Today’s world has come to be largely dependent on technology in almost every aspect of life. People are readily approaching digital means to get their work done whether it be related to their professional lives or something personal to them. Likewise, the documentation process, in general, has also been influenced by this and a lot of tools are available these days to tackle it. Important documents, agreements, and contracts are also dealt with through online and electronic means as it has become the most relevant option these days considering the increased speed of transactions.
There are numerous signature services these days that provide facilities for individuals as well as businesses to deal with various types of documentation online. Signatures that are required in those documents can be done online which has greatly increased the speed at which each and every transaction is completed. Some examples of signatures that can be made online with the help of online signature services these days are digital signatures, electronic signatures and scanned signatures. All of these approaches used for the signing are legitimized with both national and international laws in place.
Let us take a detailed look at two of the three types of signatures mentioned above which are electronic signatures and scanned signatures. We will be discussing the nature of these signs, how they can be used by individuals and also proceed to compare them so that readers can determine which of these can prove to be more effective to incorporate into their work and deals for themselves and their organization.
Electronic signatures is the online alternative for signing documents. Documents can be shared in pdf formats to the signer and the signer can simply mark the document with their signature from their device. The signer needs to have an internet connection and a device to access the internet such as a smartphone, PC or laptop. Transactions can now be completely paperless with the use of electronic signatures and the need to hold on to numerous copies of documents is mitigated. Electronic signatures can be generally accessed through eSignature services that are available these days to provide you with the necessary tools to use them in your documentation process.
Using eSignatures is very simple and can be done by anyone with a basic knowledge of using electronic devices. Here are the steps to use eSignature services for all your documents and transactions.
Step1: Subscribe to an eSignature service and get the software required to access the provision for signing documents electronically.
Step 2: Integrate the software into the system that you are already using for your business. Integrating it into your current system is a really easy process and it is compatible with almost any system that you may be using.
Step 3: After the integration is completed, select any file that is stored in your system and the eSignature software provides a number of fields that you can fill to provide the provision of signing for a specific individual or a number of people depending upon the type of transaction.
Step 4: You can simply send over the authenticated files to the signers through the mail.
Step 5: The signer can access those documents on their device and after going through them they can proceed for signing those documents and they have three options to perform their signatures
- They can choose to tap on the document if the sender has already provided a field for them to do so in the document. Tapping the field will make the document bear the initials of the signer along with other specifications.
- They can choose to use their PC or Laptop’s mouse to draw their signature on the document.
- They can choose to sign the document by maneuvering their finger on a touch pad in case they are accessing the document through their smartphone or tab.
Scanned signatures are one of the simplest forms of signing through online means. A scanned signature is simply a scanned image of the signer’s wet signature. Although they seem very simplistic in nature, these signs do hold legal value. There are laws in place that deem scanned signatures suitable to be presented at a court of law. They are relatively easier to use than the eSignature and they usually do not require any specialized software to enable signing.
In order to collect scanned signatures, the party that is providing the document to be signed should have software that enables signers to upload images online into the document. Here are the steps to use scanned signatures by signers after that.
Step1: Take a signature pad or a notepad and a pen to sign.
Step 2: Put your signature on the signature pad
Step 3: You can then proceed to use a scanner to scan your signature or you can choose to simply click a picture of your sign.
Step 4: Scanned signature can be uploaded to a document that is provided with a field that can be clicked to initiate the process. You can simply browse through your documents in your device and proceed to upload the scanned image of the signature.
Let’s see how both of them compare and which type of online signature will prove to be more advantageous for the user.
Both of these signatures are undoubtedly much faster than the traditional method of signing. However, when compared to each other, the difference between both of these is not quite significant but there certainly is a winner. eSignature provides a faster signing experience as it allows users to directly put their signatures on the document after simply accessing it. Scanned signatures on the other hand require the signer to first scan or capture the image of their signature and thereafter proceed to upload it which would understandably require more time.
In terms of security, the eSignature turns out to be the clear winner once again. eSignature services provide the facility of digitally encrypting documents that can only be accessed by authorized individuals and provides better transparency to the process. Although files that require protection can certainly be provided with the necessary security for scanned signatures as well, eSignatures are highly secured by their nature itself.
eSignature proves to be more convenient for its users as it is a one-step process. The signatures can be done on the document itself and there is nothing to do outside of that. Scanned signatures on the other hand require a scanned image of a signature which requires a little extra work from signers.
Since we now know everything there is to know about eSignatures as well as scanned signatures, I think we can distinctly differentiate and analyze the prospects both of these bring to the table. I think readers can make a calculated decision for themselves with this information regarding their choice of online signatures.