Today, e-signatures are fast taking the role of technology that can be adopted as the first step towards complete digitization, no matter the nature of your organization. Most people experience electronic signatures, either signing with an Apple pen on an iPad or pasting an image of their signature on documents. E-signatures have enabled financial institutions, start-ups, manufacturing plants, and other large organizations to maintain critical business continuity by giving consumers digital access to essential services like bank account openings, vehicle financing, loans, employee agreements, vendor contracts, etc.
As e-signature adoption increases, organizations need to educate employees and customers about the legal and secure processes e-signature technology provides for signing documents online. While the rule of traditional handwritten signatures slowly but steadily comes to an end, there are still concerns that plague consumers about the legality and validity of e-signature technology. Since looking for answers on the internet is a sure way of going down rabbit holes of the World Wide Web mysteries, we have compiled a shortlist of 10 Frequently Asked Questions about the use of e-signatures.
FAQ #1: What is the difference between electronic signatures and digital signatures?
Electronic or e-signature and digital signature are often used interchangeably, but they do not mean the same thing. An electronic signature is a simple way of obtaining consent on electronic documents or forms. E-signatures are defined as an "electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to, or associated with, a contract or other record and adopted by a person with the intent to sign a record." On the other hand, digital signatures refer to the encryption and decryption technology on which an electronic signature solution is built. A digital signature alone is not a type of electronic signature. Used alone, it cannot capture a person's intent to sign a document or be legally bound to an agreement or contract.
Bottom Line: When looking for a suitable e-signature solution to manage your signing processes, ensure that, like DrySign, it is built on digital signature technology to guarantee the integrity of the document and underlying signatures.
FAQ #2: Are e-signatures safe?
Most e-signature solutions are secure. When backed by digital signature technology that encrypts and protects your online paperwork through a slew of systems like audit trails, PKI technology, etc., document processes on such e-signature solutions are 100% encrypted and sealed against tampering or forgery. They are based on asymmetric cryptography, generated through a Public key algorithm with two unique keys. A private key that is unique to a signatory and a public key is available to everyone for decrypting the online signature. Thus, if a user wants to sign a document, he uses his unique and non-transferable private key, to which no one else has access.
Bottom Line: Before zeroing in on an e-signature solution for your business, ensure that the compliance and certifications of the software are updated and current to track and protect your document.
FAQ #3: Are e-signatures legal?
Most countries have sound local legal systems and laws about using e-signatures. For example, electronic signatures have been given the same legal status as handwritten signatures under the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) in the United States. In the U.K., e-signatures are legal under U.K. eIDAS regulations, shorthand for 'electronic identification and trust services. In India, the IT Act 2000 grants electronic signatures a legal status whereas in the Philippines, DrySign is compliant with the Electronic Commerce Act of 2000.
Bottom Line: Be sure to select a solution, like DrySign, compliant with local laws and regulations, giving you legally binding documents.
FAQ #4: Are there documents that cannot be signed digitally?
Every country has rules about what can be signed digitally and what needs to be signed in person. Commonly, documents such as a Power of Attorneys, Wills, and even divorce documentation are considered inappropriate for e-signatures.
Bottom Line: If you want to use e-signatures for a particular contract or agreement, it is advised that you take the recommendations of your legal team.
FAQ #5: What type of documents can be signed using e-signatures?
Nowadays, almost all documents can be signed using e-signature software. For example, E-signatures are used on PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, Google Drive documents, etc.
Bottom Line: With solutions like DrySign, you never have to worry about the format of your document. Upload any document and sign it in seconds.
FAQ #6: Does the user at the other end need to have the software too?
Most e-signature solutions allow a free exchange of documents once you have subscribed to a plan, even if it's a free one. With superior technology for its support, the fear of two applications not being compatible with each other is rare in the case of e-signatures.
Bottom Line: DrySign, seamlessly integrates with platforms such as GoogleDrive, DropBox, OneDrive, and more. All you need to do is upload a document to DrySign, and you are ready to start signing. Moreover, all your signatory needs is an email address to sign your document and return it. Problem Solved!
FAQ #7: Do I need special hardware or software to use e-signatures?
You need nothing but a document to upload and sign and a secure internet connection. A reliable e-signature solution does all the work of encrypting, decrypting, and securing, in the background so you can have a superior user experience and a seamless workflow.
Bottom Line: All you need is a DrySign plan of your choice and a device with an internet connection to start signing.
FAQ #8: Is electronic signature technology right for a business?
If your business needs a rigorous documentation process and signing and storage of paperwork, then it is only wise to switch to an e-signature platform. Some of the industries that highly benefit from e-signatures solutions are :
- Construction and engineering industry
- Accounting and tax
- Financial services sector
- Marketing industry
- Insurance industry
- Real estate industry
- Legal industry
Bottom Line: DrySign is fast, convenient, and easy to use. It also provides templates to streamline your business documentation processes. In addition, its audit trail feature keeps track of all your documents to ensure that each document field is filled and ultimately signed at the end.
Click here to read more about the types of documents signed with e-signatures in various industries.
FAQ #9: How to choose the right electronic signature solution for my business?
When deciding to implement an electronic signature solution in your business, we recommend you choose the one that meets the following requirements:
- A solution that is legally binding and complies with laws and regulations of the country it is being used in.
- A solution that expedites your overall workflow and accelerates the approval of documents, even by multiple signatories.
- Features like Create a Template and Group sign allow for streamlined and faster document workflow.
- A software that is easy to use, increases work efficiency, and can integrate with other platforms quickly.
Bottom Line: Choose an e-signature platform like DrySign that provides you with an end-to-end solution for all your signing needs.
FAQ #10: Do e-signatures remove the human touch element?
Two of the primary advantages of electronic signatures are ease and user experience. Web-enabled video collaboration and conferencing can also be built into the e-signature software for optimal user experience. By adding the human element back into complicated and complex contract and agreement processes, e-signature technologies can ensure secure and interactive experiences between users.
Bottom Line: A solution like DrySign makes customer interaction more accessible and more efficient with instant access to documents and easy-to-navigate software, strengthening your customer service experience and retaining customer loyalty.
Electronic signatures are widely used in many sectors like Healthcare, Automobiles, law, IT, Banking and Education, etc. There are, however, several organizations and industries that are unable to make the transition from traditional manual signatures to e-signatures, owing to several fears and misconceptions about this technology. Not unheard of, since any considerably new technology must go through several developments to be understood fully and used optimally.
Here are some reliable features that make DrySign the best e-signature platform in the market.
Legality and validity
Invest in an efficient e-signature solution that is packed with features that improve the bottom line of your business. Any software that comes in to simplify your business should not be a burden to understand, which means that it should be easy to use and in actuality, simplify your process instead of complicating it further.
DrySign e-signature solutions provide you with cost-effective plans that suit the need of your business, be it a small start-up or a big corporate enterprise. It is loaded with features that make your document signing process super simple saving you hours of work and lots of money! What’s not to like?
Read more about DrySign features here.
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DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.