Traditional paper-based methods of signing documents are becoming less and less popular each day. After all, signing papers manually can be time-consuming and unreliable. This is because wet signatures are more susceptible to forgery. What is more, verifying a manual signature’s authenticity takes more time than its digital counterparts.
This is where electronic signature pads are given the spotlight. Digital signature pads provide a modern solution to this problem by allowing users to sign documents electronically, in a fast, secure, and legally binding way.
This blog will walk you through the basics, advantages, applications, and best practices of using signature pads for electronic signatures.
What Is an Electronic Signature Pad?
An electronic signature pad is a device that captures a person’s signature digitally. You write on a touch-sensitive screen with a stylus. The captured signature represents the signer’s electronic signature.
The electronic signature from a signing pad can be stored and transmitted automatically. They may be connected to a computer or other device to enable transfer to a document or other electronic format.
How Do eSignature Pads Work?
Electronic signature pads capture the movement of a stylus or finger on a specialized pad or screen. The pad or screen is sensitive to pressure and movement and records the signature as a series of coordinates.
These coordinates are then converted into a digital format, such as an image or a vector file. Some digital signature pads include a display screen allowing the user to view the signature as it is captured. This also allows the user to make adjustments if necessary.
After capturing the signature, it can be embedded into an electronic document or other formats. This can be achieved by utilizing software specifically designed for electronic signature pads. Alternatively, the end user can opt for a general-purpose document editing software that supports the import of electronic signatures.
Once integrated, the document can be saved, printed, or sent electronically. Some eSignature pads also include security features such as encryption to protect the signature and the document from unauthorized access.
Types of Electronic Signature Pads
There are several electronic signature pads available, which vary based on their features, functionality, and form factor. Some common types of electronic signature pads include:
Standalone signature pads
Standalone signature pads are pads that do not require a connection to a computer or other device to operate. Allowing users to view and sign the document directly on the pad, they typically consist of a:
- signature capture area/display screen
- a stylus or pen, and
- a USB or other type of connection for device transfer
- built-in storage
Tablet signature pads
This eSignature pad usually has a touch-sensitive screen for capturing signatures. It may also include additional features like built-in storage, Wi-Fi connectivity, and the ability to run apps. You can use it for signature capture for documents, payment processing, and data collection.
Electronic signature capture devices
Also called ‘e-pens’, this type of electronic signing pad is a hardware device that is placed on top of a paper document. It captures the signature and then sends the image data to a computer.
Biometric signature pads
This sign pad uses biometric technology, such as fingerprint or handwriting recognition, to capture and verify signatures. They are typically more secure than other types of electronic signature pads.
Electronic signature software
Electronic signature software lets users sign and send documents electronically, reducing the need for physical signatures and paper-based processes. The software uses cryptography to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the electronic signature. These may be used on a touch-enabled device such as a tablet, a smartphone, or a touch-screen computer.
Advantages of Using Signature Pads for Electronic Signatures
A sign pad has been an effective tool for streamlining a business’ workflow. It has greatly helped in many ways, such as:
- Convenience: eSignature pads allow users to sign documents electronically without having to print, sign, and scan physical copies.
- Time-saving: Electronic signatures can be completed much faster than traditional signature methods.
- Increased security: Signature pads use encryption to secure the signature, which lessens the risk of fraud and tampering.
- Environmentally friendly: Electronic signatures reduce paper usage, making the signature process more eco-friendly.
- Accessibility: Through a sign pad, eSignatures can be created from anywhere, making it easier for all needed to sign documents.
- Cost-effective: Electronic signatures save time and resources compared to traditional signature methods, reducing costs for businesses and individuals.
How Are Electronic Signature Pads Being Used Today
Many sectors use signature pads for electronic signatures. It has evolved into a very useful tool over the course of time.
- Contract Signing: Electronic signature pads are widely used to sign contracts and agreements, such as loan applications, real estate documents, and employment contracts.
- Healthcare: Electronic signatures are used in the healthcare industry for patient consent forms, the release of information forms, and other medical documentation.
- Government: Government agencies are using electronic signature pads to process a variety of forms, including tax forms, immigration documents, and voting ballots.
- Financial Services: Banks and other financial institutions use electronic signatures to process loan applications, account opening forms, and other financial documents.
- Human Resources: HR departments use electronic signature pads for employee onboarding, benefits enrollment, and other personnel-related forms.
Education: Schools and universities are using electronic signatures for student enrollment, financial aid forms, and other student-related documents.
Retail: Retail businesses are using electronic signature pads for customer contracts, purchase orders, and warranty forms.
How to Integrate Electronic Signature Pads Into Your Workflow
Employing digital signature pads in your processes is easy. Below are some practices you can follow:
It is crucial to provide training to employees on how to use the signature pads and software effectively. Training can help employees to avoid common mistakes and errors when using electronic signature pads. This ensures that contracts are signed accurately and securely.
This also provides users with best practices for using electronic signature pads in their workflows. You can expect improved work performance and efficiency by increasing user adoption of the new technology.
Establishing clear processes for signature pad help to standardize the contract signing process. Some processes you should follow for obtaining and storing electronic signatures include document management, signature tracking, and retention.
This minimizes errors and improves the overall efficiency of the workflow. It also ensures that the authorized people sign the right contracts improving accountability. You can rest assured that the same steps are followed each time a contract is signed.
Tracking usage can help to identify any challenges with user adoption and problems with the sign pad itself. With proper assessment, you can quickly address these issues and resolve them. Make adjustments as needed to improve efficiency and security.
Regular monitoring and evaluation of the use of electronic signature pads also help continually improve the signing process. It also helps businesses to determine the return on investment (ROI) of signature pads, justifying future investments in technology.
Choose a software solution
Select an electronic signature software like Fill that meets your needs and integrates with your existing systems. Software solutions offer additional features such as document management, secure storage, and collaboration tools. Moreover, it can be easily scaled to meet changing business needs and can support a large number of users.
Fill has built-in security measures such as encryption, digital signatures, and secure storage to protect sensitive information. This tool also complies with regulatory requirements in various industries like healthcare.
Fill: The Preferred Electronic Signature Software by Businesses
In today’s business world, electronic signature pads are a must-have tool for any organization. But signature software like Fill paves the way for a more convenient signature-creation process.
Fill is a platform that helps reduce costs through paperless signing. Making a contract or form in minutes is achievable when you use our repository of free templates.
Not just that, this integrated tool maintains legal compliance with federal laws like HIPAA. It also protects documents from unauthorized access through its military-grade encryption and signer ID verification. Indeed, you can easily sign your documents safely and legally with our software.
Utilize a signature solution that is chosen by many. Start using Fill for free today.