10 Ways Electronic Signatures are Changing How Contracts are Signed

With greater availability of the internet, it has been possible to access data quickly. It makes communication happen in an unbelievably fast way. Similar is the case of business as well. Buying or selling things is a matter of a few clicks over the web now. Taking things to the next level, the concept of electronic signatures for contracts has surfaced.

There are a number of questions regarding electronic contracts such as - What is the working model of electronic contracts? When are these used? One can clear all the critical doubts on these aspects upon going through the Uniform Computer Information Act. Anyway, the following abstracts provide a detailed study of electronic contracts, electronic signatures for contracts, etc.

The use of electronic signature brings so many benefits to your business. Here are the top reasons to adopt an electronic signature for your business.

What are Electronic Contracts?

At the very fundamental level, electronic contract signing is an electronic form of legal documents. These legal documents, however, are developed and signed over the web or online. Many companies operate entirely digitally or online. These companies often have to depend upon electronic contracts to make agreements with users or others.

The advantage is that it saves money for both. Just as of the mainstream contracts, electronic contracts are legally authentic. These are entirely enforceable as well. However, in contrast to the usual contracts, electronic contracts are completely web-based. One can use it in various cases, starting from using email programs, authorization for software, etc.

Electronic contracts have also used these days for social media signing-up and facilitating streaming services. Irrespective of the associated permissions, e-signatures for contracts operate very much under the regulations of regular laws for contracts. It also provides equivalent agreements to both business groups and consumers.

How are the Contracts Signed Electronically?

In contrast to the usual paper-based contracts, one needs to sign electronic contracts over the web. Instead of a paper-pen signature, these contracts use electronic forms of signatures. There is no use of ink or any paper, and so these are the electronic signature or simply e-signature. The process of creating and signing electronic contracts is extremely simple. It is a matter of simply putting a click on a button as well.

On some occasions, one has to simply ‘agree’ regarding the authorization of a product or application. It is just about clicking the ‘agree’ button to pay the bill as well. The contract prepares immediately as the concerned user clicks the desired button. There are also the e-sign contracts models available where the user’s name has to be typed on the electronic contract.

One can also complete the tasks by making use of the cryptographic signatures. One may take ‘Public key infrastructure’ as a nice example of a cryptographic signature. It is here to note that Public Key Infrastructure works the same way as of PINs used for ATMs.

Among others, XML based signature is also very much used these days. The best part about the XML based signature is the greater safety it assures. It makes use of digital thumbprints to ensure the safety of a greater level.

There are a number of benefits of replacing a paper-ink signature with an electronic signature. Check out the top 10 uses of electronic signatures!

Legal Concerns of Electronic Signatures for Contracts

Electronic signatures for contracts are legal in most cases. If it falls under the UETA and ESIGN Act, then there is no problem in its acceptance. These laws pay equal worth to the electronic signature to those of the paper-based traditional methods.

When a person goes for electronic signatures for contracts, it holds equivalent worth as of the paper-based methods. However, it is also true that UETA can’t be applied on all occasions. The traditional laws and acts are very much essential in such cases. Specifically, in cases where a copy of the contract may put a harmful effect on the consumer, people prefer traditional methods.

There are various nations and states where UETA is very much applicable. It is thus important to make sure that the rule is applicable in the concerned state you belong to. Additionally, to execute electronic signatures for contracts, both parties should agree upon. Be it about Business-customer, or business-business contracts, acceptance of both the parties is quite essential for a final agreement.

Also Check: An Overview of eIDAS Regulation

When are Electronic Contracts Not Permitted?

There are various occasions when electronic signatures for contracts are not acceptable. It is important to know about such instances. There are instances where an online contract is unacceptable or inapplicable. In all those occasions which hold threats towards the user, such contracts can’t be accepted. For example, the cases of divorce, child adoption, and other sensitive affairs can’t be kept under electronic contracts.

Similarly, the documents of courts are not acceptable in electronic form. Also, the notices served regarding the end of crucial services can’t be done through electronic contracts. Notices served to defaulters are not acceptable in electronic form. Notices meant for evicting a specific property are also impossible through electronic modes.

Apart from these, the notices served regarding the termination of utility services also demand proper paper-based notices. Ultimately, anything in the form of a notice that could affect the safety of people or may bring health concerns should be done traditionally. In most cases, the documents required by legal procedures are also desired to be paper-based.

There is no other way than paper contracts at present when it comes to family laws. A whole range of wills made is essential to be made through papers in modern times. When it comes to sending notices for termination of any utility, there is no other way than paper contracts.

Notices delivered regarding eviction or possessions are also essential to be handled through paper-based ways. Terminating the health or life insurance is also preferable through paper-based methods.

As explained above, it is better to ensure whether the UETA and ESIGN Act comes under your state. In accordance, one can take the decisions on electronic signatures in contracts.

Information Technology Act, 2000 is the law that makes e-signatures valid in India. Let’s get a detailed overview of this Indian e-signature law.

How are Electronic Signatures Changing How Contracts are Signed?

It’s the simplicity that makes electronic signatures for contracts so much useful. The overall swiftness to the procedure is quite impressive for all. Many people are showing their interest in it in modern times. However, it is true at the same time that the law of electronic contract gives scope to use paper documents on certain occasions. Prior to a consumer goes for signing an electronic contract; businesses should serve notice about the availability of paper contracts.

They should also make it clear regarding the penalties applied in case any mistake occurs. They should recommend a date in this regard. It is certainly not legal to force any company for paper-based contracts. In fact, in the digital era, the electronic signatures for contracts seem useful. On such occasions, having people prefer the paper-based option only for security purposes.

Undoubtedly, e-signatures for signing contracts are user-friendly. However, it is also true that it needs trustworthy internet connectivity. It means people who can’t have regular internet connectivity may not find it as an appropriate option. Apart from this, there remains some extent of security issues as well. Though, from a price point of view, the electronic format can be a much suitable option.

Let’s find out how the electronic signatures are changing the ways how contracts are signed.

  • Making things quick

One should not doubt the ability of technology in any way. Just like any other business functionality, it holds the ability to hastening these contract making processes as well. Electronic signatures for contracts facilitate immediate communication and data share. Moreover, it does all these in real-time. This makes it possible for them to connect with partners all around the globe. When the efficiency of finishing formalities grows, naturally, the overall productivity grows. Pending collaborations for such implications are addressed quite smoothly.

All in all, the entire set of works is accomplished in much lesser time than expected. There was a time when the process of contract making used to continue for weeks and even months-long period. It looks quite obvious as the process of distributing documents through different stages would consume a lot of time. Through electronic signatures for contracts, things can be done in a much quicker time. It means less is the obligation associated; quicker can be the process.

  • Convenience

Electronic signatures for a contract are indeed the most convenient option available. Being convenient is the reason behind the growing productivity level of the companies adopting the same. Through cloud computing, it is becoming possible for people to have access to works from anywhere, at any point.

When it comes to making contracts, you can edit and review data at any time. The best part is, you can do all this through your smartphone itself. This means one can complete the formalities until the concerned authority finally acknowledges things. Ultimately, there remains no chance for any kind of delays in it.

  • Safety

One of the primary concerns of using electronic signatures for contracts is it is safe. It’s the safety aspect that makes people get worried while using electronic signatures. People worry speculating whether the documents will be in safe hands within the virtual space. With growing reports of cyber attacks, several people are enquiring about these aspects. In an era of technology, driven by data, safety can be a game-changing factor. Little alternation or modification of the document can change the entire scenario.

Moreover, not a single person is responsible for such unfavorable occasions. In the digital era, there is nothing called inaccessible. Hence, it is important to follow electronic procedures thoroughly to keep track of everything.

Digital Signatures and Electronic Signatures are two similar looking terms but are different from each other. Check out the difference between the two i.e. Digital Signature vs Electronic Signature

  • Future

It’s not just a trend these days to handle everything electronically. The day is imminent; there will be no other option, but to deliver most of the affairs electronically. Modern-day people are easily adopting technological means. Rather, they find the other means of paperwork more complex.

It’s common that a much lesser number of people have time to move from one office to the other for the sake of formalities. On the other hand, electronic means or smartphones can be smoothly handled by the users. The generation that prefers paper-based modes will also start using electronic signatures in a very shorter period.

  • Reliable

Cryptography comes with a safer way of collecting data from one end. Among various others, Public Key Infrastructure can be fantastic standards in this regard. Talking about PKI, it encrypts the electronic contracts and other documents to ensure that these can only be viewed. Things can also be encrypted in a way to ensure that it remains available to the concerned authorized users.

  • For Small Businesses

Technology is constantly varying and the regulations are getting attuned as per it. Sometimes it may complicate, but not on most of the occasions. Most importantly, small businesses are also adopting it. They should contact local attorneys.

There are a number of reasons to adopt electronic signature. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should adopt Electronic Signature for Your business.


The number of companies opting to handle their affairs through virtual modes is growing day by day. It helps them in handling bulk works with less manpower involvement. The cost factor also makes things suitable for them. The best recommendation would be to only keep the last stage of the work in paper form.

Electronic contracts help to shorten the lengthy processes that consume too many papers. With the advent of cloud-based contract management solution, the future is looking quite bright for electronic signatures. Not to mention, it is a simpler, secure, and much cost-effective option.

Making the task simpler, it can be divided into a couple of stages. The first segment would be to save the contracts, and the next stage is the signature phase. These two phases constitute the overall lifecycle of electronic signature. Both these phases will get simpler in the upcoming days. Ultimately, it would be a better idea for the older generation business groups to accustom to the modes of electronic signature for contracts.

Posted by Brian Felix, 0 comments

Top 10 Uses of Electronic Signatures for Small Business

There is no doubt that the manual and traditional process of signing a document can be a time taking and hassle for businesses. Just imagine, you have to contract which needs to be signed, and you found that the person is not available. Besides, the third party wants to peruse the document at leisure before signing. All these processes take a massive amount of time.

Another option that you can consider is to fax the papers and inform the client about the same. Then you have to wait for the party to sign it and send it back that to you. However, if the party is busy in some works, this can take a few days, even some weeks. It will affect your business. That’s why most of the companies are now using electronic signatures.

In detail, an electronic signature enables one to sign the documents electronically. It saves a lot of time and makes the process faster. Here, in this article, we will discuss the use of electronic signatures. But before that, it will be useful to have detailed knowledge about the electronic signature, their benefits, and electronic signature example. So, let’s get started with it.

What is an electronic signature?

In short, the electronic signatures are the digital form of a traditional or manual signature. It enables users to enjoy a seamless and secure signing transaction. Besides, it offers better user authentication.

The documents which are signed digitally are tamper-proof and more secure. The signatures are recognized under different laws in different countries such as UETA and ESIGN Act in the US, eIDAS regulation in the European Union, and Information Technology Act, 2000 in India. These acts and regulations make the usage of electronic signatures legal.

However, remember that the electronic signatures are different from the digital signatures. A digital signature is a cryptographic mechanism that is generally used to do electronic signatures. For a clear idea, you can check the electronic signature example available online.

By using electronic signatures, you can:

  • Save time: It’s time to stop chasing paper. Go digitally for a faster process. Within just a minute, you can now sign the document.
  • Keep control: You will get to know who signed the documents, and also about the time.
  • Stay mobile: No need to create cabinets in your office to store documents. You can now save your documents in the cloud and enjoy better access.

Talking about the primary objective of such a signature is to faster the process of document authentication with an identifiable mark. Even though they are not 100 percent secure, these signatures are used in different industries. You can use it in legal dealing, private affairs, business transaction and more. Now let’s have a look into some benefits of using electronic signatures.

The Benefits of Electronic Signatures

Before going deep into the use of electronic signatures, you need to understand some of the benefits of it. So, let’s have a look into this. Here are some notable ones:

1. It is intuitive and simple

One of the most significant benefits of using an electronic signature is that it is quite easy to use. You will find a lot of such online solutions. With an electronic signature software, you can easily upload your document, sign it, and send a highly secure link to the recipient. Then the recipient will sign the document, and the process will be over. Isn’t it quite easy! You can use the signatures by opening the link and with a few clicks. So, there is no need to waste your time doing manual signing.

2. Offers a maximum level of security

Some incidents prove that an electronic signature is entirely secure and safer than paper documents. It doesn’t just contain a signature; it also includes other information. For example, who signed the paper, the time and place of signing and more. You can keep track of the process. This is something not possible with traditional paper signatures.

3. Convenient

In this geographically extend the business world, a business deals with a lot of customers, partners, and suppliers. In such a case, if you go for manual signing and documentation, it can take a lot of time. But the electronic signatures facilitate remote authentication. Just a few clicks and you can sign the document. Forget about the printing and scanning of the documents.

4. Quick Turnaround

Another best thing about an electronic signature is that it offers a faster turnaround. Just think about the process of sending a document, print, sign, and scan the document. Then you need to send it to the third party. This process is very lengthy and takes time. But using electronic signatures, one can sign the document in just a few seconds. The use of electronic signatures in this modern business world opens up different opportunities. It works excellent in time-sensitive conditions.

5. Lower Cost

Electronic signatures are quite cost-effective than pen and paper signing method. The reason is that you will save money spent on paper, postage, and printing. All you need the best electronic signature software and working internet connection. Save your time as well as money and concentrate more on your business.

These are some of the significant benefits of electronic signatures as you have got a clear idea about E-signature and its benefits.

Top 10 Uses of Electronic Signatures

Now that you have been familiar with the basics of electronic signature and its benefits, it’s time to move into the critical section of this article. Let’s explore the uses of the electronic signature that has broadened its adoption over the world.

1. Sales Contracts

Almost all businesses are dealing with sales contracts. These are documents that are signed quite frequently. Besides, sales contracts are also crucial to the companies. Delay in signing such agreements can affect your business’s profit. You need to complete the process faster and in a secure way. This is where you can consider the use of electronic signatures. The sales contract can include business to business sales, residential business, real estate transactions, and more.

Business examples that come under this are real estate contracts, B2B sales, and service businesses.

2. Supplier and vendor agreements

A small-scale business often faces issues while negotiating with vendors. So, it is better to lock down the agreement, price, terms, and conditions as soon as possible. If you go for manual signing, you may face a delay in this process. By using electronic signatures, with just one click, you can obtain the sign and finalize the deal. It is quite easy to use and quicker than traditional methods. You don’t need to wait for the moment to sign a document, but you can do it when you want.

Some of the business examples that involve supplier and vendor agreements are consumer/business services and retail services.

Read: Top 10 Factors You Should Consider While Choosing an E-Signature Vendor

3. New customer forms

Do your customers want to fill out some forms or some other documents to carry out business with you? If yes, you can take advantage of the use of electronic signatures. There is no need to go for the lengthy process of printing the documents and get them signed. Besides, by using e-signatures, you can effectively prevent rekeying the data. It also leads to zero virtual errors.

The business examples that involve new customer forms are clinics, salons, spas and more.

4. Change in orders

Those who are running the project-focused business; for them, changes are quite common. However, you can face a surprise in the middle of the project, and your client may change the mind. They can increase or decrease their orders. During such a condition, you can face project holdups. The use of electronic signatures can significantly avoid holdups. You can approve the change in orders with the signatures quickly. Besides, you can easily maintain all your documents in the cloud and review them anytime you want.

Some common business examples which may get benefits of electronic signatures are construction business, architects, and web designers.

5. Customer approvals

Getting final approval before starting the manufacturing or production process is quite essential for the company dealing with custom-made products and services. When it comes to getting approvals, you can use electronic signatures to make it fast. It gives you enough time to focus on the order, instead of spending your time for obtaining the approvals. There is no need to visit the customers and get their signs on the approval documents.

Some common business examples that require customer approvals are custom furniture businesses, custom art businesses and print shops.

6. Employee onboarding

The process of hiring a new employee involves a lot of paperwork. For example, contract forms, enrolment benefits, automatic paycheck deposit, and more. If you sign all those documents manually, it can take a lot of time. However, you can save your time with the use of electronic signatures. Just click on the button, and you are done with the signature work.

Here the business examples that may require employee onboarding are the businesses with more than one employee.

7. Licensing of intellectual property and other legal agreements

As per law, the legal documents should contain valid signatures of the involved parties. Otherwise, the material will not be considered as accurate. So, here, you can consider the use of electronic signatures. The reason is most of the e-signatures are bound with rules and regulations, which are accepted by the court. They are perfect for signing legal documents. All you need is to make sure that the local authority approves the E-signature software.

Business examples in which licensing of intellectual property and other legal agreements is involved are technology companies, real estate companies, franchise businesses, and more.

8. Non-disclosure agreements

In general, the non-disclosure agreements offer you better security. Besides, it lets you conduct your business freely. When it comes to signing such an agreement, manual signing can lead to being inconvenient. Moreover, the manual sign is not safe, and one can use it for the different types of criminal activities. The most secure way to sign the non-disclosure agreement is the use of electronic signatures. With this, you can sign the documents through your mobile, and you can handle all the process with confidence.

Some business examples where the use of non-disclosure agreements is very common are outsourcing companies, investigation companies, and other private companies.

9. Distributor agreements

If you are doing business with distributors, dealers, and other such channels, then you can enjoy a better company with the use of electronic signatures. When there are lots of partners who are involved in getting signatures and managing the agreements, it can create a lot of confusion. But with e-signature, it is now quite easy to handle such a task. You can obtain signatures and manage the documents through the cloud services.

The primary business examples where distributor or dealer agreements are used includes wholesalers, distributors, and technology companies.

10. Parental consent and age verification

No matter what are your requirements, whether you want to verify your employee’s age or work with kids, you can use E-signature. Besides, you can integrate with their ID to simplify the process of verification.

Business examples where parental consent and age verification documents are required include kids’ school, school field trips and more.

Apart from this, we collect some other businesses which may use electronic signatures. These are:

Retail Sales

  • Signing the sales and purchase orders as well as invoices.
  • Licensing agreements signing.
  • Company and end-user agreements.

Human Resources

  • Employees hiring.
  • Acknowledgment statements.
  • The signing of timesheets.
  • Tax forms.

Legal Services

  • Signing the contracts of retention and fee.
  • Acknowledging confidential transactions.
  • Acknowledging documents of power of attorney.


  • Verifying policy agreements.
  • Signing the documents related to claim to process.
  • Renewals of policy and service.


  • Taxation documents.
  • Accepting loan applications.
  • Disclosures.

In detail, the use of electronic signatures can help you in managing your business in a better way. This is quite easy and cost-effective. But always remember to choose the best e-signature software to enjoy maximum benefits and security.

Just imagine, a document’s management process where there is no need to do any print and fax. No need to remember the person who signed the documents. Remember that by understanding the use of electronic signatures, you can enjoy a world of fantastic opportunities.


Whether be a small-scale or large-scale business, to enjoy the maximum profits, you need to utilize every second. If you waste your time in dealing with document signatures and management, it can affect your business. So, to avoid all such conditions, you should always use electronic signatures when it comes to signing various business-related documents.

The above discussion has pointed out the benefits and uses of electronic signatures. Besides, you learned the uses of E-signature for small scale businesses. No matter what types of paperwork you are involved in, you can save your money and time through the use of electronic signatures.

So, adopt electronic signature now and get ready to witness a better business growth. Forget manual signing with electronic signatures!

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10 Common Threats to Your E-Signed Documents

In this globalized world, almost everything is connected through the Internet. Well, this is a good thing as it creates a lot of opportunities for people. The modern technology has changed the way people used to work. For example, now one can work remotely for his/her clients living in another country. Isn’t it great?

Talking about one such development, that is online documents. This makes the business processes much easier and faster than before. The modern working practices involve signing such documents online. In general, e-signed documents enable people to create and sign a contract without any issue. It helps people by eliminating the lengthy offline documentation process.

Also Read: Top 10 Electronic Signature Myths and Facts

Top 10 threats to e-signed documents

Most of the businesses are now implementing e-signature following some benefits like cost-effective and better user experience. However, it also gives chances for cybercriminals, and now anyone can defraud you with this. There is no doubt that electronic signatures and e-signed documents are quite effective when it comes to maintaining integrity. But at the same time, there are some threats to e-signed documents.

It’s good to go for electronic signature, but while implementing, you should consider the security concerns for e-signed documents. If you have a better understanding of the threats associated with the e-signed documents, you can easily deal with them. Besides, your digital signature will stand up in different legal matters.

So, let’s get ahead and know about some common threats associated with e-signed documents that you should keep in your mind.

1. You all have signed the contract, but the court rejected it

You create a business contract with different parties, and they sign it digitally. But later you faced some disputes and took the case to court. However, now, the court rejects the contract. Why? Because the software that you have used for signing in is not compliant with rules and regulations of electronic signature laws. Ultimately, you lose the case.

So, if you are using any e-signature software, make sure that it is compliant with the electronic signature laws. For example, in the USA, the software should be compliant with UETA and ESIGN Act. In Europe, it needs to be compliant with the EU Directive 1999/93/EC. And in India, it must be compliant with the Information Technology Act. If you don’t find any supported legislation, then don’t use the software. Or else you may face a lot of security issues for e-signed documents.

There are different laws and acts in every country for the validation of electronic signatures. Also read about the Information Technology Act, 2000 - electronic signature law in India.

2. The contract has changed, and information is missing

Most of the reputed online signing software platforms are running hashing technology. In detail, it makes a hash of the content which builds a fingerprint of the material. It creates its DNA for the file. Generally, they use the hash forms while doing the signing. The reason behind this is if something alters, like changes the number, the hash will alter the number.

Not all the electronic signature software will let you know about the changes. Only professional electronic signature software can notify you about this through regular auditing. Besides, you need to make sure that the electronic signature vendor integrates all the major security precautions.

Check the level of encryption that the vendor offers when your documents are in cloud storage. Besides, use standard algorithms and signing process so that the sign can be verified through the different solution. Don’t use SHA1 or MD5 hashing algorithms as these are outdated. So, be careful about it.

3. The signatory is different

In general, when one signs a document online, then the signature employs the digital certificates. Talking more about a digital certificate, it represents a person or a company digitally. It has two parts, one is the private key, and another one is a public key.

The private key is generally used to encrypt the document’s hash. However, anyone can access the public key. Besides, it can provide all the details of the company or the person related to that particular certificate. But it is illegal to see other’s documents without any consent.

So, to prevent this, make sure your e-signed documents come with tamper-evident technology. Such technology can alert you when someone tries to access and alter your documents. Besides, set a PIN for your certificate. Only you can use the certificate with the PIN.

Don’t get confused between Digital Signatures and Electronic Signatures. Read our previous article on Digital Signature vs Electronic Signature, understand the difference between them.

4. The electronic signature is fake

Sometimes hackers can use the electronic signature for a false signature while signing a contract. You can be a victim of fraud if you are not using software which has features to make the process secure. Make sure that the electronic signature software offers features like security auditing, encryptions, digital certificates, and more. If all such things are missing in your software, then you can put the business at higher risk by signing a fraudulent contract.

5. The e-signed documents have been stolen

There is no doubt that modern technology makes working online a lot easier. With e-signing, you can sign a vital document online with just a few clicks. But this also brings different threats to e-signed documents.

One of such risks is the document stored on a server can be accessed easily. One can simply hack your document and change the entire content. So, always remember to encrypt your document to prevent hackers from accessing the documents.

6. An unknown person accesses the documents

One of the most important factors that you need to consider during the process is to make sure that the process involves the right person. Besides, it ensures that the e-signed documents can only be accessed by that particular person.

For this, you can employ user authentication process. For example, some e-signature vendors require that one should prove his/her identity by entering an SMS PIN or answering a personal question. This way, you can prevent others from accessing your electronically signed documents online.

There is something that you should always keep in your mind while using e-signature software. If the software works on proprietary technology, then you might not understand how the technology works. It may not also offer maximum protection to your e-signature. That’s why always use the software in which technology is governed by international standard. For example, a software certified by ISO- International Organization of Standardization (NIST).

Still thinking about the adoption of an electronic signature? Check out these top reasons to adopt electronic signature for your business.

7. Another person or the middle man stole the contract

One of the significant security issues for e-signed documents is MITM- Man in the Middle. This is a common online threat where a person takes the information which is present on the server. The rate of MITM attacks is now increasing. Moreover, OWASP - Open Web Application Security Project places such attack in the list of top 10 web-based attack threats.

Your online document can carry some of your sensitive or personal information. For example, pricing, identity, property details, and more. All such information can be stolen through a MITM attack. So, how you can prevent such threats?

For this, you need to make sure that the entire process of e-signing is secure. Make sure you are using an HTTPS connection. In detail, HTTPS-Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a secure communication channel.

Besides, to prevent MITM or MITB - Man in the Browser issues, make sure that the service provider signs the digital document in its initial stage. The reason behind this is it will lock the integrity of the documents. Besides, you can make sure that the service providers send the document, and there is no middle person in this process.

This will assure the users that the digital document is genuine and safe to sign. Furthermore, always remember to save a copy of before and after signing a document on your system. So that if something wrong happens, you can use that as proof.

8. The image of e-signature is stolen

Almost all the e-signatures come with an image of the real signature or a mark that one generally uses. This is a major commodity as one can use it on a document, signing as the real owner of the signature. How to prevent such a threat? Don’t store your signature images or marks on a server. Hackers can easily steal your data from a server which is not properly secured.

An e-signature lets the users make a mark on the document to show their consent or approval. Well, in the paper world, it is quite difficult to copy the signature. But in the digital world, one can easily copy the signature or mark and paste it on another document. One can’t even find a single difference in that. In the court, the judge can’t comment just by looking at the image of the signature.

Some software can offer PKI-based e-signature. You will get a unique Digital Identity, known as X.509 Certificate after verification of the real identity. After that, you can use the certificate for e-signed documents. When you sign a document cryptographically, it locks your digital identity, and one can know who has signed the documents. Certificate Authority issues such certificates that is a trusted organization. So, get your unique Digital Identity now and enjoy a safe and secure online document signing process.

While working with electronic signatures, it is commendable to understand how electronic signature works. Here is a quick guide to the electronic signature workflow.

9. The signing software vulnerabilities

Most of the e-signing software can be infected by malware, including yours too. The reason behind this is the software you are using may contain some vulnerabilities. You might be thinking that what are these all about? Well, that means there are some bugs in your software. Then the malware enters into the software through the bugs. You can’t detect them as they will take over the software without any notice.

So, to avoid such a problem in your e-signed documents, choose an electronic signature software which gets updated regularly. Some dedicated and reputed platforms consider potential exploit seriously. Besides, they also release updates and patches every month to keep the software safe. However, don’t forget to keep your OS and browsers up-to-date with latest updates.

10. You don’t know what you are doing

This is one of the significant security concerns for e-signed documents. Some users can deny that they don’t know about anything. For example, users can say they didn’t know about that a button when clicked will sign the documents. Besides, they can say that they didn’t get a chance to go through the document. If you are an electronic signature vendor, to counter such things, you need to prove that the signing process is a willful act and involves the consent of the parties. You can employ the flowing features for the e-signed documents.

  • Give the users a legal notice to let them know about the legal consequences of the signature. The users can’t sign the document until they accept the legal notice.
  • To prevent people from claiming that they miss something important while signing the document, give them an initial for every paragraph.
  • Make sure the GUI indicates the approve option for e-signed documents. Besides, make sure that it is written in the user’s regional language. Furthermore, allow the users to cancel the process in the middle. For example, a Decline option, by clicking on which they can cancel the operation.

It’s not that due to the threats associated with electronic signatures, you shouldn’t use electronic signatures. Instead, you should consider these points while choosing an e-signature vendor.

Take as much as time you need and choose the right one

E-signing software is quite easy to use. Some can be easily integrated with your website. However, it is essential to know everything about the e-signed documents and their threats. As a user, one should audit the vendor’s e-signature technology. Then compare it with the security requirements. Remember that not all the e-signatures of e-signed documents will offer you the same protection features.

The untrusted vendor can offer hackers a lot of chances to attack as they don’t follow security measures carefully. So, always use trusted vendors as their cryptographic evidence is embedded directly into the document. Though there is no requirement for any third-party server as It dramatically reduces the entry points.

Choose wisely and streamline the workflow without worrying about any threats!

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Points to Consider While Choosing an E-Signature Vendor

Change is the buzzword that is making the rounds in the present business environment. Nowadays, businesses are experiencing a great change with the adoption of electronic signature. Electronic signatures provide an efficient and cost-effective way to manage paperless signatures. The idea of using e-signature for your business requires an e-signature vendor.

With the popularity of e-signatures, a number of vendors are popping up in the market. But all these e-signature vendors are not equal, so it becomes important to evaluate them on some points. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the points that the businesses should consider while choosing an e-signature vendor.

Top 10 Points You Should Consider While Choosing an E-Signature Vendor

In a survey by Canon, almost 28% of small and medium businesses spend excessive time on paperwork for administrative purposes. Another study conducted by YouGov stated that small and medium businesses also lose almost £8.72 billion per year. It is due to spending around four hours and more on an average every week on the administrative paperwork. So, it’s high time that businesses should consider working smarter rather than working hard for hours.

This has been the notable reason why businesses are making the big leap towards selecting an appropriate e-signature vendor. However, this is where you shall be careful as you would be taking care of more than just ditching the pen and paper route for signatures. So, let’s get ahead and explore the factors that should be considered before choosing an e-signature solution.

1. Tamper Evidence Feature

The first aspect that you should emphasize while choosing an e-signature vendor is related to concerns of tampering or modifications in the document after a single signature. You can find certain e-signature service providers providing a tamper-evidence feature. This feature can help you to see any alterations that have been made in the document. The different service providers have unique approaches for providing tamper evidence. So, if you are quite specific about the security level with an e-signature vendor, it is appropriate to ask the approach followed by their tamper evidence technology.

You need to make sure that the tamper evidence is recorded right from the moment when a transaction is initiated. It would be recommended not to go for a solution that tracks tampering evidence when the signing process is terminated. To ensure legal certainty, it is essential that the e-signature service provider ensures tamper evidence recording after the initial signature rather than waiting for the completion of all the signatures.

The tamper evidence technology should be capable of showcasing any unwanted changes attempted in the document. Furthermore, you would be able to ensure that the first signatory has not tampered the document before sending the document to the second signatory. You can also find some modern e-signature solutions that have the facility of making a document tamper-proof with its creation. This way, the document cannot tamper once it has been completed.

To use e-signature effectively, it is important to understand electronic signature workflow. Here’s a comprehensive guide to e-signature workflow.

2. The Comprehensiveness of the Audit Trail

Another prominent factor that shall come into focus when choosing an e-signature vendor is the audit trail. The audit trail is a common feature that you would find with the services of an electronic signature vendor. This feature is responsible for tracking the actions of signatories and the documents in every transaction for creating evidence about the conduct of the entire transaction.

However, different e-signature platforms show considerable differences in the amount of detail recorded by them in the audit trail. So, it is recommended that you should look for e-signatures that are available with a detailed and comprehensive granular audit trail. A granular audit trail can help you gain access to evidence of each element involved in the signing process.

Any reliable e-signature vendor would ensure that you can have a detailed audit trail, thereby facilitating legal evidence for the signing process that can be used in court if needed be. The elements that you can find in a comprehensive audit trail include the date and time of document submission, consents of signatories, IP address of signatories, cancellations or opt-outs, issue of digital certificates and the time of signatures and initials.

3. Access to Evidence

The next factor that should be on your priority when selecting an e-signature vendor is whether you have to depend on the service provider to prove the legality of the signature. As we have observed above, tamper evidence technology and audit trails could help in validating a transaction if the need arises. However, you should make sure that you can access the information at any time.

So, you should look for an electronic signature solution that can help you verify signatures independently. This implies that the evidence of the digital signature should be embedded directly and permanently to the signed document. Look for an e-signature platform that utilizes published standards as well as public key infrastructure (PKI) for proving the validity and integrity of documents.

With the evidence, you could be able to access it anytime even after years. You would not find this facility in all electronic signature platforms, especially the ones bound by proprietary standards. This type of vendors requires visiting the solution provider’s website to obtain information about the signature. This can seem plausible for a moment. But you need to think of long term scenarios.

For example, what would happen if the vendor’s server goes down? What if the vendor has changed their technology after ten years and you need to access a signature for proving in court? In these situations, you can land up without access to evidence of the validity of your documents.

4. Compliance with Industry Standards

Talking about security aspects with an electronic signature vendor, it is essential to make sure that the vendor meets industry compliance. The most basic precedents for taking into consideration are ESIGN and UETA guidelines for e-signatures. In addition to these precedents, it is also essential for an e-signature vendor to comply with the regulatory standards followed in different industries.

The financial services industry requires compliance with the Standards and Procedures for Electronic Records and Signatures (SPeRS). The Securities industry requires compliance of an e-signature platform with the Electronic Securities Transaction Act. For the sector of annuities, it is essential to comply with the Insured Retirement Institute’s E-signature Standards for Straight through Processing. HIPAA regulations are found in the healthcare industry, whereas 21 CFR Part 11 is relevant for life sciences.

So, based on your industry type, you need to make sure that the e-signature solution of your choice complies with all the industry regulations.

5. Authentication Measures

Authentication factors should be the next priority when selecting an e-signature vendor. This is essential to make sure that your documents are not in the wrong hands at any point in time. Therefore, the e-signature platform should follow a minimum of two factors of authentication.

The most basic example of two-factor authentication is a combination of a password with an SMS text message on a mobile phone. The importance and sensitivity of the information in different documents and forms would vary considerably. So, you could face the need for higher levels of authentication. You would not want your e-signature vendor to leave your documents open to unauthorized access.

So, based on the level of risk involved with a document, you need to find whether the vendor provides multiple approaches for verification of identities of signatories. One of the methods is email-only authentication. In this, a user clicks on a link received through an email and is redirected to the transaction directly.

Knowledge-based authentication (KBA) is another simple yet proven measure for authenticating the identity of signatories. KBA would require the user to input their date of birth or the last three digits of their social security number followed by answering a set of multiple-choice questions. If the user answers all the questions correctly, then the user could access the transaction.

Certain vendors can implement shared questions for authentication in which a user has to answer certain personal questions that are known to the sender. Upon answering the questions correctly, the user could prove their authentication to access the transaction. Note that better authentication requirements would directly result in better defense of the e-signature.

There are a number of myths about the e-signature. Here we cover the top electronic signature myths and facts behind them.

6. Cloud Security

The majority of the concerns related to the selection of the right e-signature vendor are associated with the safety of the e-signed documents. You should know that e-signatures are SaaS solutions, and this implies the relation between e-signatures and the cloud. So, you should choose a vendor that can provide a formidable cloud infrastructure capable of safeguarding the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of your data.

Most important of all, you should try to find if the electronic signature solution provider has accomplished security certifications such as SOC2. In addition to a sturdy cloud infrastructure, security certifications indicate vendor’s highest standards for cloud security and data protection. By confirming this aspect with your vendor, you could stay away from complaints of unauthorized access.

7. Ease of Use of the Solution

The next crucial concern in selecting an e-signature vendor is usability. An easy to use e-signature platform can help drive positive outcomes in the adoption of the technology. You don’t want to deal with issues such as confusion about e-signing the documents or logging in with your credentials every time. Also, you would want to stay away from unnecessary nagging due to prompts for installing plug-ins, software, and apps. These concerns can dissuade the users, and they would most likely leave the e-signature process.

Therefore, it is advisable to go for a solution that can help in simplification of the e-signature process. It should make the e-signature process simple for customers as well as your internal stakeholders. You need to focus on certain questions such as the number of clicks a user has to make for signing a document, the method for sending documents for signature or the clicks or time take for creating an agreement. This would help you improve adoption of the e-signature technology alongside reducing the friction in contract acceptance processes.

8. Facility for Company Branding

As a business, you go before your customers with a unique identity. Your brand speaks of your identity and differentiates you from the competition. Therefore, you need to understand that the e-signature vendor of your choice should provide facilities for company branding. It is mandatory to look for a vendor that can help you customize document workflows with your company logo.

This would maintain your company’s identity among your clients and provide a consistent brand experience. When this experience combines with a hassle-free document viewing and signing experience, your business will mark a formidably positive impression on your clients.

9. Integration with Business Applications and Processes

Your business must be dependent on various business applications for the management of daily tasks. Therefore, you need to check the e-signature platform integration into the internal processes of your business. The e-signature technology should provide users with the flexibility to integrate the e-signature app into the existing business processes. Selecting an electronic signature software that can be integrated effectively with common business applications such as Microsoft Word, Google Drive, and Dropbox would give a promising boost to employee productivity.

Treat your electronic signature platform as an investment. Thus, aim to make the most of it by the facility of using them as per your convenience. You need to evaluate your common document workflows and find out approaches in which e-signature technology can be integrated with them. It is also recommended to evaluate the API of the e-signature solution alongside reviewing its other clients.

10. Try to Find Mobile-friendly Solutions

Being mobile is an inseparable part of the business environment today. Customers and internal stakeholders in every business are constantly dependent on their mobile devices such as smartphones for daily transactions. So, it is important to look for an e-signature vendor that can provide the facility of e-signing documents from a mobile device. The vendor should provide optimization of the signing process for all types of mobile devices and platforms. So, you should make sure that your customers can have a user-friendly experience in e-signing documents.

Also Read: Digital Signature vs Electronic Signature


On a concluding note, it can be stated that the aspects of security, legal validity, and usability should be the major factors to consider in selecting the right e-signature vendor. The discussion presented above has provided clear insights into the different points required to choose an electronic signature vendor. However, it is also important to look for the vendor’s association with your industry as well as their reputation in working with different clients in the past.

So, have a focus on the above factors while choosing an e-signature vendor and find the best one!

Posted by Brian Felix, 0 comments

Top 10 Electronic Signature Myths and Facts

Technological advancements have been the cornerstones of progress for human civilization. Over the years, we have witnessed the transformation of many essential activities and processes to the technological front. Electronic signature is one of such technological innovations. The applications of electronic signatures are widely observed in various fields, and it surely presents a reliable approach to reduce the piles of official documents in paper.

On the other hand, many electronic signature myths are making ground everywhere. These myths are primarily developed as a result of misunderstanding and lack of detailed insights into the definition and working of electronic signatures. It is important to understand the hidden electronic signature facts behind these myths.

So, this article would aim at outlining some of the notable e-signature myths to obtain a clear impression of the wrong and the right with e-signatures. In addition to this, the discussion would also focus on the facts about electronic signatures to understand them better.

Before we move towards exploring some of the electronic signature myths and facts, it is justified to have a basic idea of what electronic signature is and how it works!

What is E-signature and how does It Work?

The electronic signature can be defined as a digital version of the physical signature of an individual. It can be used for signing digital documents in different ways. Users can capture their signature on a document or use a click of a mouse button to sign digital documents.

Voice-based acceptance could also be considered as one of the ways to sign a digital document. Electronic signatures first came into existence with the passing of the Federal ESIGN Act, in 2000. There are various types of documents which could be signed electronically, such as policy adherence documents, non-disclosure agreements, executive meeting minutes, business contracts, and terms of service contracts.

Must Read: An Overview of UETA and ESIGN Act

Just like any other new technological innovation, electronic signatures also have found wide-ranging acceptance from different business owners. However, many others are still skeptical about the use of electronic signatures. So, it is essential to show a clear difference between the myths and facts associated with electronic signatures.

Let’s Go Through Most Common Electronic Signature Myths and Facts

Myth 1: E-signatures are not acceptable in court

Fact: The first and one of the most commonly noted electronic signature myths is that they are not legally binding. On the contrary, this is not true as electronic signatures have been considered legal, according to rulings, in most of the cases. All you have to do is prove consent and intent, like in the case of paper signatures to make it legally appropriate. Even if electronic signatures have been responsible for putting paper to rest for signing agreements, they have not left out legality.

It is clearly stated in the Electronic Signatures in Global, and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act that a document or a contract cannot be considered null in terms of validity, enforceability or legal effect in its electronic form. One of the notable electronic signature facts clearly shows that a valid electronic signature would be associated with a record of the time, date, and IP address of the signatories. So, the myth that electronic signatures don’t stand up in court can be put to rest now!

Myth 2: E-signatures are not secure.

Fact: Another one of the common electronic signature myths is that they are not secure, which is completely not true. In the case of electronic signatures, all the legal documents are secured with encryption, and all electronically signed documents are immediately covered into PDF files for additional security. All types of legal documents could be stored online for any duration of time that you want.

Most important of all, the audit trail or details of the time of a signature, time of opening a document, and the IP addresses of the signatories provide an excellent tool to verify the security of your electronic signatures. In addition to that, the majority of electronic signature software have firewalls and other advanced settings and protocols for protection against attempted breaches and other online threats.

Myth 3: E-signatures are difficult to adopt.

Fact: You would also find one of the electronic signature myths regarding the difficulty in the adoption of electronic signatures. Yes, users could indeed require some time, and experience many difficulties in adopting new technology. However, it doesn’t happen in the case of electronic signatures. Electronic signatures could be integrated very easily and that too in very little time! With the paper-based route, you would be spending a lot of time in printing, mailing, and signing.

On the other hand, you have to use the existing templates provided by the electronic signature software and change them if you want according to your needs. Then, just point out the areas which have to be signed and share the documents through email. This way, you not only save time but also make signing documents a much simpler task alongside considerable improvement in business productivity. Now the electronic signature technology seems quite easy to adopt, doesn’t it?

If you still think it is difficult to understand how electronic signature works, check out our previous blog on electronic signature workflow and get to know how easy it is!

Myth 4: You have to spend a lot on e-signatures.

Fact: Electronic signatures are expensive! That is also one of the electronic signature myths you need to pay attention to. You can save a considerable amount of money through electronic signatures. Think of loads of labor hours spent in converting contracts to different formats for emailing. You don’t have to deal with that anymore when you have electronic signatures. Most important of all, you would also be reducing costs associated with running a paper-based office.

With the use of electronic signatures, your office would not be dependent on purchasing paper, maintaining scanners, and printers or storage for signed documents. Moreover, you don’t have to pay any more for postage and courier costs. Even though all these factors are realized quickly, the myth surrounding expensiveness of electronic signatures emerges from the initial high costs.

However, there is no reason to worry as electronic signatures can foster process innovation, thereby leading to better returns on investment quickly. In addition to that, evolving technological advancements related to electronic signatures have resulted in their availability at affordable prices.

Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about storage of documents as you have cloud-based storage options with electronic signature software to keep away the massive file cabinets! With these functionalities of e-signatures, it is proven that they are highly favorable and cost-effective solutions as compared to paper.

Myth 5: You need special technical skills for using electronic signatures.

Fact: The requirement of specialized technical expertise is another one of the widely spread electronic signature myths in the present times. On the contrary, one does not have to be a technical genius for using electronic signatures. A basic understanding of electronic signatures can be sufficient to use them effectively.

Also, the e-signature solutions have made it easy to adopt and use an electronic signature. Easy steps, comprehensive guide, and quick support provided by the electronic signature vendors have removed the hassle associated with this new technology. So, even if you are not a technical person, you can easily use an electronic signature without any special technical skills.

Various companies which have adopted e-signatures have stated that employees find e-signatures easy to use and the companies were able to adopt the technology quickly. Therefore, this myth can also be debunked just like the other electronic signature myths which point towards the difficulty in the adoption of e-signatures.

Myth 6: Electronic signatures are just a trend.

Fact: Whenever a new technology comes, it comes with a boom and after some time, the boom is over. The same most of the people think about the electronic signature that it’s just a trend. It is one of the e-signature myths that has made its space in the mind of most of the people. It is important to know the fact behind this myth to know the truth.

The electronic signature is not just a trend, but it is present and future. More than 60 countries have introduced a specific set of laws and standards for validating e-signatures. It’s not because it’s a trend but it’s the innovation in the business world.

More than 60 countries have introduced a specific set of laws and standards for validating e-signatures. A large amount of data is generated every day by businesses, organizations, and individuals. To deal with the challenge of getting a huge number of documents signed everyday, electronic signatures are quick and efficient solutions.

The businesses in different industries have been readily adopting electronic signature which was previously relying on the paperwork. So, the electronic signature fact is that electronic signatures are more than just a trend, they are the future.

Myth 7: All documents can be signed electronically.

Fact: One of the noticeable e-signature myths is that if used, an electronic signature can be used for any kind of documents. But the e-signature fact here refers to the type of documents that are not considered valid with an electronic signature. The documents could be outlined as follows:

  • Product recall notices.
  • Notices for cancellation or termination of utility services.
  • Court orders, notices, and related documents.
  • Codicils, wills, and testamentary trusts.
  • Family law documents such as divorce or adoption papers.
  • Legal documentation for transportation of hazardous materials.
  • Notices for cancellation or termination of life insurance or health insurance benefits.
  • Default notices and notices for eviction, foreclosure, or repossession.

So, it is important to know, though electronic signature can be used for different types of documents, there are many documents for which electronic signature cannot be used.

Myth 8: You need a certificate to use electronic signatures.

Fact: Electronic signatures and Digital signatures are two similar terms but both are different. Sometimes, people may get confused between digital signatures and electronic signatures. So, it becomes important to understand the difference between the two i.e. Digital signature vs Electronic signature.

These are digital signatures which require a digital certificate for authorizing the encryption needed. Certificate Authority (CA) is responsible for issuing digital certificates. Generally, large businesses develop their in-house CA while smaller businesses and individuals tend to turn towards a CA provider to obtain digital certificates. Many digital certificate vendors provide various customized solutions for their electronic signature needs that may be availed either through a transaction-based or subscription-based payment model.

So, in order to get over a few e-signature myths, it is important to understand the difference between digital signature and electronic signature.

Myth 9: The choice of e-signature solution does not matter.

Fact: This is one of the electronic signature myths which is primarily based on the premise that every e-signature solution in the market can be suitable for all organizations. There is no surety that you can choose one e-signature solution for on-premise deployment and another one can be utilized as a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) scaling according to the needs of your business.

Also, the selected vendor should be capable of using innovative technology in combination with comprehensive industry knowledge for better awareness of your common use cases. This can help ease the adoption process and provide better opportunities for success with e-signatures.

Finally, the ease of use is also dependent considerably on the e-signature solution provider. So, you have to make sure that the electronic signature vendor could be able to provide the flexibility of e-signing irrespective of the place or device. Most important of all, the solution should provide a customizable graphical user interface as well as the flexible workflow that can be tailored to various channels and processes.

Myth 10: Multiple electronic signatures cannot be managed.

Fact: This is one of the common e-signature myths spread among the newbies that it is not possible to manage multiple electronic signatures on a contract. On the contrary, electronic signature provides the facility of signing multiple pages of a contract by different signatories. Contemporary e-signature solution providers offer the facility of sharing one document across multiple signatories along with the account holder for the document.

While some solutions would imply that you can limit the sharing of the document up to a certain number of signatories. However, if you need multiple signatories exceeding the particular number on a concerned legal document, then the document can be re-imported and shared among other signatories.

Use of electronic signature can bring several benefits to you. If you have any doubt regarding the use of electronic signature, read out these 10 reasons to adopt e-signature for your business.

Closing Notes

Now we have obtained clear insights into the different electronic signature myths and facts, it would be reasonable to focus on making the initiative! E-signatures not only help in cost savings but also introduced process innovation for businesses to improve productivity.

Even though many electronic signature facts show the benefits possessed by them, people and businesses continue to doubt their functionality. However, attempts to clarify the misconceptions about e-signatures and large scale adoption could pave the path for a future in which paper is no longer needed for business documentation.

Surely seems like a path towards a greener and better future, doesn’t it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below on it. If you have any doubt in your mind regarding the use of electronic signature, just mention it below and we’ll guide you through all the way.

Posted by Brian Felix, 0 comments