Underrated as it may be, the idea of signing electronically is one of the best technologies we have today.
Signatures have long served as an essential part of completing deals, and the ability to sign remotely takes business to a whole new level.
It also explains why global e-signature transactions have ballooned to 754 million from 89 million in only five years, according to recent figures by Satista.com.
And if usage rates go up, the electronic signature global market may hit $9.07 billion by 2023.
The Driving Factors behind E-signature Adoption
E-signature adoption may catch more fire as different states in the United States take measures to allow e-signatures and e-notarizations amid the ongoing global pandemic.
But e-signing was a common practice even pre-pandemic. Below are some of the leading drivers of eSignature use, according to Aberdeen.
Different industries rely on e-signatures for their day-to-day activities. Some common sectors include;
- Real Estate
- Government bodies
- Cybersecurity and IT
Many other small and large business owners in different sectors rely on electronic contracts and signatures for their numerous benefits.
The Many Ways E-signatures Impact Global Business
The benefits of e-signatures to business can be divided into four segments.
- Growth– these benefits come in the form of a faster turnaround. E-signatures increase contract completion rates, thus more profits
- Costs– with e-signatures, business owners can cut on paper-related expenses and other costs incurred in manual processes.
- Workflow– e-signatures and smart contracts relieve businesses of the burden of managing paper contracts, thus increasing productivity.
- Security– studies show 80 percent of companies consider e-Signatures as the key-most feature in the legal and security front of their day to day dealings.
Saving on operational costs is a priority for any business, whether large or small. The idea is to get maximum output from a little input, even if it means shifting to digital solutions.
Research shows that businesses spend nearly 20 US dollars to file a document and up to 120 US dollars to locate a missing doc. On top of that, handling paper can waste 20 to 30 percent of a worker’s time.
All these can pile up to huge financial losses. According to a post in Corp Magazine, US businesses still waste a shocking $8 billion per annum on handling paper.
On the flip side, businesses that implement electronic signature reduce the cost of handling documents by 85 percent.
Switching to e-signing methods can also reduce spending on office supplies like paper, ink, and envelopes.
And that’s not all, firms that mail paper documents can eliminate expenses tied to postage costs. And for local deliveries, a business could do away with courier charges.
The use of paper documents calls for printing and mail delivery. Studies show 41 percent of businesses print more than half of their docs just to get them signed. Forty-eight percent of these firms make 3 or more copies per document.
Implementing e-signatures boosts up productivity by reducing the handling time of vital company documents.
Businesses also waste time locating physical documents and validating that the contract is complete. An employee must check manually to confirm that all areas are signed appropriately.
In comparison, businesses that go paper-free reduce processing mistakes by up to 90 percent, as revealed in stats by MSB Docs
Other stats show 65 percent of firms that use ink-and-paper report that wet signatures add an entire day of work to a contract process.
Shifting to e-signatures and electronic (or smart) contracts can drive business growth.
A smoother and more economical signing process can ensure you complete more deals than you do with pen and paper, raking in more profit.
This digital approach facilitates the instant transfer of documents. The receiver can add their signature straightaway and send it back, solving a problem in minutes.
Paper processes require physical presence and to-and-fro mailing, which can slow down time-bound deals and lead to lost revenues.
A general boost in operational efficiency leads to a faster turnaround, which is a sure driver of growth.
Studies show 80 percent of businesses consider e-Signatures as the key-most feature in the legal and security front of their day to day dealings.
These industries include finance, real estate, and healthcare sectors, as well as government institutions.
Many e-signature solutions offer high-standard security walls like password-protection, traceable audit trail, and SOC 2 Type II certification to uphold document integrity round the clock.
Most technologies are now compliant with the standards and policies in the ESIGN Act, eIDAS, and UETA.
These regulations harmonize the legality of electronic signatures across different regions, ensuring encryption and audit trails for maximum security.
Some of the developments in the e-Signature space include biometric authentication, Multi-step verification, and the ease of integration with existing apps.
The Bottom Line
Electronic signatures have disrupted the business space, and companies who’ve implemented are already reaping the benefits.
Newbies must implement strategically, and step-by-step, to ensure a smooth transition.