What’s the best file format for sending important documents? For any experienced professional, this question is a no-brainer: you send important documents as PDFs.
Now, what about the best way to send out contracts that require signatures? This answer is a little more complicated. PDF format is still the most secure way to send the document, but depending on your needs, there are other alternatives to collect signatures more effectively, efficiently and of course, more securely.
While most PDF readers include functions that allow you to add signatures, an electronic-signature service like DottedSign offers a level of security and efficiency that businesses–especially those that work remotely and/or with multiple external constituents–crave.
What is An “Electronic Signature”?
An electronic signature is a legally-binding and enforceable acknowledgment that a signer adds to a document. When the qualifications are met, the electronic signature is just as valid as a traditional pen-and-paper signature.
Electronic signatures are widely used around the world in workplace situations. Some laws have been passed by the US Government and the European Union, such as the ESIGN Act and European Union Common Law. In the US, states have ratified UETA (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act), which is a set of laws that allow electronic signatures to be treated like paper signatures.
Considering replacing your paper-based signature process? Book a demo with our expert team to explore what DottedSign can do to optimize your signing flow.
Most e-signature applications are designed for large enterprises to accommodate hundreds of thousands of transactions per day. If you’re a small or medium-sized business, you can avoid breaking your budget.
Some enterprise service providers can be challenging to deploy and use. It makes sense for specific applications like hospitals, hotels, or the military, which need to work with ruggedized equipment, POS terminals, or mobile devices. But for ordinary people getting work done, electronic signatures can be remarkably easy.
What are the Benefits of Using E-Signature in Your Work Process:
1. E-SIGNATURE SERVICES HELP YOUR TEAM EXCEL IN THE MOBILE WORKPLACE
The increasingly mobile workplace rewards teams that adapt tools that help optimize productivity in and out of the office. E-signature services offer a level of flexibility because of its use of cloud storage for signatures.
Traditional PDF readers will store signatures locally, but you’ll have to create new versions whenever your reinstall the app or switch to a different device. Accessing these signatures on the cloud also adds a level of security, as they require a sign-in to access.
2. DESIGN A WORKFLOW THAT KEEPS THE PROCESS MOVING FORWARD
E-signatures and PDF readers both support self-signing, but you start notice the difference between a tool that allows you to add your signature and a service that’s designed to optimize the signature process when you for others to sign as well.
PDF readers require that you import your PDF document…add your signature…export as a new PDF…send in an email to the other signer(s)…and then get the final contract back.
E-signatures trim the unnecessary fat: import the PDF→ assign the signature field(s) → send to all signer(s) + yourself, and that’s it! The service will proceed to collect the signatures and send all parties a signed, final copy of the document.
3. YOUR TEAM WILL LOVE THE ADDED SECURITY…AND SO WILL YOUR CLIENTS!
Some PDF readers lack password protection (ie app lock). That means that a user doesn’t have to validate his or her identity to add their signature. You can easily eliminate the potential risk by using an e-signature service that requires verification through email and/or SMS.
4. KEEP A SECURE DIGITAL TRAIL
Being able to produce a well-documented record of a contract’s status is an important, and in many cases, necessary part of the workflow. This helps protect against fraud and proves who had the document and when. Proving the path that a scanned document took can be extremely difficult, and would include tracking down any number of email chains back and forth between the parties involved.
A Better Way to Sign Your Business Documents Digitally
If you’re in a business that typically has fewer contracts to sign, or does not deal with sensitive information (NDAs, agreements, etc.), then a PDF reader with editing functionality could very well be a sufficient option.
If your team does process a number of contracts and/or confidential materials, let DottedSign handle the signing process and you can focus on other mission-critical tasks! The service is universally available across iOS, Android and Web.
Schedule a time with us today and we’ll be happy to walk you through DottedSign and help you incorporate it into your workflow!