The world is going digital and paperless, from official documents, exams, and payments, to signatures.
Digitization has revolutionized lives and workplaces, giving you the option to choose an electronic signature.
Signing documents using a pen is becoming obsolete. The covid-19 pandemic has added fuel to the fire by boosting remote work where eSignatures seemed to be the only option.
That’s why it’s impractical to use traditional signatures for personal and business use, especially when working with people from huge distances.
Not to mention, physical signatures require in-person appointments, scanning, printing, mailing, or faxing the document to the concerned personnel. This entire process is tedious, time-consuming, and labor-intensive.
This is where e-signature software comes in handy! It automates the process and saves you from hassles.
So, if you want to improve your productivity and workflows while avoiding the issues associated with the age-old signature practice, here’s your chance.
Get ready to know more about eSignatures, along with some of the best software for it.
What’s An Electronic Signature?
An electronic signature (eSignature) is an encoded form of a signature, indicating approval to an electronic contract or a document. And the software that enables people to sign a document online can be termed as electronic signature software.
You can upload a document through your computer, tablet, or smartphone and then send it to multiple people using the software. This way, they can sign it online without having to go through the traditional process.
With eSignature software, you can effortlessly collect and store signatures by adding entry forms into your documents.
And don’t worry about its security because these software types allow you to verify the signature and protect all the data entered inside it through strong encryption. Good software providers can also offer more security features such as audit logs, authentication, and more.
For example, you might have signed your name while receiving your parcel through a courier service using a mobile or tablet. That exactly is an eSignature.
Voila! You knew it.
Some use cases:
- Sales contracts
- Supplier or vendor agreements
- Fresh customer forms
- Customer approvals
- Change orders
- Employee onboarding
- Legal documents like intellectual property linens
- Age verification and parental consent
- Non-disclosure agreements and channels
Are e-signatures legal?
Another important question that comes to almost everyone’s mind regarding eSignatures is – are they legal?
Yes. By all means.
Electronic signatures are legally binding.
In the year 2000, The US enforced the ESIGN Act, making eSignatures legal for any virtual use. Similarly, other regions across the globe, such as Europe’s elDAS, also followed suit.
Now, companies and solopreneurs do not have to remain limited to execute contracts on paper.
How can it help your business?
The popularity of eSignatures is increasing like wildfire. According to Statista, eSignature transactions increased from 200 million in 2014 to around 754 million in 2017. It is projected to grow at 39% and may reach over $9,073 million towards 2023.
What’s the reason?
Speedy workflow to save time ⏱️
Using eSignature, the time consumed is lower as documents can be assigned instantly online. You don’t have to wait for the concerned person to arrive and then sign it, which hinders workflow by holding tasks for an extended period.
This technology is especially a blessing for healthcare and other critical businesses where approval needs to be made immediately.
Increased convenience 💯
Traveling to far off places only to take approval seems an age-old practice now. When you have the power of the internet and eSignature software, you can take approvals in no time, which increases convenience on both sides.
Tons of paper are utilized in making paper every year, which degrades the environment. Go paperless to save trees and the environment, so the next generation sees a greener ecosystem than we do.
Save resources ✂️
eSignatures not only save time but also cost. Don’t waste your resources on travel expenses or buying more ink and paper. Plus, you can also free some workforce involved in scanning, printing, and delivering the documents to work on other important activities.
You are now familiar with simple things that can help you big time when you choose eSignature over physical signatures.
If you are convinced, then look at some of the best eSignature software in the market to reap its benefits.
Automate both client-facing and internal signatures as well as approvals using eversign. Signing with this tool is secure and easy using any device and helps businesses for every scale and size.
It features a built-in editor that provides you with useful tools to modify, sign, and send all the documents in no time.eversign also has a fully-featured and powerful JSON-based REST API to automate the functionalities.
Its features are similar to what you have seen in the previous tools, such as templates, audit trails, in-person signing, integration, compliance, etc. For security, it offers 256-bit SSL, plus they handle it closely with a monitored infrastructure.
You can also schedule any auto-expire document, remove them permanently, or export them somewhere else private. You can add up to 25 members to a team or manage multiple businesses as well.
Use it free for 5 documents each month and 3 API documents. Or, use its paid plans starting from $9.99/month for unlimited documents and extended features.
Seal your deals with legally binding and convenient eSignatures by using PandaDoc.
More than 20k companies are already using this solution to save their time and resources. Use PandaDoc for sending proposals, quotes, contracts, payment collections that require approvals.
You can take advantage of this solution by using it anywhere and on any device; you like to streamline work quickly. PandaDoc never compromises on security and has built its eSignature technology with full compliance to UETA and ESIGN. They also provide an electronic certificate with each signed document.
Avoid guesswork; instead, use their document analytics plus notifications to get an instant outlook when your prospect opens the documents you have sent or views and comments on them. They offer 200+ professional-looking templates that are designed to cast an everlasting impression on your business.
PandaDoc also integrates with a huge number of integrations to speed up your workflow. It includes HubSpot CRM, Zoho, PayPal, Dropbox, Slack, etc.
Give your prospects a truly convenient eSigning experience using Nitro Sign.
It eliminates usage tiers, overages and does not cost you per signature. Whether you work with contracts, spreadsheets, forms, blueprints, and other documents, Nitro provides you with the tools you need to simplify eSigning.
It is compatible with multiple web browsers and mobile devices. Nitro Sign is secure and compliant with the US eSignature legislation. It facilitates seamless collaboration through sharing documents online, reviewing, and annotating them in the cloud.
You can easily invite others to comment on the documents and track workflows by viewing analytics and real-time notifications. To protect your documents and data, Nitro Sign employs two-factor authentication, audit trails, and sophisticated compliance certifications from HIPAA, SOC Type II, Privacy Shield, etc.
Propel your projects and provide a better experience to your customers by creating, combining, converting, and organizing PDF files on your device. Hence, it helps to eliminate human errors involved in the process.
Accelerate your work from contracts, offer letters, and account openings, to invoices by leveraging DocuSign. Send agreements and get them signed online with security, no matter what device you or the other party use.
Eliminate repeated manual tasks and save dollars that’s spent unnecessarily; instead, use their seamless offerings and impressive features. It provides applications for three platforms – Android, Windows, and iOS so that you can work from anywhere.
Get to know your agreement’s status as to how far it has come in the process and set reminders to receive notifications automatically at each step. You can include standard fields on your agreement, such as date and signature, or create custom fields and save them.
DocuSign allows users to sign in 43 languages and send documents in 13 languages. Standardize the entire process and save time by storing documents that you frequently use and reusing the recipient routing, custom fields, etc. used in those papers.
Connect and integrate eSignatures with the tools and software you use because DocuSign supports 350+ integrations and leading APIs, including Salesforce, Google products, SAP, etc. The resilient infrastructure of DocuSign enables them to deliver 99.99% availability, much needed for your work.
Don’t worry about the security as DocuSign meets stringent security standards used globally, including the EU and US, and it also uses strong and advanced technologies for data encryption. It complies with regulatory bodies such as the UETA, US ESIGN Act, and the EU elDAS. They also store and generate precise audit trails for your documents.
Its pricing starts from $10 per month.
Adobe Sign is another good option for you. This simplistic tool helps you send documents with ease, just like emails. All you need to do is upload a file, type the signer’s email address, and hit that ‘send’ button.
On the signer’s side, they can click the link you sent and sign there themselves using a browser on any device, whether smartphone or computer. For their convenience, Adobe does not require them to sign up or download necessarily.
You can view the signature status, send reminders, view detailed audits, or cancel requests for your transactions. Adobe Sign can work effortlessly with different tools so you can send documents from tools like Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Box, and more.
For security, it is compliant with standards like PCI DSS, SOC 2 Type 2, and ISO 27001. It also supports different file formats, including Adobe PDF and other PDFs, MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Text, WordPerfect, graphics like PNG, GIF, JPG, JPEG, TIF, and BMP; along with HTML and HTM.
With more than 10 years of consistent innovation, SignEasy has already helped 35k+ organizations automate the signature process with eSignatures. Forget about printing, scanning, and faxing documents; instead, use this easy-to-use tool that offers an excellent signing experience.
Just insert signatures to a document using your finger, stylus, or mouse. Or, you can also upload the image of the handwritten signature taken on paper. It allows you to send documents in a parallel or serial sequence to multiple people. You can also enable people to sign them in a particular order, one by one, or at once.
You can review the progress of send documents by checking who needs to sign them or who has already done it. Send push notifications or emails as a reminder and get notified when an action takes place. Other features include wide integration, compliance, global recognition, advanced security with fingerprint authentication, passcodes, and SSL certification.
It supports file formats like MS word, Excel, PDF, Pages, PNG, etc. It also allows saving your unfinished documents, so you can come back later and make edits, along with the option to access the files offline. Import your documents from the cloud, SD cards, emails, and other applications.
Its quality of signatures is also high, resembling physical signatures. You can reuse the existing templates, add images, annotations, initials, apart from texts, and set custom fields and email footers for faster work. SignEasy is available in 24 languages. For surety, you can take their 14-day free trial.
Take the help of signNow to generate eSignatures for a variety of use cases and boost your workflow. Send documents to get them signed by several recipients or sign your own files in a matter of a few clicks. Their powerful and straightforward API helps you embed eSignatures easily to your website or app in minutes.
Even if you don’t have an internet connection, you can eSign your documents anywhere. It allows you to make a request for additional information or documents, set notifications on completion, bulk invite multiple recipients and set specific signing orders for your templates.
You can create a unique signing link for getting the documents signed, request optional payment sections into your fillable forms, and customize the signing invite messages. Add carbon copy (CC) to some recipients who may need notifications along with an expiration date. signNow also notifies you in case a recipient declines to sign your document.
It is compliant with PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2 Type II, and 21 CFR Part 11 and has advanced threat protection capabilities. signNow has an amazing RESTful API that can be quickly integrated with other tools.
Trusted by thousands of individuals and businesses around the world, HelloSign is an effortless eSignature solution. Now, it is owned by Dropbox so that you can wield the power of both amazing platforms.
It is available in the form of a unique web interface, Salesforce add-on, or a developer-friendly API.
You have the option to reuse signature documents as templates along with a bunch of features like custom branding, signer attachments, white-labeling, sophisticated team management, embedded eSignatures, and Salesforce integration. HelloSign is a complaint to HIPAA, so you don’t need to worry.
Its pricing starts at $15/month when you pay annually. You can also test HelloSign for free without entering your credit card details.
Docsketch is a free tool for faster signing, and it builds electronic signatures in a highly intuitive way. That’s the reason why this tool is effortless for everyone with any skill sets to use it. It archives and protects your signed documents so that no one can tamper with them in any case.
Docsketch is compliant with both the US along global eSignature laws. Set the signing process to ask them one by one; the choice is yours! If you set some order, then the concerned person will get notified automatically when their turn comes. It will also help you see how many people are left to sign your document.
You can turn a document into a reusable template so that you can access it anytime and anywhere. With every signed file, you receive a detailed report with legal information as well. It features blank line automatic detection in your files, which helps to position the fields correctly. Consequently, the setting up of documents to get them filled out becomes easy and faster.
Using its ‘Send as Sales Document’ feature, you can get certain types of documents approved, such as bids, estimates, and proposals. If the recipient is ready to approve, they can click the ‘Approve’ button, and then, they will be guided through the next steps.
Bonus Tips to choose a good electronic signature software
You might find these software offering a similar set of features, but they are unique in the way they provide solutions. Hence, it can be confusing to choose among. Therefore, understand a few things, and then make your decision.
- Document volume: Determine how often you send documents that need e-signatures. If it’s a very few times in a year, then there’s no point in getting software that offers a very large bandwidth. Instead, choose the range based on your volume requirement.
- Compliance: Don’t trust a solution blindly. Check the level of security and compliance regulations they abide by. It must verify the authenticity, provide audit trails, and other important features that prove its authenticity.
- Integrations and API: Check how seamless the software is to integrate with 3rd-party tools you already use. Also, find out if they provide a customizable open API to embed electronic signature functionality directly on your application or website.
- Cross-platform: make sure the software you choose is compatible easily with different platforms. You must not face difficulty if you send a contract from your Android smartphone, and the recipient uses a macOS.
- Document types: the eSignature software must support multiple types of documents and formats, so you don’t face any trouble midway.
Electronic signatures have become essential for modern businesses and individuals alike. It has been widely accepted by businesses and has the blessings of compliance regulations that are much needed when dealing with clients from different countries.
Thus, if you still haven’t leveraged this technology, it’s not too late. Get an eSignature software now and accelerate your workflow faster than ever before!
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