Importance of Electronic Signature during Lockdown

The global COVID-19 pandemic has created massive disruptions across the world in various sectors. Most important of all, the pandemic has had a prominent influence on our daily lives and the way we work. The significance of electronic signature during lockdown has turned into a prominent topic of debate for many reasons.

As a precautionary measure against coronavirus, many organizations have implemented reformed work policies emphasizing on social distancing. So, it is obvious that you would find a large share of the world’s workforce is presently working from home.

Also Read: Need for Electronic Signature Solution for you Organization

While connectivity and seamless technology integration offer comprehensive work experience for employees, the pitfalls in signing and processing of various documents, contracts, and legal agreements continue to be prominent challenges for enterprises worldwide. Therefore, electronic signatures can serve as a very promising alternative in the times of COVID-19 for signing and processing business documents.

However, there are many doubts regarding the use of electronic signatures during and after COVID-19. The enterprises are uncertain about the duration for which COVID-19 would prevail over the world. Therefore, enterprises could not compromise with their business operations owing to restrictions on physical document signatures. The following discussion attempts to solve the general doubts arising regarding the significance of electronic signature during COVID-19.

Is It Necessary to Use Electronic Signatures during Lockdown?

The first aspect that we have to consider in this discussion is the feasibility of using electronic signature during lockdown. An organization generally deals with many documents, varying in lengths from one page to 500 pages, in a single day. In addition, employees have to ensure that after creating the documents, they should be printed, signed, and then scanned alongside sending their hard copy to all the involves parties through the mail.

Without the ability to move outside the house or access to a home printer or scanner, workers can face many notable setbacks in processing important documents. Electronic signatures can serve as a promising solution in these circumstances by helping process transactions outside the office environment. You don’t need any printers or scanning, and you can stay at home for your safety with the use of electronic signatures. That is a formidable proposition in times of COVID-19.

What are Electronic Signatures?

The foremost factor that you should understand to obtain clarity regarding the importance of electronic signature is understanding what is electronic signature. There are various ambiguous definitions of e-signatures, depending on the legal precedents in concerned jurisdictions. However, the most basic definition of an electronic signature is that it is any type of electronic data that can be associated with a digital document, showcasing the intent of the signer to sign the document.

You can find different examples of e-signatures, such as an individual typing their name into a specific contract. An electronic signature could also be a scanned image of the physical signature of an individual which is associated with an electronic document. The signatures created through e-signature platforms also qualify as electronic signatures if they fulfill all the necessary criteria for legal validity.

There are a number of myths associated with the use of electronic signatures. Let’s understand the top 10 Electronic Signature Myths and Facts.

Legal Validity of Electronic Signatures

Legal validity is one of the first questions that arise regarding the use of electronic signature during lockdown for COVID-19. However, an electronic signature bears the same legal validity as wet-ink signatures, given that it fulfills certain criteria. The person signing the document should express their intent to sign the document electronically through an explicit method in the signing process.

For example, clicking on an “I Agree” button could be an expression of intent to sign the document. The next important condition for the legal validity of an e-signature is its alignment with the formalities of the law. You should follow all legal procedures for signing electronically just like you would have for paper-based signatures. For example, abiding by the legal precedents of witnesses for attesting a signature is one of the important requirements with an electronic signature also.

Also Read: What Makes Electronic Signature Legal

Security Concerns with Electronic Signatures

The next important consideration for enterprises to adopt electronic signature in social distancing environment is security. Transferring crucial business documents through digital platforms and the verification of the identity of signatories are prominent doubts regarding e-signatures. However, you need to reflect on the capability of e-signatures to provide detailed audit trails.

The audit trail for every electronic signature can showcase the date, time, and location of signing. In addition, it can also present important information regarding the modifications made in it precisely. You can use the audit trail as an effective instrument for verifying the credibility of every electronic signature. In addition, you should also note the use of advanced authentication and verification processes by major e-signature platforms as a reliable instrument for security.

These instruments can help you considerably in finding out the best solution for document signing and processing. For example, e-signature solutions with requirements for multi-factor authentication can help you ensure restrictions on unauthorized access to important business documents.

Read Now: E-Signature Security Checklist and Rules

Other Critical Benefits of Electronic Signatures

Now, you must have obtained a clear impression of the critical factors to support your decision of using electronic signature during lockdown. Electronic signatures are legally valid and also provide effective security mechanisms to safeguard business information. In addition to these benefits, you can also gain better advantages in terms of cost and productivity.

First of all, the reduction of dependence on paper-based documents can strengthen the productivity of employees in an enterprise. The time spent in creating, signing, processing, and sending paper-based documents could be utilized perfectly for core business objectives. The next important reason for which every enterprise should think of shifting to e-signature is cost reduction. Just imagine the amount of savings you would make by avoiding the cost of purchasing paper, printing supplies, and mailing costs.

In addition, you don’t have to invest in facilities for storage and maintenance of your business documents with e-signature solutions. Above all, electronic signatures ensure the safety of your business documents from physical damage or natural disasters. The cloud-based storage systems of modern e-signature solutions provide the assurance of higher availability and promising disaster recovery. Therefore, you can recover your documents safely at any time with electronic signature solutions.

Also Read: Cost Saving Benefits of E-Signature

Adoption of Electronic Signatures in the Present Situation

The adoption of electronic signature during lockdown can be a very critical decision for every enterprise. The sheer responsibility of overseeing a transition from paper-based to electronic signatures is overwhelming. Therefore, the best practice recommended for enterprises aspiring to leverage the flexibility and power of electronic signatures during this lockdown would be to explore their options.

The foremost concern for enterprises before the adoption of electronic signatures should be an internal review of organizational policies. Enterprises have to single out their legal obligations in different aspects of their company policy. In addition, they have to attempt at reducing the number of individuals with authority for legal obligations on behalf of the organization. As you advance gradually, you can explore the different options among e-signature solutions that come your way.

Still confused if you should choose an electronic signature for your business? Check out the top reasons to use electronic signature and get ahead.

Are You Ready to Use Electronic Signatures?

So, you can clearly notice that using electronic signature during lockdown is not only safe and legal but also cost-effective. The different benefits of electronic signatures are enough reasons to drive the decision of a company to use them. However, the journey of adopting electronic signatures can be a difficult one for enterprises.

Therefore, they have to follow the recommended best practices in change management for ensuring effective adaptability for new technology. In the long run, electronic signature solutions would be a crucial tool for every enterprise. There couldn’t be a better time to start using electronic signatures now and gain the most out of them!

Posted by Brian Felix

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