Questions to ask e-signature vendor

Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Their E-Signature Vendors

It is required to clear all your doubts before you choose an e-signature vendor for your business. Check out these common questions that you should ask e-signature vendor before choosing that!

With technology keeping up the transformation process, the effort is towards making tings entirely digital. E-signature is one of the prominent steps towards the same. This is helpful in terms of maintaining the workflow over the digital platform. Naturally, it can be helpful in terms of improving the efficacy of the process, as well as safety. Most importantly, it maintains the details of the clients and their privacy level. It is true, though, that not every e-signature platform is equally efficient. 

The effectiveness of an e-signature is actually dependent upon the needs. Hence, it is highly important to thoroughly ask e-signature vendor the questions that you feel essential prior to hiring. However, most people don’t even have an idea of what to ask. This is quite obvious as not everyone belongs to a technology background or having knowledge of the platform. To help on this matter, provided below is a guide about the things to ask e-signature vendors prior to hiring.

Thinking to adopt electronic signature for your business? Here are the points you need to consider while choosing an e-signature vendor.

Top Questions to Ask Prior to Hiring E-signature Vendors

Hiring an e-signature vendor can be taken like hiring any other vendor. Hence, one can ask the e-signature vendor pretty much the same way as they would do for others. It’s all about being focused around the needs. However, there are some fundamental details that everyone is essential to know. Discussed below are a few of the very fundamental questions that one definitely needs to ask e-signature vendors.  

1. Can it be ensured that documents are not modified post every signature?

There are certain e-signature solutions that come up with a spec known as the tamper evidence. This enables the user to know whether an e-signed document has been modified. However, different technologies deal with this aspect in different methods. In this context, the first thing that needs to be checked is the security level of the concerned service provider is optimal or not. Don’t forget to ask e-signature vendor whether the technology makes use of tracks everything from the initiation phase of the transaction. Those do this only at the end of the signing process should not be taken in to account.    

2. Does it highlight illegal modifications attempted?

It is important to ask e-signature vendor whether it has highlighted the illicit alterations attempted. Crucial here is to understand that the authenticity of the document can be saved, proving the first signer didn’t change. Moreover, it is important to ensure that the first signer didn’t change prior to being sent to the other. Some vendors come up with extra options to keep the documents safe from tampering. This restricts any of the changes once the process is finished. 

3. What is the level of audit trail it goes for?

Variations are obvious with the level of details kept by different e-signature platform. One may ask e-signature vendor about the kind of trail it goes for. In this context, the most secured is considered the one is coming with a granular audit trail. It keeps track of each element of the whole method. Here the following aspects are kept track of.

Details on when and which date the document was put for submission.

Regarding the acknowledgment of the signer.

Regarding termination.

Regarding the IP of everyone who signs.

The specific time when every signature was put.

Details of the digital certificate issue.

A complete trail like this makes sure that the documents are backed by the legally acknowledged proof to confront any claim.

Electronic signature laws play an important role in the implementation of e-signatures. Let’s elaborate the role of ESign act in electronic signatures.

4. Can I depend upon you regarding the authentication of the signature?

It is important to ask e-signature vendor regarding the dependency on the provider regarding the authenticity of the signature. Complete details through the trails are useful when it comes to confronting the legal aspects. But, it is more important to ensure that the documents are accessible.

One should ask e-signature vendor whether it lets the user for authenticating signatures distinctively. It, in other words, is about seeking proof of the digital signature to be thoroughly integrated into the documents signed. An explicit e-signature setup comes with technicality making use of the public key infrastructure of PKI, as well as the published norms. This is essential to ensure that the documents are authentic and unaltered. The point is that you hold the right of the proof. This ensures about having access at any time wished. In this way, one can have access to even many years of post-transaction.  

5. Can you guarantee about meeting industry-standard?

It’s one of the most fundamental questions to ask e-signature vendor whether the concerned platform meets industry standards. In this context, it is crucial to meet the norms of ESIGN and UETA e-signature. Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the e-signature platform meets the industry-specific norms.

6. Can I stay assured that only the acknowledge people get, have a view of, and get signed with the documents?

One of the most important questions to ask e-signature vendor is regarding who receives the documents. Basically, it has to be ensured that only the allowed groups of people get, see, and go for signing the documents. To avoid illicit access, it is important to ensure that the concerned vendor makes use of a dual authentication process. There should be one fundamental edition or stage asking the basic details, and the other about the details like password, phone number, etc.

There are certain documents that are more sensitive than others. A here greater level of authentication is quite obvious. Hence, it is crucial to take these aspects in to account when it comes to choosing e-signature vendor. For advanced level assurance, the following aspects should be ensured.

Explicitly email-based authentication

Here a user has to tap on a link within the mailbox to get into the transaction process.

Personal questions

Here the user is asked secret questions, mostly the personal questions.

Authentication based on knowledge

Here the user is asked to provide the birth date and the final four numbers of the SSN. Upon correctly answering, various MCQs are put forward; those have to be answered perfectly to have the transaction.

Also Read: An Overview of UETA and ESIGN Act

7. Is it possible for the e-signature to get integrated with the available document platforms?

It is important to ask before you choose e-signature vendor whether the e-signature can be combined with an available document. There are many e-signature providers that are capable of addressing these issues. However, here the extent of integration has to be checked out. It is advised to connect users through a single application. It would be even better to find a vendor capable of ensuring complete integration. It means that the e-signature solution is thoroughly personalized to meet the outlook and experience of the present technology. This is to ensure that the smooth signing experience is provided for you/the customer.

Apart from the tricky technical questions, there are certain very fundamental questions that have to be asked as well. These questions are very basic but absolutely important at the same time, as discussed below.

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

8. What is the number of customers that the concerned e-signature vendor is having in the industry?

This is one of the simplest questions every buyer should ask their e-signature vendors. There is nothing complex or technical about asking the question. All that needs to be ensured is whether the service provider is established in this arena. These services are quite technical and knowledge-based. 

On the other hand, not too many people remain aware of the affairs dealt with in this segment. It means the most reliable way to enquire is to know about the vendor through the client base it possesses. If possible, one may also connect with concerned clients. This provides the much-needed peace of mind for the user. Obviously, a vendor or service provider with more number of established client bases is more trustworthy.

9. How many clients has it dealt with those having similar requirements as you?

This is another fundamental question every buyer should ask their e-signature vendors. As discussed above, e-signature requirements and the associated constraints often vary from one case to the other. Naturally, the associated vendor is essential to be well versed in the kind of issues you deal with. 

It should be experienced enough in dealing with the kind of legal aspects your case is associated with. And, the best recommendation for this would be to enquire about the number of similar cases it has handled before. Moreover, the success rate on similar occasions is one of the important things to look into an e-signature vendor. Only if the vendor is proven enough in dealing with such requirements should it be hired.

Also Read: Top 10 Uses of Electronic Signatures

10. How many projects have they handled those who have gone live and can be referred to?

Be it about e-signature or anything else; success is always measured through the proven statistics. Coming to e-signature being particular, the number of projects it has handled has already gone live is a must to enquire about. It makes things easier for an enquirer or hirer to have the reference of the kind of project that the concerned user has handled. It talks a lot about their efficacy as well.

Final Words 

No doubt, e-signature has now become an integral part of every organization. To avail its benefits, most of the businesses whether small or large, are now adopting e-signatures. So, the above-mentioned ones are some of the most important and fundamental things to look at in an e-signature vendor prior to choosing that.

Here we have covered the ten most common questions that an organization should ask their electronic signature solution provider. One may enquire and list out some other questions as per his/her needs. So, ask how many questions you want to your vendor, clear your doubts, and get ready to implement e-signature to your business!

Posted by Brian Felix

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