Electronic signature is not just a tool in digital transformation, but a fundamental component that accelerates business processes and reshapes the regulatory, institutional, and technological environments. To a certain extent, its impact is comparable to the introduction of email into our daily activities. The e-signature, just like the email, breaks time and space boundaries, facilitates our lives and enables us to take business operations to the next level. What are its key advantages and functionalities with undeniable benefits for any business?
Efficiency gets a boost
Print, sign, scan, send, and then repeat. These are the traditional stages in signing documents, which each signatory has to reiterate on his side. E-signing follows the same principle, but works on a simplified version of this process, cutting steps such as printing, scanning or mailing. Fewer steps imply that we have fewer occasions to experience Murphy’s laws at work. Moreover, less mistakes and a faster turnaround lead to a lower level of frustration for all parties involved (business partners, colleagues, suppliers etc.) who will thus have less reasons to abandon the signing process. So, we can easily state that e-signature increases the level of efficiency and satisfaction of all parties.
Electronic signature improves time management
According to Keepsolid, signing documents electronically takes only 45 seconds and e-signature saves annually 5 days (on average) for companies. E-signing sets these record times as it is based on an instant and automatized digital process. The simplified workflow enables multiple parties to sign simultaneously a document, without scanning or printing it. So, the waiting periods between drafting and signing are drastically reduced, speeding up the implementation of decisions.
E-signing reduces the period between drafting and signing, speeding up the implementation of decisions.
Paper-related costs drop
Paper is an asset that we often misuse and overuse with colossal costs over business and the general well-being of our planet. The World Counts estimates that 50% of company waste is paper and 45% of the printed paper at the office ends up in the trash. Adding up the costs required for paper ordering, storing, postage, mailing, archiving, a large chunk of a company’s budget is wasted only on paper handling. Digitizing the entire signing process removes the need to print paper and therefore cuts down all related costs. Plus, less paper used, more trees spared.
E-signing is ultimately a green solution which can boost any sustainability initiative with long term benefits for the environment and brand image.
Electronic signature is legally valid
The European Union’s eIDAS (Electronic Identities and Trust Services) regulation has harmonised the electronic identification and trust services market, introducing standards and authentication mechanisms that make electronically signed documents and contracts legally binding across member states. Thanks to eIDAS, all e-signature types are admitted as a form of evidence in case of commercial litigation, no judge could reject an electronic document as evidence solely on the grounds that it is e-signed. However, e-signature levels vary so as their legal effect. We will describe in detail the different types of e-signature and their associated legal value in one of our next entries.
Thanks to eIDAS, all e-signature types are admitted as a form of evidence in case of commercial litigation.
Electronic signature is highly secure (as long as it is provided by a Trust Service Provider)
Besides legality, security is another pain point that raises concerns, but few could imagine that e-signature is in fact more secure than the paper one. This bold statement relies on two arguments. First one: e-signing is based on encryption technology called hash signing that ensures complete security and confidentiality. The second one derives from the fact that paper counts numerous flaws: it can be easily destroyed, misplaced, forged or left unattended. These situations pose high security risks with legal implications that we do not encounter by using the e-signature. In addition, e-signature records with precise details the identity, consent, date, and time of each signing event, providing users with an extra layer of security in case of litigation.
Convenient and easy to use
Nowadays, it has become clear that a lot of the business is done remotely, from different parts of the world or even from the cosiness of one’s living room. Organisations are looking for digital solutions that transcend distance obstacles and enable fast connections between different stakeholders. One of the great advantages of using the electronic signature is that it makes physical presence no longer required to get or give approval. Everyone can e-sign from anywhere in the world, on any device with some clicks, provided that they are connected to Internet and possess an electronic identity.
Reinforcing efficiency, reducing human errors, speeding up processes and cutting down costs are just a few of the most obvious advantages of implementing electronic signature, but each business can find many more depending on its activity sector, complexity or size. What is certain is that the e-signature is here to stay and the sooner a business implements it, the higher its market edge will be.
Are you thinking of adopting electronic signature? Check our solutions here!