The world is becoming increasingly digital. With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, more people are moving away from paper-based documents and traditional ways of doing business. And this trend isn’t just affecting individuals. It has also infiltrated the professional sphere. Since electronic signatures were first introduced in the mid-1990s, they have become a preferred method for conducting transactions digitally, especially post Covid-19.
The Increasing Digital Landscape Post Covid-19
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it brought a wave of digital adoption. The need to survive and keep businesses running, even when your employees were at home sick, meant that many companies needed to embrace new technology, from blockchain to artificial intelligence (AI).
The shift from an analog world to a digital one is not just about how people operate in their day-to-day lives. It’s about how we interact with businesses and service providers, too. While digital adoption was fast even before Covid-19, the pandemic further accelerated it. In fact, according to the McKinsey Global Survey of Executives, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst and accelerated the adoption by many years.
The Inefficiency of Traditional Signatures in the Remote World
The traditional paper-based signature is an inefficient, slow way to verify identity in today’s digital world. The fact that it requires physical documents to be produced and delivered means that it can take days or weeks for copies to be signed. In the meantime, business owners are stuck waiting for their documents to be processed by a notary public or other intermediary.
Even if you’re only dealing with a single document, the inefficiency of this process can cost you money and time. For example, every record has to go on a two-way trip. The journey begins by sending the document to the other party and waiting for them to sign it and send it back for days or weeks.
Even if you don’t physically go and deliver the document, you still have to go through the hassle of faxing the document. The other party will print the copy, sign it, scan it, and fax it back to you. All of these make traditional signatures inefficient in today’s digital world.
The solution? Electronic signatures! An electronic signature allows you to sign documents quickly and securely from any location at any time—and it lets you track who has signed them, so you know precisely who has reviewed them.
Benefits of Using Electronic Signatures
Electronic or digital signatures offer a plethora of benefits in our remote world. They can overcome all the challenges posed by traditional signatures. That’s precisely why the digital signature market, worth $3.56 billion in 2020, is projected to reach a whopping $61.91 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 33.2%. Let’s look at the significant benefits of electronic signatures, accelerating electronic signature adoption.
Electronic signatures are an efficient way to transfer information from one party to another. They can be sent electronically, which means they can be processed much faster than paper-based signatures. Because electronic signatures are easy to send and receive, they allow businesses to save time and money by reducing the need for courier services or other delivery methods that require the physical transportation of documents.
Electronic signatures are much more convenient than traditional wet ink signatures because they can be sent worldwide as long as both parties have internet access! You don’t even need to be sitting at your desk: if you’re at home with your children watching TV, you could still send an email containing the documents and receive the signed ones.
As you can see, electronic signatures reduce the need for many inconveniences and delays associated with physical signatures. The most obvious benefit is that there’s no need to print, sign, and scan documents anymore. Documents are sent back to the sender as they are received. And you’ll never have to waste time waiting around for physical copies of documents to arrive or be returned. These days, most people have access to email on their phones or tablets; there’s no reason not to send invoices electronically!
If you’re ready for this change but aren’t sure where to begin, we’ve got some advice: start small by sending invoices only if your clients agree. Once everyone is comfortable with this new process, ensure all future communications are sent via email instead of hard copy letters or faxes. Finally—and this may seem obvious—don’t forget about confidentiality!
In a digital signature, the signer’s name, identity, and the time of signing are encoded in the message. The signature is created by applying asymmetric cryptography to the document, which means it is impossible to forge without knowing the private key of the owner of the document.
The use of cryptography adds a layer of defense against cyber attackers who are constantly trying to forge details and create fake identities for use. Moreover, the digital signature is verified using different metrics, such as IP address, time and date stamps, browser information, geographic location, etc., making it traceable on how and when the documents were signed. This eliminates the denial of signature and also the verification of whether the signs were made by the person who was supposed to do so or not.
We all know that cutting costs is one of the best ways to increase profits. It’s a simple equation: less money spent equals more money made.
The use of digital signatures has been proven to cut costs in many ways, including lowering legal fees and reducing the time needed to process documents. But how exactly do they save businesses money?
One way is through the reduction of paper documents. They don’t need any of the following:
- Physical copies. Electronic signature software can be used to create a digital copy of a document that can then be signed electronically, and the original paper or scanned image file will not be needed. The result is that there’s no need for physical copies of anything anymore!
- Storage space. While you may want to keep a physical copy of your documents if you need them in the future, it’s unnecessary if you have an electronic signature stored on your computer or mobile device. Plus, it saves money when you don’t have to pay for storage space.
- Transport time for paperwork when traveling across town or even around the world—which means less stress on yourself!
Besides the papers, eSignatures also save costs on printer ink and toner cartridges. Moreover, it also cuts down on legal fees associated with processing paperwork manually.
Electronic signatures have been around for a long time, but it’s only recently that they have been widely accepted and used. As we’ve outlined in this article, there are several reasons why electronic signatures could be superior to traditional forms of signature. With the growing popularity of digital documents, it’s time that companies changed their approach and embraced electronic signatures instead!