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There are different types of signatures out there, one of which is the wet signature.

In this article, we’ll explain what a wet signature is, how it’s different from an electronic signature or digital signature, and when a wet signature is required.

We’ll also explain how wet signatures can help two parties come together.

What Are The Different Types Of Signatures?

There are different kinds of signatures. Each one has its own use, but they’re all used to give approval or permission to some extent. Here are some types of signatures you may be asked to give.

What is a Wet Signature?

A wet signature is when you physically sign a piece of paper or document. It’s called a wet signature because you’re probably signing with a pen, which uses liquid ink. In most places, signing your name is considered sufficient, but marking the paper with an X also counts as a wet signature as well. In some cultures, they’ll still use name seals or wax seals to sign their documents.

Electronic signatures

An electronic signature can be one of many things. Electronic signatures can include:

• Typing your name at the end of an email
• An image of your handwritten signature
• Clicking an “agree” or “disagree” button on an online website
• A physical signature used on a touch device
• Typing your name on an electronic form
• Using a PIN

Basically, an electronic signature includes most kinds of signatures where you did not use an ink pen. So all non-wet signatures are a form of electronic signature. Electronic signatures are usually used to acknowledge messages, transactions, or that you received a document or message.

To electronically sign a document, you need to use an eSignature platform to ensure that it’s recognized as a legitimate signature.

Digital signatures

Digital signatures are the most secure way to sign a document electronically. Digital signatures require private and public keys and certificates of authority. It can get a bit complicated, but just know that digital signatures are more secure than most other types of electronic signatures.

When Is A Wet Signature Required?

In the year 2000, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (also known as ESIGN) went into effect. Part of the act says that wet signatures and electronic signatures hold the same weight.

Legally speaking, there isn’t any difference between a wet signature and an electronic signature. That being said, some companies and organizations prefer certain kinds of signatures over others. The ESIGN act allows these companies to accept or reject different kinds of signatures based on personal preferences.

You’ll notice that most companies that issue loans or purchases will require that you sign with a wet signature of some sort, whereas they’ll use an electronic signature for withdrawals or simple acknowledgment. It’s probably safe to assume that a business will require a wet signature whenever money or debt are involved, like when signing a loan or a contract. However, an electronic signature is good enough when information is being delivered or trading hands.

Are There Any Downsides to Wet Signatures?

While there are a lot of advantages to using a wet signature, such as knowing that everyone is on the same page before they sign a document, the use of paper documents also presents a few disadvantages. 

First, paper is expensive both to purchase and file. Businesses who rely on wet signatures must buy paper, printers, and ink, and then pay to have the documents stored after they are signed. 

Second, because paper documents must be stored in a physical location, they can be difficult to retrieve, especially when compared to electronic documents that can be retrieved almost instantaneously. 

Why Do Signatures Matter?

Signatures are important for many different reasons. First and foremost, they’re the most effective way we have to give out permission or approval for something. Whether it’s a contract, invoice, or employee evaluation, signatures allow us to approve certain actions without having to talk with every person involved in the process beforehand.

They also provide us with evidence that an approval was given. Signatures help protect both parties from the other backing out of a deal or claiming they did not approve of the other party taking a specific action. Signatures are essential because they leave a paper trail which you can follow if document problems ever make that necessary.

Wet signatures are especially useful because they require both parties to physically meet in person. This forces the two parties to slow down and explain the documents to one another before signing. Wet signatures help foster an atmosphere where everyone can be on the same page and can have an equal understanding of what’s about to happen next.

Finally, wet signatures are helpful because they bring people together and get rid of the sterility of text on a computer screen. The simple act of coming together to sign a document helps solidify business relations and provide greater understanding.

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eFileCabinet Can Help You Keep Your Signed Documents Organized

Whether you decide a wet, electronic, or digital signature is right for you and your business, eFileCabinet can help you store your signed documents. eFileCabinet has over 17 years of experience in building the perfect document management system, and has helped thousands of users organize and preserve their customers’ signed documents one step at a time.

Whether you run a small business or an enterprise-level corporation, eFileCabinet’s services can help you keep your documents protected yet accessible and provide an easy way to electronically sign any document. No matter what your needs are, we’re happy to help you with our legendary white glove assistance.

Contact us today to find out how eFileCabinet can help you accomplish your business goals.

Are you ready to learn more?

Call: 877-574-5505