10 Things To Know Before Using Electronic Signatures

Thinking to adopt an electronic signature for your business? Here’re the top 10 points you need to know before using electronic signatures.

Technology has been a major driving factor in changing the approaches for conducting business. The impact of technology is evident in different aspects of business operations such as supply chain management, marketing, and end-user delivery.

One of the most striking technological interventions in recent times refers to electronic signatures. Electronic signatures have completely revolutionized document management for enterprises.

Points to Consider Before Using Electronic Signatures

There are many concerns that enterprises should take into account before using electronic signatures. Organizations can gain prominent benefits from electronic signatures if they know about e-signatures comprehensively.

The following discussion reflects on ten important things that you should know before using an electronic signature solution.

Also Read: Cost Saving Benefits of E-Signature

  • Real Nature of Electronic Signatures

One of the first things to know before using electronic signatures is that a digital copy of your signature pasted on a document does not qualify exactly as an electronic signature. As a matter of fact, the digital copy of your signature only implies your intent to sign the document. However, the receiving party does not have any form of validation that the signature is yours.

So, the receiving party does not have any idea about whether they should accept that signature or not. Therefore, it is important to know that real electronic signatures comply with the ESIGN Act introduced in 2000. E-signature solutions compliant with the ESIGN Act allow for validation of electronic signature for a document alongside capturing the intent to sign.

  • Need for 3rd Party Security Certificates

Many enterprises rely on a third party for validating a transaction to address the concerns of security. Digital certificates by third party providers prove that an image of your signature is now placed on a specific document. The cost of such digital certificates comes with the annual license cost alongside a validity of two years.

However, while using electronic signatures, you should note that digital certification does not have any legal standing. Digital certificates cannot prove that a particular e-signature is yours and only you have signed it and not anybody else. So, you need to have a good knowledge of the E-Signature Security Checklist and Rules.

  • Cost of Third-party Certificate

Readers must now be wondering about the necessity of paying for digital certificates when they are not valid proof of a signature. Actually, the electronic signatures hold legal validity when they are active. If a user stops using the electronic signature service, then the digital certificates expire.

So, if users have to produce a valid digital certificate for a document in such cases, then they can be in trouble. However, the majority of e-signature solutions in the market charge users for a period of non-renewal or inactivity. As a result, you can produce the digital certificate as a valid representation of your electronic signature.

Must Read: Top 10 Electronic Signature Myths and Facts

  • Data Captured in Electronic Signature

Apart from the question that “do electronic signatures hold up in court”, users of e-signature solutions are concerned about security issues. Data breaches have become a common threat to digital information. Therefore, the data captured with electronic signatures is one of the paramount concerns for users.

The demand for premium e-signature solutions with better safeguards for privacy and security is increasing. Patented electronic signature solutions capture various types of metadata that can help in enforcing the legality of documents.

  • The Integrity of Electronic signatures

One of the notable things to know before using electronic signatures is the audit trail. The audit trail establishes the integrity of electronic signatures and is a mandatory component of renowned e-signature solutions.

Therefore, you should choose e-signature solutions that provide detailed audit trails. The introduction of Blockchain technology for producing audit trails would ensure additional safeguards for the integrity of electronic signatures.

The adoption of electronic signature can bring so many benefits for businesses such as e-invoicing. Here are the top benefits of e-invoicing for businesses.

  • Delay in the Verification of E-Signatures

Generally, you can find legal troubles with a transaction years after and you have to produce a proof for the e-signature. However, users don’t have to worry about the legal enforceability of e-signatures as long as they can produce the digital certificate for the transaction. Furthermore, access to the free version of e-signature solutions can assist with an explanation of the verification and validation process for electronic signatures.

  • Checking for Tampering

One of the notable concerns while using electronic signatures that get ignored is tampering. Many customers of e-signature solutions do not ask questions about tampering with the documents such as signature forging.

Therefore, it is essential to ask for due diligence on behalf of the e-signature solution provider. Even if it costs some additional money, it is worth the investment to safeguard your sensitive business documents. The anticipation of the challenges is a proven measure for addressing them!

Also Read: Digital Signature vs Electronic Signature

  • Verifying the Identity of the Sender

Users should prefer e-signature solutions that provide additional measures for verification and validation of users. Avoid any type of solution that allows users to sign without creating an account. Trustworthy e-signature platforms verify the identity of users before the creation of an account. So, you should never risk safety while using e-signature solutions.

  • Storage of documents

E-signature solutions that provide assurance of protection of your documents can provide reliable storage for your documents. You have to check for their compliance with the standard benchmarks for data protection such as GDPR.

  • Denial of Proof

Even if someone denies that they did not sign the document with an e-signature, then the audit trail is there to help you. The use of Blockchain technology in sophisticated electronic signature solutions is a foremost tool for proving the integrity of e-signatures. Extensive audit trails can also provide legal proof of a signature.

It is important to look into the security factors while choosing an electronic signature solution for your business. Here are the top points you should consider while choosing an e-signature vendor.

Ready to Use Electronic Signatures?

Therefore, you can clearly notice the important factors to consider before using electronic signatures. The first factor is legal enforceability and is the most significant one. Users have to check for the compliance of e-signature solutions with legal precedents for e-signatures such as the ESIGN and UETA Act. The second important factor refers to the validity of electronic signatures.

However, users can address the concerns of validity by selecting premium electronic signature services which also address the third significant factor, i.e. security. The facility of extensive audit trails and secure verification and validation of users in e-signature solutions can prove the reliability of an e-signature provider.

Therefore, you could easily find out an e-signature solution that can fulfill your requirements in the above-mentioned areas. Start searching right now!

Posted by Brian Felix

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