5 Reasons You Should Make the Switch to Electronic Signature Technology

If you still haven't made the switch to electronic signatures, you're missing out. The electronic signature process enables businesses of all sizes to simplify the task of obtaining signatures and expedites the contract signing process, all in a seamless and efficient way.

DocuSign, a San Francisco-based company that helps businesses collect and manage digital signatures for important documents, announced this week that it has raised $55.7 million in the latest round of funding, bringing the total amount raised to $122 million.

This significant funding signals the importance today’s businesses are placing on e-signature. Since its founding in 2003, DocuSign has gathered more than 20 million users who have signed more than 150 million documents.

But if you’re still unsure about moving the execution and storage of your contracts and agreements into the digital age, consider the following:

 1. Is e-signature legal? Yes. Properly managed electronic signatures were given legal equivalence to “wet ink” signatures with the passage of the federal ESIGN Act signed by President Bill Clinton in 2000.

2. Is e-signature safe and secure? Electronically signed and sealed documents are more secure than their paper counterparts because they tend to contain more information about who signed them, and they can be protected from unauthorized tampering. This isn’t possible with paper. Most ID theft happens to paper transactions because they are so easily lost, stolen or forged. Electronic records are encrypted and stored securely online.

Related: A Reformed Hoarder's Guide to Records Storage

3. Will e-signature work in my current business environment? Many e-signature transaction platforms integrate with the business tools you already use, including Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Dropbox, Salesforce and more. When looking for an e-signature provider, ask for a list of compatible products and platforms. Every business should be able to use its existing applications and documents instead of printing, faxing, scanning or overnight mailing.

Related: Five Tools for a Smarter Business

4. Why switch to e-signature if what I'm doing works? Many businesses are realizing that it can take a week or more to get a document signed and returned, and that in many cases it needs to be re-done because there were mistakes or missed signatures. Such delays in closing a deal with paper are no longer acceptable when a competitor can do it in minutes.

Related: How Can I Stand Out from the Competition?

5. Is e-signature affordable? While the cost of an overnight express envelope varies depending on carrier and distance, the real cost isn't in dollars. The real cost is in the lost time, manual processing errors, re-keying of data, and printing, signing, scanning and emailing of agreements all without the benefit of auto notification upon receipt.