How e-signatures help businesses increase cash flow and efficiency
Sending documents back and forth between your business and customers takes up resources and time. E-signatures are a great way to get documents signed quickly and securely, helping businesses to reduce cost and any roadblocks before closing the deal.
E-signatures are not only a cost-efficient digital solution but they also have the same legal status as handwritten signatures. Using e-signatures can greatly benefit businesses of various sizes as documents signed faster on the dotted lines leads to projects moving faster, which in turn will help increase cash flow.
Managing transactions with manual paper-based processes have increasingly become challenging and are costly and time-consuming.
According to advisory and research firm Aragon Research, 65% of enterprises will swap paper-based-processes in favour of those based on Digital Transaction Management (DTM) by the end of 2017.
An important part of DTM processes is the electronic signature (e-signature), which helps businesses around the world become more efficient and profitable.
DTM platforms such as DocuSign now allow businesses to send, track and sign important documents anytime and anywhere on any device, reducing time spent on manual paper-based processes.
E-signatures are secure
A digital signature is like an electronic ‘fingerprint’, but in the form of a coded message. It securely associates a signer with a document in a recorded transaction.
In 2000, the US ‘e-signature bill’ or Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) gave e-signatures the same legal status as handwritten signatures. The law was expected to save companies money by reducing the costs of mailing and handling hard-copy contracts. In Singapore, the Electronics Transactions Act has recognised e-signatures under Singapore law since 2010.
How digital signatures work
A digital signature is unique to each signer, like the handwritten signature, and cannot be forged. Digital signature providers, such as DocuSign, apply a specific protocol called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which is a set of requirements that allow the creation of digital signatures.
PKI requires the provider to use a mathematical algorithm to generate so called ‘keys’, two long numbers. One key is public, the other is private.
So for example:
Company A signs an agreement to sell a particular product using its private key.
Company B, the buyer receives the document and a copy of company A’s public key.
If the public key cannot decrypt the signature it means the signature is not company A’s, or has been changed since it was signed.
Unlike a hand-written signature, the e-signature is then considered invalid.
How do e-signatures help you?
E-signatures can drive efficiencies by helping all types of business, including accounting, legal, healthcare, finance, insurance and retail to:
Save time and money by securely completing agreements in hours rather than days.
Reduce purchasing roadblocks by creating a seamless sales experience allowing the customer to sign immediately.
Allow SMEs to increase their flexibility and efficiency when dealing with larger enterprises.
Track documents, making sure they were received by the right person with the right signature.