuals prefer to utilize them in their day-to-day transactions. Here are some notable reasons why you should not adopt electronic signatures.
You prefer to wait for several days to weeks to receive signed documents.
Electronic signatures fast-track and streamline signature workflows. Such a digital solution cuts down the documentation turnaround time significantly and is beneficial for businesses with time-sensitive processes.
Using electronic signature applications, individuals can upload, fill out, sign, and send documents for signing without difficulties. While companies aim to speed up all transactions to accommodate incoming clients and to not drown in paperwork, some individuals like to wait for a few days or weeks to get the documents that need the signature of clients — perhaps to allow them to focus and work on their other tasks while waiting.
Nevertheless, electronic signatures enable individuals to complete tasks in less time and with less effort. In addition, by automating signature workflows, you can minimize repetitive tasks, enabling you to do more work, increasing productivity and output.
You love to do tasks manually.
If you enjoy the logistics of paperwork, electronic signatures might not be ideal for you. While doing tasks manually despite the available technologies that cause processes to be less time-consuming is inefficient, some individuals enjoy spending time doing paperwork — and seeing completed paperwork gives them a sense of fulfillment. They prefer printing and scanning documents and faxing or mailing documents to clients for signing.
If you prefer doing paperwork by hand over utilizing applicable technologies, electronic signatures will be too advanced for you.
You enjoy spotting errors in documents.
Users of electronic signatures are less prone to human errors as electronic signature applications improve the accuracy of users by guiding them in affixing their signatures to the appropriate fields. Signing in the wrong fields or forgetting to sign all the required fields is a problem that individuals who send documents for signing often encounter.
By using an electronic signature application, recipients of documents for signing will not be able to return them to senders when they miss even just a single signature field.
You do not mind spending money on paperwork.
By reducing or doing away with the use of paper, individuals and companies can save money. The traditional pen-and-paper method of signing documents may seem reasonable compared to other operating expenses, but over the years, the expense that paperwork incurs adds up. Not to mention the waste of papers when errors occur and the costs of printing and shipping.
Manually doing the paperwork can result in financial consequences that may be prevented by using electronic signature applications. Moreover, you may use the money that you will save by going paperless for operational improvements.
You are content with the security of ink-on-paper signatures.
Electronic signatures reduce the risk of loss, fraud, and even identity theft. Since signatures are easy to forge, electronic signatures ensure the privacy and security of users through identity verification and tracking technologies. The date and time of signing and the location of signatories may also be traced.
Digital signatures, a type of electronic signature, even provide a higher level of security by using Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), a technology used to verify the identity of an individual through encryption.
The traditional pen-and-paper way of signing documents is prone to alteration and tampering. However, if you are content with the security it brings and do not want to spend extra cash to improve the security of your transactions, you should implement secure methods that would ensure that no one gets involved in your signature workflows other than the involved parties. Doing so could prevent unlawful activities from occurring.
You do not mind the limitations of traditional wet-ink signatures
With electronic signatures, individuals can sign documents using their devices no matter their location. Businesses can operate anywhere in the globe.
Electronic signature applications allow for remote authentication, enabling users to validate documents and complete transactions with ease. Also, they do not need to go to a post office and use stamps to send documents for signing. Furthermore, despite varying timezones and postal schedules of signatories, they can collaborate and complete deals without delays, as the gap between a decision to sign a document and executing a signature becomes significantly shorter and insignificant
The use of electronic signatures has transformed the way individuals and companies transact and validate documents. While it is quite impossible to eliminate the use of papers and traditional wet-ink signatures, embracing electronic signatures brings a lot of advantages.
If you are still hesitant to ditch paper and to adopt electronic signatures, you may sign up for a free trial from companies that provide electronic signature solutions.