Nowadays, practically all activities take place online. The internet has permeated every aspect of our everyday life, from banking to shopping to communication. However, official papers are one thing that still needs a physical signature. Instead of printing, signing, scanning, and sending papers, it may now also be done online thanks to digital signatures. The top 10 reasons for using digital signature online are discussed in this article.
Digital signatures provide great convenience over physical signatures. The signing process can now be completed entirely online without any need for paper or physical exchange of documents. Signers can review and sign documents digitally from any smartphone, tablet or computer with an internet connection. This allows signing to be done remotely and on the go, without being confined to office desks or needing to print papers. It also removes coordination hassles while circulating documents for multiple signatories. With digital signatures, sharing and e-signing documents is as easy as sending an email. Signers can seamlessly review and approve contracts and agreements digitally right from their digital device without printing or scanning requirements.
Digital signatures provide a significant boost in the speed of signing documents. With physical signatures, there used to be lag times involved in printing documents, getting signatures from multiple parties, and couriering signed copies between locations. This slow process caused delays in completing agreements and contracts. Digital signatures have eliminated these inefficiencies. Now as soon as a document is received online, it can be instantly reviewed and signed digitally on any smart device without any printing or postal delays. Signed documents are immediately returned electronically to the sender. This expedites the entire workflow and allows businesses to work in real-time.
Digital signatures offer enhanced security over physical signatures. They use public key infrastructure (PKI) which assigns unique digital IDs to users through certificates. When a document is signed, PKI utilizes the digital certificate to authenticate the signer’s identity. The signing process takes place in an encrypted environment so the document contents and signer’s details cannot be tampered with. This guarantees that the integrity of a record is preserved. Since the signature is bound to the user’s private key, forgery is almost impossible. Physical signatures on the other hand do not use encryption. The signer cannot be verified with certainty and signatures can be replicated without valid consent.
Laws around the world have been changing to acknowledge digital signatures as a lawful replacement for physical signatures. Many nations now have legal frameworks that view digital signatures as carrying equal legal weight as handwritten signatures on paper. Through laws and acts passed by legislative bodies, digital signatures that follow certain encryption protocols during the signing process are recognized in courts. As long as encryption standards are properly implemented, documents signed digitally will be legally binding similar to traditionally signed paper contracts. This provides legal certainty for agreements involving digital signatures. The legislation aims to remove any doubts regarding the validity and enforceability of contracts signed electronically rather than by hand on paper.
Digital signatures provide significant cost savings compared to traditional paper-based signing. Using digital signatures avoids expenses related to printing, shipping and storing physical documents. Organizations no longer need to regularly purchase supplies like paper, ink cartridges and file storage to facilitate agreements. The costs of courier services to transport documents for signature are also eliminated. Digital signatures streamline processes online, making it unnecessary to pay for specialized e-signing software in many cases as basic digital signature capabilities are offered freely. Overall preparation, approval and archiving of contracts digitally results in lower expenses than dealing with physical documents and their lifecycle costs.
With growing environmental concerns, digital signatures are a greener alternative to physical signatures. They reduce paper usage, lower carbon footprint from printing as well as transportation. Digital signing helps organizations become more sustainable by minimizing their dependency on physical documents. It supports the concept of paperless offices. Moving interactions, agreements as well as the record-keeping online in digital formats is better for the environment.
Digital signature solutions provide a detailed audit trail of all signing activities right from document access to the final signature. You can track who accessed a document, when it was signed, as well as from which device. This level of tracking is not possible with physical signatures. The audit trail helps resolve any disputes as well as non-repudiation issues. It acts as evidence in case the authenticity or sequence of events during signing is ever questioned.
With digital signatures, location ceases to be a barrier. You can sign documents as well as agreements from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. This facilitates remote working as well as global business partnerships. Documents can be routed digitally between parties located in different cities or countries for signature. Digital signatures break geographical limitations as well as allow seamless collaboration across borders.
Digital signature solutions make it easy to manage document versions. Any updates or revisions to a document are tracked as well as signed versions are stored. This ensures that all stakeholders are referring to the latest version. With physical documents, it can be difficult to track which version is the most current one in circulation. Digital signatures eliminate confusion over document versions.
Many digital signature providers offer application programming interfaces (APIs) that allow their solutions to be easily integrated with other systems. Documents can flow seamlessly between these platforms for signature. Pre-built integrations provide a unified signing experience within the existing workflow systems used by organizations.
Digital signatures provide numerous advantages over physical signatures. They streamline processes, improve security and compliance, reduce costs as well as boost productivity. As technology continues to evolve rapidly, digital transformation is inevitable. Organizations should embrace digital signatures to future-proof their operations and sign processes. With their increased convenience, security, and legal standing – digital signatures are certainly the way forward for businesses and professionals.