In an increasingly paperless world, more and more business is being conducted online. From this uprising of all things “e” in the business world comes the need to sign, validate, and move businesses forward with eSignature software.
What Is an eSignature?
An electronic signature (eSignature) is digital acknowledgement that can be used as paperless confirmation that a person agrees with information included in an electronic document, or it can validate that they are the person who has prepared a digital message.
eSignature Legislation and Legality
With the explosion of ecommerce over the past 10 years, eSignatures are being used more and more often as so many components of business go virtual and paperless. And yes, they are legal. In the US, Canada, UK and EU, and other countries, an eSignature holds the same validity as the handwritten signature used more traditionally in accepting documents or contracts.
eSignatures began gaining legal recognition and validity in business practices through important eSignature acts in legislation in 1999 with the EU Directive for Electronic Signatures and 2000 when President Clinton passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN).
ESIGN guarantees that any electronic contracts acknowledged with an eSignature are valid and held to the same legality as a document signed by hand, as long as the below mandates are met when using any eSignature for business.
- The consumer is provided an electronic copy of the document and has consented to receiving it electronically.
- The business is “clearly and conspicuously” stated, and the consumer has given consent.
- Consumer consent must “reasonably demonstrate” they have electronic access to the document they are signing.
Benefits of eSignature
eSignature comes with a wide array of business benefits, all hinged on saving time and money and increasing efficiency. By using eSignature for business, you can take advantage of such benefits:
Save on Postage
eSignature allows for a large amount of business communications, contracts, and commerce to safely and securely take place in the absence of paper. By incorporating this technology into your business, you will no longer have to print and mail out bulky packages stuffed with lengthy contracts or foot the bill for postage, expedited shipping, or even the paper and envelopes needed in the past to move information.
Increase Speed, Decrease Waiting
Removing the paper, printing, and shipping from the business equation will inevitably increase the speed at which your business can operate. It will also ramp up the amount of contracts you can execute and allow you to funnel the time and resources previously spent doing such work into other aspects of your business.
eSignature for business will also eliminate the time traditionally spent waiting for documents to be sent back and forth for revisions and then waiting further before it is eventually signed, completed, and returned.
Meet Deadlines More Quickly
Using eSignature for SharePoint can also allow people on your team to collaborate on projects and documents, so that they can be completed quickly and help keep everyone on track with deadlines. Rather than printing a document and spending the time awaiting a physical signature to move projects or business forward, you can create and share an eSignature PDF that can be executed quickly, reducing the risk that it will be lost in a pile of paperwork on a desk somewhere.
eSignatures are not only convenient but also legal and secure as long as they are in accordance with guidelines. Legality is covered by ESIGN, but security is only as good as the technology provider you select to use. Keep these 3 things in mind when you’re choosing an eSignature service.
A reputable eSignature provider will be in compliance outlined in eSignature Act (ESIGN). Make sure to look into this before choosing to use the service.
Since 2000, eSignatures have been admissible in court in the US. Should any of your eSignatures or electronically validated documents come into question, you’ll want to make sure the provider has proper security measures in place.
Encryption is the process of encoding a message to protect the information being transferred from any third-party attempts to obtain it for malicious purposes. An eSignature provider should support Secured Socket Layers (SSL) protection.
eFileCabinet’s Integration with eSignature
eFileCabinet is the trusted industry leader in digital document storage and management, and eSignature is integrated into our suite of services—all designed to help businesses work more efficiently, collaboratively, and paperless. eFileCabinet makes it possible to capture eSignatures and store all your important business with security and peace of mind.
By using such a complete software solution as eFileCabinet for your business, you can save the valuable time and money that go into paper, printing, and shipping costs. You can also keep all of your eSignature PDFs secure, legally compliant, and organized. Think of the spike in productivity you can achieve when you tighten up your team’s effectiveness and efficiency by using eSignature for SharePoint.
You can personally experience an eFileCabinet demo, complete with eSignature capabilities to see just how seamless and complete your paperless processes can be.