While electronic signatures and digital signatures are often used interchangeably, they have a key difference. An electronic signature is an electronic rendering of a handwritten signature. A digital signature is a cryptographic operation that combines the electronic signature and data used to authenticate the signature process. Using public key infrastructure encryption technology, a digital signature provides an audit trail and validates that it was not changed at all through the transaction process. For both senders and recipients, digital signatures offer faster document routing and greater peace of mind. Here’s why:
Faster Transactions and Better Customer Service
In the modern market, it is much more difficult to retain customer satisfaction as consumers now expect business to be done faster. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Make your business transactions quick and convenient by allowing your customers to sign and send contracts or forms electronically. Not only does this make you a helpful partner, but it shows that you have respect for their busy schedules. And empowering your customers like this can boost customer retention while building new customer relationships from the get-go.
Fewer Errors Than Paper-Based Systems
When it comes to contracts, there’s no room for error. Unfortunately, paper-based systems are often prone to have typos or signatures in the wrong fields, making contract management a hassle. However, implementing contract automation or forms automation with digital signatures can decrease the frequency of errors drastically. Why? Because these systems require a check at every step of the validation process for increased control and convenience. In the end, you’ll look more professional in client transactions and save time.
Built Into Your Digital Workflows
As mentioned before, digital signatures use validation to ensure that the sender is the person who signed the document. Ordinarily, this requires the help of a third-party, which might take more time. But more software platforms now allow users to use digital signatures directly in their forms—no hassle, and no third-party services or vendors needed.
Helps Maintain Compliance & Is A Secure Solution
Disputes over a transaction can be messy when a paper-based system is in use. But with digital signatures, you can easily and thoroughly audit its journey. You can go through every step of a transaction’s formation: Who owned it at each stage, when it occurred, and what it pertained to—even if business was conducted months ago.
Can Be Used Anytime, Anywhere, On Any Device
Here’s an added bonus for digital signatures: many E-Signature providers enable users to sign documents on any device, at any time. Out to lunch? You can still get those important documents in without jeopardizing security. Out of town, but still want to conduct business as usual? No problem. Want to know if your client finalized the contract yet? You can check the status of a document at any time on the web-based dashboard. Heading into an overwhelming quarter? Set up reminders so you get all your documents in on time!