Electronic signatures now being adopted by SMEs
Why do you need Electronic Signatures?
- Are you finding it difficult to get contracts signed?
- Is it time consuming to file your quotes or contracts?
Electronic signature technology solves these problem and is now becoming common place with legal precedents upholding the validity of electronic signatures. Electronic signatures efficiently replaces the print, find the working pen; sign with pen; scan; email; file and store processes of the paper world.
Who is using the technology?
With this technology now tested in Australian courts, large businesses are embracing it to streamline their processes. The Commonwealth Bank and AMP are rolling it out through their businesses. In the US it is used by 1.2 million realtors and the North Americans Association of Realtors (NARS) has endorsed the use of the DocuSign product. Here in Australia Ray White, McGrath, ReMax, Realway and Professionals are using eSignature technology.
At a minimum the sender completes the following 4 steps:
- Load Word or PDF version of final contract onto electronic signature website
- Mark up the document placing “sign here” tags electronically where required on the document. The tags are able to gather other details, like ABN numbers or contact details. This process replaces the physical “Sign Here” tags placed on paper contracts.
- Choose who to send it to (1 or more) for signing.
- Click “go” and wait for the documents speedy return with a legally binding signature.
The customer receives the notification via email and:
- Clicks on link, which displays the document in a web browser.
- First time users go through a quick signup process leveraging mobile phone text messages to validate authenticity. Return users supply their previous password.
- The users clicks on the “sign here” electronic tags to sign the document.
- Once complete, the document is sent back to the sender and automatically filed.
What eSignature Products are available?
There are many options in the eSignature market. Innessco are aware of over 20 products. During the implementation of eSignature technology into our organisation, we whittled these 20 down to the following three which are leaders in the market:
- Adobe EchoSign
- Citrix RightSignature
Innessco has selected DocuSign for our business but there is little that differentiates the three.
How strong is an eSignature?
Tested in a Court of Law
DocuSign has publicly marketed to potential purchasers that their signature technology has been tested in a court of law on many occasions. Every time it has been tested, the validity of the e-Signature has been upheld. The best known test cases was, Getup Ltd v Electoral Commissioner, (2010) 268 ALR 797
It is likely that other eSignature technologies are able to make the same claims.
Benefits of Electronic Signatures
DocuSign promotes that their technology will significantly reduce administrative overhead in obtaining legally binding consent by all parties on a contract or other legal document. This time reduction will:
- Speed up the time to completion – you will receive your signed contract back sooner;
- Reduce effort by both parties in signing – no more signing, scanning or faxing.
- Increase your process completion rate.
Innessco recently started using electronic signatures in parts of it processes and will soon implement across all parts of the business. We trust that this information assists you on your businesses journey to using Electronic Signatures to increase the efficiency of your businesses.
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