At first glance, it can seem as though eSignatures are simply a flash in the pan with other modern technological advancements. However, with an annual growth rate of 31%, eSignatures are becoming widely adopted by companies around the world.
These companies are finding that eSignatures are a great alternative to the traditional ‘wet’ signature and have many benefits that any organisation looking to usher themselves into the modern business world can utilise to help their company prosper.
We believe that eSignatures are essential for the growth of any business. That’s why in this article we’re going to take a look at the difference between eSignatures and wet signatures. We’ll also go over the benefits of implementing an eSignature solution into your business and the contract lifecycle.
eSignatures vs. Wet Signatures
The physical differences between eSignatures and wet signatures are apparent — the former is digital whereas the latter is with ink and paper.
However, eSignatures are rapidly becoming more and more widespread due to companies finding that they benefit their company massively over wet signatures —
- Security: An electronically signed document is safe from tampering and destruction, meaning it’s safe from a physical breach, unlike a wet signature.
Contrary to popular belief, the risk of an eSignature being hacked is minimal as long as you’re wary. This is because modern eSignature platforms have many tools like multi-factor authentication and IP logging to prevent this.
- Costs: A wet signature can accrue many costs, between printing, signing, and sending the document.
These costs can add up rapidly and cause your business to have many unwanted costs. An eSignature solution is far more cost-efficient and only requires hardware that you’d find at any modern office.
- Convenience: eSignatures are far more convenient than wet signatures, as they can be signed with just a few clicks instead of having to print out the document and find a pen.
Plus, you don’t need to scan the document afterwards either, meaning you don’t need to physically spend time in your day going to a scanner to scan documents.
- Efficiency: All of this saves minutes throughout the day. When considering how many times a day documents are signed within a business, it’s clear that eSignatures save a lot of time.
All of these can be crucial to the day-to-day success of any business, and so an eSignature solution shouldn’t be overlooked by any company looking to ensure their company can keep up with the needs of a modern organisation.
The Contract Lifecycle
The contract lifecycle is all of the general steps that it takes to sign and legitimise a contract for the standard business. With this, it becomes clear how much time using an eSignature solution truly saves for any organisation.
The first part of any contract is the creation of the contract (or another document that needs a signature). This process will sometimes require legal teams and other representatives to ensure that the agreement is drafted properly.
After the document has been created, the physical document to be signed with a ‘wet’ signature needs to be printed and prepared to send to the signer. However, this isn’t needed with eSignatures, as the document will be sent digitally.
Send To Signer
Next, the document needs to be sent to the recipient to sign. This will mean mailing it or physically delivering it to the recipient, which takes time and can be costly for any business.
There is also a chance that the mail will get lost en route, which will make the whole process even longer. An eSignature solution allows you to use email to send the document over, which is far quicker and easier than using physical mail.
The next step will be to contact the recipient for updates, which will take time. Especially when chasing up the document, having to wait for days to find out whether your contract has been signed can be a hassle for any business.
When using an eSignature solution, you can check for updates without having to even contact the recipient. You can look at the file and see whether it has yet been signed, meaning that you save time in trying to communicate with the other party.
Revisions and Redlining
If the contract needs revising or changing, that requires sending more documents. When using wet signatures, this can be a long and tedious process. However, using eSignatures is a much simpler way to be able to ensure that you can get the document signed quickly.
When the contract is signed, it needs to be sent back. This adds significant time to the process and also has the same danger of getting lost in the mail as before. With an eSignature solution, receiving the signed document takes a matter of seconds.
Ongoing Audit Log
Wet signatures are easy to tamper and manipulate, and can even be destroyed by bad-faith parties. When communicating through the mail and physical documents, it can be hard to verify that the documents have been signed legitimately.
With eSignatures, there will always be an ongoing log that tracks when and where the document was signed. This can be used to verify the authenticity of the document’s signature and is part of what makes eSignatures so secure for modern business.
and limit downtime.
How to Get Started
Designing and implementing a holistic security solution can be a massive undertaking, depending on the size and complexity of your business. This is especially true if you do not have a team dedicated to cybersecurity.
For this reason, many businesses rely on trusted advisors and managed service providers to design, implement and monitor their security posture. This way, you have the benefit of a team of cybersecurity professionals, without the additional cost.
If you want to find out more about how your business could benefit from a holistic security approach, contact us today.