You're about to push through a major deal that is important for your business; agreement in principle has been given and now it's time to formalise that agreement with the contracts.
Whether you're selling in this situation or you're a buyer, getting the contracts signed in a timely manner could be the biggest hurdle in completing this deal and cause you a great deal of frustration.
The contract requires signatures from specific people within your organisation, it then needs to be signed by the other party and those signatures need to be witnessed - each individual signature needs to be given in a specific order. That's fine, provided everyone required is in the same location at the same time, but with hectic schedules and international working, that's not always possible. Take this example, for instance, where it's not possible to get all of your signatories in one place: one signatory is in Japan, the other in the UK and the other two are in the US.
Traditionally, getting this contract signed would mean a paper version being produced and signed in the UK before being posted to Japan and then onwards to the US (where the two signatories maybe in separate locations, too!). Once it's been signed in the US, it then comes back to the UK for the other party to sign - and there's potential that they could have to distribute this paper copy internationally, also. The process of collecting a number of simple, three-second signatures on an important set of documents suddenly requires days or even weeks of effort to reach the point of completion. In the meantime, the implementation of your new deal has been delayed by a month and the benefits are delayed: time-sensitive deals may not happen at all.
Even for UK only signing, whether for mobile phone contracts, NHS consents or important financial transactions, the time delays and associated costs of paper based processes mean that otherwise digital processes are interrupted unnecessarily and additional costs (e.g. scanning and storage) are incurred.
"It's exhausting and unnerving. There must be a better way!"
Imagine now a transaction where collecting eight signatures from across the world takes just twenty minutes (perhaps less). Think about how you could execute a contract between yourself and an Australian partner in less than two minutes. What if the pain of getting a contract signed by multiple parties spread across even just the UK could be avoided?
eSigning solutions can transform this process, as well as many more associated workflows, into a simple, rapid and secure procedure. You can even add biometric identity verification to these processes too (read on for more).
SIGNificant from Icon UK is a market-leading eSignature solution that makes collecting signatures electronically easy. It allows you to harness the power and speed of technology, meaning documents can be shared and signed securely via the internet to reach others in a matter of seconds, not weeks, and a huge range of input devices - from Wacom devices attached to computers through to iOS and Android mobile devices - can be used to collect signatures.
With SIGNificant, you can control every step of the signing procedure. Define every step in the signing process, position signature fields and ensure that any attachments or information you require are provided before the document is finalised after signing.
"Are eSignatures legal and secure?"
Put simply, yes. Security can be enhanced by using certificate-based signatures (digital certificates can be held on smart cards, USB tokens or software on device or server) or you can also use SIGNificant's unique biometric verification capabilities to add an additional layer of security.
SIGNificant employs the most advanced signature biometrics. The SIGNificant products record the handwritten signature biometrics of a person (including measurements of parameters including pressure, acceleration, speed, rhythm, and movements in the air such as dotting "i"s) and embed the signature into an electronic document. If there is a dispute about a captured signature, an expert tool is available to forensically analyze the captured signature's biometric characteristics.
The SIGNificant signature verification technology, called "SIGNificant Biometric Server", takes this ability one step further, enabling fully automated real-time biometric verification of a signature to the SIGNificant platform by comparison of the recorded parameters of the handwritten signature biometrics against the pre-enrolled profile. The possibility of a detailed protocol for each signature-relevant action makes it a total solution; documents are only processed if their signers are authenticated and companies can prove who signed which document, how, when and if needed, where.
In terms of their legality, recent changes in European legislation have cemented the legal status of eSignatures and other digital identification methods in a regulation known as eIDAS (find out more here [link to eIDAS blog]). eIDAS builds on existing eSignature legislation, which places the robustness of the signature capture solution at the heart of proving validity of the signature: SIGNificant provides the highest level of legal assurance for signature validity under all legal interpretation such as both under eIDAS and as a 'handwritten signature in electronic form', meaning you can collect electronic signatures with confidence.
Optimising Workflows with eSignatures
eSignature use goes beyond signing commercial contracts. SIGNificant can enable you to reduce the paper burden on your business, as well as the associated costs of postage, administration, scanning and processing of those paper documents.
Sending, for example, a credit agreement to an insurance customer often requires a print-out, mailing, a wet-ink signature from the customer, a freepost return envelope, effort to put this in the post on the customer's behalf and then the processing and scanning of the document when it arrives back with the insurer. With eSignatures, this process becomes significantly less costly and time and effort required is reduced substantially; additionally, customers feel more satisfied as the effort-burden imposed upon them with paper documents and return mailing is removed.
Workflow optimisation with eSignatures goes much further beyond the visible processes, allowing you to engage better, improve your compliance, index documents easier and much more, all presented as a single, innovative and transformative solution to your business. It requires minimal IT involvement with options for both running software in-house and externally.
Find Out More
You can get more information about SIGNificant from our website. You can also find out how SIGNificant integrates with our customer communications management system, the Icon Suite, to provide businesses with seamless document management workflows that can create serious efficiency gains for any organisation.
Get in touch with our team today - email or call us on 0203 150 1081.