Electronic signature software allow multiple people in different corners of the globe to sign something instantaneously. Here are three important features these software must have and more.
In this era of digital transformation where information at all levels can be captured, delivered, processed, and represented electronically, businesses run risk of failing if they don't keep abreast with the changes in the digital world.
This was summed up quite aptly by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, when he said, “There is no alternative to digital transformation. Visionary companies will carve out new strategic options for themselves – those that don’t adapt, will fail."
If a couple of decades ago, the concept of signing digital documents was hard to imagine, twenty years later, electronic signature technology has proven to be a great technological innovation and has become essential to workflow improvement even more so due to the Covid 19 pandemic which has increased the need for remote working. Research by Gartner shows that 48% of employees will work remotely some or all the time post-Covid 19.
An electronic signature, also known as e-signature, is defined as “any electronic proof that indicates acceptance of an agreement or record”. An e-signature can replace a handwritten signature in virtually any process, even legally. On the other hand, Electronic signature software is software that allows you to sign such paperwork digitally. If you've ever put your signature on a form without touching pen to paper, you've most likely used electronic signature software. These platforms allow users to add legally binding signatures to documents using a computer, smartphone or tablet. This eliminates the need to print, scan or fax paper copies.
As you can see, it is important that you choose the best electronic signature software for handling such a delicate task.
Choosing the Best Electronic Signature Software For You
Step 1: Legality
Some industries accept electronic signatures, while others don’t. Similarly, state regulations dictate when they are acceptable. So, before doing anything else, you first have to confirm the rules with bureaucracies or higher-ups. Note which industries or departments permit this type of process, and shortlist software that abide by their policies.
Step 2: Business Size
Different business sizes and industries benefit from specific features from what they consider to be the best electronic signature software. In that sense, you should determine your organizational capacity and the narrow-most industry it operates in. Scouting through industry-specific and size-specific apps will help narrow down your options. Doing so also prevents you from paying for features that you won’t need.
Step 3: Define Your Needs
Your industry and business size already provide a structure for your document-related needs. It’s time for you now to choose your preferences. For instance, you might prefer a software that supports multiple languages. Or maybe you would need an app that sends a reminder to signatories when it’s time to sign a document. List down whatever you need to further narrow your options down to the must-haves.
Step 4: Define a Budget
In the process of choosing the best electronic signature software that’s ideal for you, your budget should always be the last step. This way, you don’t settle for the cheapest software in the market. Given the last three steps, you now have a streamlined list of your must-have platforms. Draw up a budget and select a solution that aligns best with it.
Important Features That the Best Electronic Signature Software Have
1. Security and Privacy
Since solutions of this type often house sensitive transactions, security is a primary factor to consider. Data protection and privacy are important for every client. When e-signing documents, we’re actually transacting personal information online, which makes security an imperative feature for every e-signer. Information must be technically protected, and access must be secured with multi-approved privileges and proactive protection policies. Even if the program is used by multiple employees at a time, each of them should rely on his right to reveal information selectively, and to do transactions discreetly.
Electronic signature solutions have specific industry standards and policies with which to comply. Moreover, some apps need to adhere to country-specific laws and regulations. If an e-signed document does not comply with industry requirements, it may have legal consequences, and the company will be held responsible for activating it.
3. User-friendly: Scalability and Integration
The best electronic signature software must be one that is easy to implement and use would be widely accepted by your employees, stakeholders, and customers. In the same vein, e-Signature apps should be able to deploy signatures across different platforms. The software you choose should be compatible with other document and workflow management systems you use in your organization, as that would minimize your human efforts and speed up your business processes. It should also be designed to respond to multiple businesses and industries, that is, scalability. This would allow it to accept increased volumes of documents without performance being obstructed.
Understanding the Benefits of Using The Best Electronic Signature Software for Your Transactions
Before you can give serious consideration to the use of electronic signatures in your business, you have to understand the benefits and advantages. Let's examine a few of the most notable ones:
1. Simpler and Straight-through Signing Process
Signing a document with an electronic signature involves a simple process. The beginners may think it is complicated to use electronic signature but truly, electronic signatures have made the traditional signing process even simpler and straight-through. From uploading a document to sharing it with the signatory and getting it signed with an electronic signature, the process is very easy and simple without any complication.
If we consider the handwritten paper ink signature, it involves a number of steps such as printing, xeroxing, couriering, scanning, etc. from sending the document to the signatory to receiving the signed document back. In this manner, paper-based documents and handwritten signatures are less efficient.
Signing a document with paperless electronic signature is even simpler than a traditional handwritten paper and pen signature. By selecting the best electronic signature software it should be easy to learn the process of using e-signatures. And once you learn the process, it takes only a few seconds to sign and send the signed document.
2. Convenience and Ease of Use
With the best electronic signature software, you can give your business a new edge. Businesses may not be confined to a single location. Remote based teams and clients are not uncommon these days. So, if your business has the remote-based team or clients spread over the country or over the world, you will understand the importance of good collaboration and communication among all the parties. And here comes the importance of electronic signature.
With the electronic signature solution, the whole signing process takes place online so whatever be the location of clients or teams, doesn’t matter. The documents are sent online in a secure manner and signed with the electronic signature in a few minutes or even seconds without any waiting or delaying period of days and weeks, and finally sent back online securely.
Thus, using an electronic signature enables your teams, clients, and partners to sign the documents electronically/ digitally, and results in more efficient transactions. An electronic signature is a convenient mean of signature in this busy world. If you use electronic signature, it shows that you respect the time and busy schedule of others.
3. Get Rid of Messy Paperwork – Work Paperless
It’s not easy to manage so many business papers and documents on a regular basis. It really demands a lot of time and energy to manage the paperwork which can be spent in any other effective work. Dealing with paperwork also requires a lot of space. More business expansion, more paperwork, and more will be the space required to store those business papers.
Also, you need to pack, manage, and store the business papers in a proper way, so, if you will require any, you can find that easily in order in less time. Here is the answer to why electronic signature. If you adopt electronic signature, you will keep all of your documents in the digital form as long as you want. One can create, sign, and store documents online with the use of electronic signature.
Using the best electronic signature software, you won’t need a hard copy of the documents at any time, which means you won’t have to deal with messy paperwork at all. All your data, records, transactions, and documents will be stored online that can be accessed within minutes or even seconds. This is why electronic signature should be a part of your business in this digital era.
5. Implement Your Decision Quickly
It is a longer phase to enforce any decision in the business as it involves the signing and approving a number of documents by various stakeholders. It is simply understandable that more the time this signing and approval process will take, it will be complicated to implement a decision into the action.
Due to so many formalities between suggesting an idea and implementing a decision, it has been seen that most of the ideas are lost in-between. So, there is a need for something that could fill the gap between the decision and its implementation. E-signatures can fasten the processes and formalities involved in the implementation of a decision.
With the use of the best electronic signature software available, the involved parties can approve their decision and implement that by signing the document with the electronic signatures very quickly. It is one of the reasons why electronic signature is being widely accepted for business as well as individual usage, and why it should also be a part of your business.
6. Huge Cost Savings
In every business, it is very important where you invest your money i.e. the financial decisions are very important in a business. It is significant to adopt the technologies that could help you save an amount. Adopting electronic signatures for your business helps you make cost savings smartly and thus brings a number of benefits for your business for a longer period.
With the use of e-signature, you can make your business operations more cost-friendly. It will cut off the cost you would be spending on the paper, pen and other related material such as printing, couriering, xeroxing, and so on.
When you opt to use the best electronic signature software, you completely go online and become paperless. Thus, you don’t need to spend money on paper, print outs, xerox, and all. The amount you will cut off and save from here can be further used in a number of new opportunities that would take your business to the new heights.
7. Higher Client Satisfaction
It is significant for every business to keep the clients happy and satisfied. Using the best electronic signature software helps you to achieve a higher level of client satisfaction. This is one of the most common reasons why electronic signature is being adopted by businesses at a higher rate.
If you are dealing with an electronic signature, you will share the document online with your clients in minutes (independent of their location and distance where they are). This way, you will give your clients the ability to sign anytime, anywhere, and from any device. With the use of e-signatures, the signing process becomes so much simpler, smoother, and streamlined.
Thus, if you choose to use electronic signatures, you will get more appreciations from your clients. At the same time, they will be happy and satisfied as it will reduce the hassle of getting print outs, signing, scanning, and uploading the signed documents.
The Bottom Line
Getting a physical signature on documents requires in-person appointments, printing, scanning, faxing, or mailing paperwork. All of this is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and even unrealistic in certain scenarios. Electronic signature software can help you exchange reliable and authentic documents with your partners, customers, and associates. It can also enable you to eliminate the fraudulent activities and ensure security and speed in your documentation processes. There’s nothing to mail, nobody needs to hop on a plane, and the process is paperless. These signatures are just as valid as handwritten ink.
In a time where people are working remotely more than ever before, electronic signature software has been in high demand. If you’re ready to improve your workflows and reduce the bottlenecks associated with physical signatures, it’s time for you to find an e-sign solution.
Knowing the features of that top electronic signature software have, as well as factors to look out for, will help you choose the ideal software for your needs. Still unsure? Why don't you start a free 30 day trial of Sign.cc? You can learn more [here.