7 reasons why you should use digital signatures

If your working day requires you to process many different documents that require a signature, whether your own, a boss’ or a colleague’s, you may well have been wondering if it would be easier to do so electronically. If you’re on the move a lot, or the people that you need to sign the documents work remotely or in a different office, this can be particularly beneficial, as not only does it streamline the process, it makes it virtually instantaneous. Read on for seven compelling reasons to use digital signatures.
By
Man using digital signatures to sign his document at the desk

 
But we get into the benefits of digital signatures, it’s important to understand the difference between ‘electronic’ and ‘digital’ signatures.

Though digital signatures are a type of electronic signature, they stand apart from other forms of e-signature because they are encoded with a unique representation of your identity, or digital ‘fingerprint’, akin to your actual physical signature. This private key can be used to verify your identity as the signer, and will also prevent the document from being tampered or altered after signing.

An electronic signature on the other hand generally refers to any form of signing a document electronically, whether by putting a check in a box on an online document, or by physically signing a screen with your finger or stylus (such as when receiving a parcel). Unlike digital signatures, they are not always linked to your identity, and although they show that the document has been signed, they are unable to reveal whether it has been tampered with post-signing. For this reason, if you are using signatures in a professional or business capacity, it is always best to use a digital signature.

There are many other reasons for using digital signatures. Here are seven of them:

1. Digital signatures provide additional security – A digital signature doesn’t just prove that the document has been signed, it also records the date and time it was signed, and will verify whether changes have been made. Furthermore a digital signature is encrypted and unique, so it can’t be forged.

2. Sign any time, any place – Unlike a physical signature, a digital signature can be made remotely on any device, at any time of night and day, and instantly relayed to other relevant parties. This can greatly increase the speed of workflows and contract completions.

3. Admin ease – Using a digital signature is much less ‘fiddly’ than its counterparts. You can easily file, store or retrieve the document as needed, and there’s no need to print, resend it, or store bulky physical files with signed documents in.

4. It’s legally binding – Digital signatures are legally binding in all major countries in the same way that physical signatures are. In the UK, the legislation that relates to this is ‘The Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions Regulations 2016’, and its precursor, the ‘Electronic Signatures Regulations 2002’.

5. It can drive greater client/customer satisfaction – Being able to quickly sign important documents with an online signature can have a significant effect on how happy your clients are with the service they receive. The ability to sign instantaneously may also boost retention rates as contracts come up for renewal.

6. It’s simple – Complex procedures and unnecessary steps can have a negative effect on productivity in the workplace. Simple hassle-free procedures on the other hand can free up time and increase the amount of work that gets done on a day to day basis. Once you’ve created an electronic signature, digital signing can be done with just a few mouse clicks.

7. It’s easy to verify the signer’s identity – A digital signature contains a unique electronic key, so you know who signed the document, so you don’t need to painstakingly analyse signatures to check if it’s the real deal.

Take a closer look at Nuance’s Power PDF to find out more about its digital signing capabilities and other features.

Sources:

Sign documents instantly and securely

Nuance Power PDF allows you to sign any document digitally, and has many other versatile features to streamline your document workflows.

Learn more

Tags: , , , ,