Electronic signatures are becoming increasingly popular, owing to their many benefits.

In fact, the global e-signature market size is expected to reach USD 7.99 billion by 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights. More and more businesses are adopting the paperless signature mode as it gains legal compliance and acceptance worldwide.

Fortune Business Insights
Image via Fortune Business Insights

Are you still stuck in the rut of traditional pen-and-paper signatures?

Yes?

Perhaps, you are not aware of the potential benefits of electronic signatures for your business. Once you know how much you can save in terms of money and labor hours by migrating to e-signatures, you will ditch the pen-and-paper route forever.

The Top 7 Benefits of Electronic Signatures for Businesses

Before electronic signatures became commonplace and legally binding, businesses spent many dollars and days shipping, faxing, printing, and signing paper documents. But now, they have realized the futility of the paper-signing process. It’s time you grasp the benefits of e-signatures as well. Here they are:

1. Simplicity

If you think getting documents electronically signed is a complex process, you are mistaken. There are many easy-to-use online signature makers in the market.

How do they work?

Simply, install one of these apps, upload your document, declare signers, and send a secure signing link generated by the app to the signers.  The recipients click on the link and the signing process is complete.

Since these apps are so simple and straightforward to use, they don’t have much of a learning curve. Even new users can use them with ease and improve their productivity by 85%.

2. Enhanced Security

Believe it or not, it’s safer to use electronic signatures since they are tamper-proof.

How, you ask?

Electronic signatures contain encoded information about the identity, location, and timestamp of each signer. In case of any conflict,  you can easily trace back your document trail and find the culprit.

E-signature apps like Signaturely make the whole process more secure by offering two-factor authentication, password protection, and audit trails.

One more thing…

Electronic signing reduces human errors (related to scanning, printing, handling, file loss, etc.) by 80%, according to the LunarPen report cited earlier. You can achieve up to 80% audit efficiency by using electronic signatures. That’s why many US banks and financial institutions have ditched paper signatures altogether.

3. Faster Turnaround

Time-sensitive contract management is possible through electronic signatures. By automating workflows, e-signature apps can accelerate routine payment processes.

Don’t believe me?

Then, check out this stat by Forrester:

On average, it takes 37 minutes to secure an e-signature. For physical signatures? 5 days, and that’s just for opening a regular bank account.

A typical paper signature workflow (over email) looks like this: you scan a document and email it to signers. They download > print > sign > scan > email it back to you. The whole process can stretch over days.

E-signature apps, on the other hand, take mere minutes to generate and deliver signing links in bulk. That’s why US businesses are saving 22K hours (Forrester) annually since they switched to the electronic signing mode.

4. Convenience

Remote authentication through electronic signatures is convenient when senders and recipients live in different locations. You can send and receive documents from a nifty app on your mobile device, without leaving the comfort of your home. Digital signatures enable you to be more mobile and flexible.

If your partners, clients, employees, and vendors are scattered around the globe, you will be stuck in the mailing rut for days if you rely only on paper signatures.

5. Cost Efficiency

Electronic signatures can cut your document-handling costs by 85%. By going paperless, you can reduce expenditure on consumables (paper, printer ink, storage space, etc.) as well.

6. Legal Compliance

In 1999, electronic signatures became legally recognized in Canada and the US. In these countries, e-signatures are considered as legit as paper (“wet”) signatures in major sectors like finance, healthcare, education, and even government.

Since security and compliance are potential deal breakers, e-signature app makers are constantly working on fortifying these aspects by moving to the cloud. To be sure if electronic signatures are legally binding in your country, you can check out the status here.

Signaturely
Image via Signaturely

7. Eco-Friendliness

Electronic signatures help you cut paper clutter and do your bit for the environment. While it’s a distant dream to go completely paperless, moving away from paper signatures can be a small but significant step in that direction, especially if it is adopted by the majority of businesses.

FAQ

Q1. What is an electronic signature and its advantages?

A. Electronic signatures have the following advantages:

  • Simplicity
  • Enhanced security
  • Faster turnaround
  • Convenience
  • Cost efficiency
  • Legal compliance
  • Eco-friendliness

Q2. How valid is an electronic signature?

A. In 1999, electronic signatures became legally recognized in Canada and the US. In these countries, e-signatures are considered as legit as paper (“wet”) signatures in major sectors like finance, healthcare, education, and even government.

Q3. What are two reasons to use electronic signatures?

A. The two main benefits of using electronic signatures are enhanced productivity and cost savings.

Q4. What does adding an electronic signature do?

A. By adding an electronic signature to a document, you leave an audit trail for the sender to track. Most e-signature tools encrypt the signer’s location and timestamp to create a unique identity for them. This can be traced back to the signer for verification purposes.

Q5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of a digital signature?

A. Electronic signatures have the following advantages:

  • Simplicity
  • Enhanced security
  • Faster turnaround
  • Convenience
  • Cost efficiency
  • Legal compliance
  • Eco-friendliness

As of now, the main disadvantage of electronic signatures is that they are not legally acceptable in some parts of the world, although that is changing fast.

Q6. When would you use electronic signatures?

A. Electronic signatures are most suitable for low-value, routine transactions, such as small payments and contract management.

Q7. What are three uses of electronic signatures?

A. Electronic signatures can be used for:

  • Payment processing
  • Deal closure
  • Contract management

Q8. How do I create an electronic signature?

A. You can buy an e-signature app like Signaturely and use it to generate personalized e-signatures for yourself. You can either upload a power signature to the app or draw a custom one that reflects your unique personality. The signature can be saved as a template for multiple uses.

Ready to Reap the Benefits of Electronic Signatures?

Ready or not, electronic signatures are here to stay. And, it’s little wonder why they have taken the corporate world by storm. If you haven’t moved to this paperless mode yet, it’s high time that you do so.

Do you have any questions about electronic signatures? Feel free to share them in the comments below. I’m always happy to help my readers.