Enhance Efficiency with Electronic Signatures
How often do you have to print documents in order to have them signed? If you’re a business professional, the answer most likely is “frequently.” Depending upon your business, you may be wasting valuable time.
Processing paper documents is time intensive and stops your workflow. Many organizations find that workflow improves when they stop physically printing and signing paper documents, and sign a document electronically instead. The E-Sign act, in resistance since June 30, 2000, allows you to take advantage of electronic signatures, and still meet legal needs.
The E-Sign Act
Officially designated as “The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN, Pub.L. 106–229, 114 Stat. 464, enacted June 30, 2000, 15 U.S.C. ch. 96 is a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress to facilitate the use of electronic records and electronic signatures in interstate and foreign commerce by ensuring the validity and legal effect of contracts entered into electronically. In 2010, both Houses of Congress passed a resolution at the request of industry leaders, recognizing June 30 as "National ESIGN Day." (Thanks to Wikipedia for the definition!)
Nearly every state has also enacted laws regarding electronic signatures, but the Federal Law applies to interstate commerce. This law ensures that a contract or signature “may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form.”
This means that electronic records with electronic signatures are just as official and binding as they would be if they were paper.
How long does it take you to complete a process that needs a physical signature? Consider the amount of paper work required for a loan, or an insurance policy. Also consider that today’s savvy Internet consumer wants to be able to complete the necessary paperwork online, sitting at home in the evening, rather than tied up in a loan office during traditional business hours. With more and more online access to mortgages, insurance and other paper-intensive services, using digital documents and electronic signatures is imperative for any business that wants to stay competitive.
According to Silanis, without electronic signatures, applications are processed in 7-10 days and loans don't close for 45-60 days. With electronic signatures, applications are processed in 1-2 days and loans close in less than 20 days.
Benefits of Electronic Signatures
- Boost efficiency by no longer printing paper documents for handwritten signatures.
- Ensure control by validating electronic signatures have not been altered.
- Save money by eliminating the costs associated with printing and transporting paper.
- Enhance daily efficiency by adding a Sign Document step to any workflow process to seamlessly integrate electronic signatures into daily task flows.
- Improve your productivity by simply pressing a button to sign documents, no printing necessary.
- Almost any type of document is protected under the E-Sign law, including invoices, employee applications, etc.
Getting Started with Electronic Signatures
If you are going to communicate with your customers electronically, you must be sure you follow the rules. One easy way to do this is by choosing a digital document / e-signature solution that guarantees legal compliance. Learn more by downloading our white paper below:
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2016 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.