In today’s digital world, technology plays a key role for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Customer expectations are rapidly evolving, in step with the progress of technology. Therefore, companies need to embrace digital transformation to meet these ever-changing expectations.
Digital signature solutions have been around for some time, and many companies use such tools to streamline their business processes. Having a digital signature software in place can reduce administrative burdens, lower costs associated with paper-based signing processes, and help with meeting regulatory compliance obligations. Hence, it comes as no surprise that the global digital signature market is projected to grow from £2 billion in 2020 to £10.1 billion by 2026.
What are digital signatures?
Digital signatures, aka advanced electronic signatures, are a category of e-signatures that meet the following requirements:
- They are uniquely linked to the signer
- They are capable of identifying the signer
- They are created using data that the signer has sole control over
- They are linked to the data in the signed document, preventing any subsequent alterations
This makes digital signatures far safer than standard electronic ones such as Touch or images of pen and paper signatures inserted into documents. What’s more, digital signatures have the same legal standing as their handwritten counterparts while providing a higher level of security since they are almost impossible to forge.
So, how do digital signatures work?
Digital signatures employ end-to-end encryption to ensure the identity of the signer and the integrity of the document.
End-to-end encryption allows both the sender and the signer of the message to create two keys: a public and a private key. The private key must be kept secret and should only be accessible to the person it belongs to. On the other hand, the public key can be shared freely.
The sender of the document uses their private key to encrypt its contents. This ensures the identity of the sender and the integrity of the document, since the sender is the only one who has access to their private key.
The message is then received by the signer who uses the sender’s public key to decrypt the contents of the document.
Next, the signer uses their own private key to sign the document and returns it to the sender. This is the same as placing an ink signature on paper.
Finally, the sender of the message receives the signed document and uses the signer’s public key to decrypt it and check the authenticity of the signed document and its integrity.
How can your business benefit from digital signatures?
Signing documents and agreements is a crucial part of any businesses’ everyday life. Making the shift to digital signatures can transform your signing processes for the best and improve overall efficiency.
Curious how? Here are the top 5 ways digital signatures can benefit your business.
- Security and reliability
Digital signatures provide a high level of security and reliability by verifying the identity of the signer and ensuring the integrity of the document.
Signers use certificate-based digital IDs issued by Trust Service Providers to authenticate and sign documents. The unique digital ID links the digital signature to the signer of the document.
Every step of the signing process is recorded in an audit trail. This makes it very easy to identify if the document has been tampered with after the content was signed. If the document has indeed been altered after being signed, the digital signature is invalidated.
By employing end-to-end encryption, digital signature solutions help you protect your documents and ensure that your data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
- Time savings
Digital signatures help you reduce the time spent on manual administrative tasks related to signing processes. No more printing, scanning, manually signing, and mailing documents. Say goodbye to postal delays and get documents signed and returned almost instantly.
By digitizing and automating manual signing processes, employees will have more time to focus on creating value for your company’s customers.
- Cost savings
The costs associated with paper-based signing processes will also be reduced by switching to digital signatures.
Even though the cost of paper, ink, stationery, and postage may seem negligible, in the long run, it can add up to a large business expense. Not to mention the costs associated with physical document storage and management and regulatory compliance.
- Improved customer experience
Today’s customers expect a convenient and seamless digital experience. They don’t want the hassle of having to print the documents, sign them by hand, and mail them back to the sender.
Digital signatures allow your customers to easily sign documents and agreements at any time, from anywhere, and on any device. This makes it so much easier for your clients to do businesses with you and results in a superior customer experience.
What’s more, digital signatures reduce turnaround time and help you mitigate the risk of losing a lead to a competitor.
- Better overview of your documents
Digital signature software securely stores all your documents online and gives you an overview of their status.
You can easily search and retrieve documents, organize them in folders, share them with colleagues, and see if a specific document has been opened, signed, or completed.
Moreover, you can set up automatic reminders to make sure you get all your agreements signed on time.
To wrap it up, digital signatures can benefit all businesses and organizations regardless of size and industry. Nowadays, with telecommuting quickly becoming the new normal, digitizing signing processes is a natural next step.