Sail Into Electronic Signature Market: 9 Challenges to Be Aware Of

E-signature offers a digital way to add a signature on documents as an alternative to the traditional pen-on-paper format. Here are some challenges you should know.

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The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new" – Socrates.

There is a need to tackle issues arising from wireless devices; there is a need for harmony between businesses and their partners. For example, an e-commerce transaction involves the buyers, sellers, the delivery agency, the middlemen, and the originating agency. It is therefore reasonable for brands to fulfill their transactions through digital communication means.

Digital companies over the years have come to understand the importance of digitally appending signatures to documents to perform business better. The evolution of digital signature has increased the efficiency and level of security of companies. To put it simply, a digital signature, also known as E-signature, is the digital version of a handwritten signature.

According to the Oxford dictionary, "E-signature is a digital code generated and authenticated by public-key encryption, that is attached to an electronically transmitted document to verify its content and the sender's identity."

E-signature has become more popular with brands because it is more secure and reduces tampering and impersonation in digital communications. Since the world is still adjusting to the impact of the Covid-19 and the need for remote working, organizations have moved from using handwritten signatures to embracing digital signatures.

several forms of e signature

There are Several Forms of E-signature. The Most Common Types Are

  • The name at the end of an email,
  • The scanned copy of a handwritten signature
  • Digital signature made with a signature software, for example, Sign.cc
  • Signature inputted into the document directly with a stylus

Many companies worry about the legality of working with e-signatures. Coupled with the risk of tampering, they are reluctant to adopt this digital system. The world's future is digital, and it has been proven over time that any disadvantage of a system is a problem to be solved. Hence, we would not accept this reluctance as a disadvantage; we would instead refer to them as challenges.

The use of e-signatures poses several challenges that you should be aware of before adopting a digital signature. The primary worry of organizations is exposing sensitive documents and finances to fraud, unauthorized signing and laxity of duty.

Nine Challenges You Need to Know Before Using E-signature

We have highlighted nine challenges you need to know before unlocking your yacht and sailing into e-signature.

1. Risk of Fraud and Reliabilities

The use of dedicated e-signature software helps to solve authentication issues of digital signatures. However, sensitive documents and financial details are highly exposed to fraud. The organization can easily be hacked or compromised due to the level of technology today.

The best way to tackle this is by espousing additional anti-fraud steps like using a double authentication platform or confirmation through phone calls. Also, the latest e-signature technology is designed with innate layers of security and authentication processes that are hard to break.

2. Cost of Implementation

The cost of implementation of e-signatures is a challenge to its adoption. When considering a new technology, the cost of performance and ROI needs to be evaluated. Many brands are reluctant to migrate into the e-signature technology because the ROI in adopting the new technology is not defined. In contrast, the cost of implementation is determined. Businesses are therefore drawn between the drags of the unknown and the known.

However, the fact is, the adoption of digital signatures will be a tremendous economic decision for your brand. You get to streamline the cost of operation of the organization and also reduce storage expenses. Appending signatures through e-sign software requires less space than storing original documents that are signed traditionally with pen and paper. The cost you save from getting rid of paper can be considerable. You need not be torn between the ROI and the cost of implementation because, in the long run, your adoption of e-signature software will save you time, effort and costs required to process manual documents.

cost of implementation

3. It Requires a Lot of Effort

Another challenge in the adoption of e-signature software is that businesses think it requires a lot of effort. The effort they believe it requires includes the reorientation of staff, the adoption process of a new signatory system, clients' acceptance, and many more.

In reality, adopting e-sign software as a replacement for the pen and paper signature system requires less effort.

Documents can quickly be signed using Sign.cc, at both ends of the transaction. Also, the use of digital signature software requires little technical expertise. A short orientation program should bring your staff up to speed on the new signature system.

4. Risk of Compliance or Denial

One of the challenges you should be aware of is that businesses think there is a risk of compliance at either end of the transaction. A party might deny the effect of the e-signature on the document.

In reality, e-sign software verifies either party's identity through specific identification procedures before allowing access to the document. This factor makes it difficult for any party to deny appending a signature.

5. Limited Biometric Scanners

Although e-sign Softwares use two-factor authentications and in-built authentication features, businesses believe it would still be best practice to use biometric scanners to authenticate the wave of these signatures compared to each user's template. This is a security concern that stems from the protection of the business's interests. Biometric scanners are scares and the overhead cost of getting biometric scanner tips the scale of economics against the adoption of e-signature software. Hence, businesses are reluctant to adopt e-sign software as an operational mode of appending signatures.

However, the growth of technology has brought a lot of development to e-sign software designs. Now e-sign software can use mathematical analysis to validate the authenticity of signatures. The waves and pattern of signatures are crosschecked against an original. The signature is only accepted when all the conditions are entirely met.

limited biometric scanners

6. Not Valid on All Documents

It is believed that some sensitive documents cannot be signed digitally. The physical fixation of signatures by individuals is therefore required. These documents are wills, transfer of immovable properties, power of attorney, trusts, negotiable statements, and government notified papers. Businesses, especially legal parastatals, believe that since there are alleged notable exceptions or limits to the use of e-sign software, there is no point migrating fully to e-signature. Since it's best to have a one-for-all problem-solving solution, they are reluctant to migrate to an e-signature platform.

The traditional use of pen and paper to sign these sensitive documents grew to be a physical requirement over time. With the progression of technology and the future of digital acceptance worldwide, this practice will surely go out of course. What is required is the proper signature. The physical presence requirement is a luxury added for veracity.

To be factual, e-sign Softwares are effective enough to ensure that the correct signature gets to the document. Indeed, general acceptance takes time. However, it would be poor practice to stay traditional when the world is going digital.

7. The Legality of E-Signature

Many businesses have not adopted digital signatures because the legality and tenability of e-signature are generally questioned. In simpler words, companies do not trust digital signatures. Some fear that if push comes to shove and legal steps are needed, the court of law will not accept the veracity of electronically signed documents. This is a significant challenge for the adoption of electronic signatures by businesses.

Factually, e-signatures are entirely legal. The companies that offer e-sign services comply with stated requirements of the ESIGN Act, introduced by the United States government. The ESIGN Act is the Electronic Signatures in Global, and the National Commerce Act was passed in 2000. The Act grants legal validity to an electronic signature that fulfills four requirements:

  • Each party must be intent to sign
  • Each party must have consent to do business electronically
  • The system used must associate the signature with the party
  • The system must keep the record

Hence, e-signatures are valid and tenable in the court of law.

8. Are Signatures Genuine or Just Images?

This right here is the question brands ask about e-signature. On getting unsatisfactory answers, they opt against adopting digital signatures as a way of appending documents.

Hadi explains it perfectly. He says that "Almost all signature solutions today take a digital copy of your signature and paste it on a document to show your signature. Legally, they capture your intent to sign. Your signature is either captured by your finger, stylus or computer-generated. However, the receiving party has little or no assurance that the image is your signature, signed by you and no one else, and with your permission or knowledge. A real electronic signature uses the technology based on the e-signature patent brought into law in 2000 by President Bill Clinton through the ESIGN Act. The technology allows you to sign a document electronically and did not just capture your intent to sign it."

Summarily put, the signatures are authentic and not more images.

expensive digital certificates

9. Expensive Digital Certificates

Most companies believe that getting digital certificates are expensive. Hence, their reluctance to accept e-signatures as a substitute to traditional pen on paper. To ensure the security of transactions online, it is expedient that 3rd party agencies validate the signatures, and their services don't come cheap. Nothing comes for free. And to state it simply, 3rd part certificates are not one-offs; they expire and need to be renewed.

However, expensive solutions aren't always the most efficient. Getting affordable e-signature software would help you mitigate the overwhelming cost of digital certificate renewals.

Conclusion

Read carefully anything that requires your signature. Remember the big print giveth and the small print taketh away" – H Jackson Brown Jr.

Signatures are used to authorize a document or represent one's consent or authority on a record. The advent of digital signature has provided a means to migrate signatures from the traditional pen on paper to an electronic way.

The introduction of e-signature met stiff resistance, and businesses are reluctant to adopt the new system on various grounds. The grounds include risk of fraud, tenability, migration expenses, proof of signatories and many others. We have been able to analyze nine key challenges e-signature has. It is expedient for you to understand these challenges before migrating your system to a full digital signature. You need not entertain any fear; we went one further to proffer solutions to these challenges.

E-signature offers a convenient and cost-saving way of adding a signature to documents. Initiating this digital transformation would improve your brand and allow your partners, clients and stakeholders to append records from their comfort zones.

Move Into E-signature With the Right Software

Sign.cc implements the use of e-signatures in organizations, reducing the risk of unauthorized personnel signing. Now, you can say goodbye to printing, mailing and faxing paper documents. Append all signatures you need without moving away from your desk. With Sign.cc, a person can sign documents in a matter of seconds. They offer secure and affordable services.

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