What Is a Wet Signature? 5 Benefits & Disadvantages

wet signature definition guide

Back then, when offices used to rely heavily on paper printing, wet signatures were the norm. However, times have changed, and many businesses have shifted to document digitalization. Thus, using a handwritten ink-based signature may only put you at a disadvantage.

By learning more about the benefits and disadvantages of using a wet signature, you can determine whether it is still safe to keep signing your documents on paper.


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what is a wet signature

When asked to provide a wet signature, you must ensure that you aren’t confusing it with other types of signatures. After all, failing to follow instructions could lead to costly failures and damaging consequences. Given that there are documents that only honor physical signatures, you have to be extra mindful about the type of signature that you will use.

What Is a Wet Signature?

A wet signature is a physically or manually written signature. You can either draw it with a pencil or any ink-based pen. The term stems from the fact that you are using ink to write or draw your signature. Also, it does take some time to dry up, hence why it’s called “wet.”

Are Wet Signatures Necessary?

Despite posing several security risks, government offices still require wet signatures for specific documents, especially when there’s a need for the Notary Public to verify the identity of the person who signed the will, affidavit, or sworn statement. Some businesses may also require you to use your physical signature to execute documents such as promissory notes, commercial leases, and mortgage agreements.

Benefits and Disadvantages

A wet signature may be less secure against sophisticated attacks, but it still comes in handy when you’re in a situation wherein you need to adapt. For example, you can physically write your signature on a personal note or handwritten letter. However, when there’s a need to execute a document such as agreements and contracts, you might want to weigh your best options. 

Some of the downsides of using a physically handwritten signature include:

1.) Slower transactions

Obtaining a physical signature often leads to prolonged lead times. It may even take weeks, or worse, your document gets sent back unsigned. You may also resort to taking long commutes and request an in-person meeting before you can close a deal with a prospective partner or client.

2.) Security vulnerabilities

Physical signatures are more prone to security vulnerabilities. They’re easy to copy, modify, and forge. It’s also hard to determine whether a signature is authentic unless you hire a forensic handwriting expert.

3.) Time consuming

There is no way to simplify your document signing tasks. Apart from being time-consuming, it is also tedious since you have to go through multiple steps, which often involves a lot of repetitive tasks. It also affects the document’s accuracy due to the increased risk of human errors.

4.) Counterproductive

Instead of focusing on tasks that yield good results, you are stuck doing non-core tasks, such as having to write your signature over and over. It also prolongs a transaction, often resulting in increased losses due to dissatisfied clients and customers. 

5.) Unsustainable

Printing and signing documents require ink and paper, which can be costly, especially if you need to print hundreds or thousands of pages. You also need to allot some budget on gas and other travel-related expenses. Instead of looking for long-term solutions to lower your costs, you end up spending way more than your budget. Plus, the continued use of ink and paper damages the ecosystem. It’s not eco-friendly since printing often leads to a high volume of paper waste.

How Do You Send a Wet Physical Signature?

While you may not be able to send or share your handwritten signature in its physical form, there is a simple way to overcome this roadblock. If your goal is to retain the handwritten aspect of your signature, all you need is to scan and share it online via email or direct message. Even so, it’s important to note that this method won’t help preserve your document’s integrity. If you want to use your handwritten signature to execute documents, it would be best if you convert it into an electronic signature first.

How to Turn Your Wet Signature into an Electronic Signature?

Turning your handwritten signature into an electronic signature is easy, especially if you have an app like Fill. Unlike other online signature makers, our web-based eSignature tool has a built-in scanner. There’s also an option for you to import your scanned signature directly from your computer or phone gallery.

With Fill, you can automatically convert your physical signature into a legally binding electronic signature in just three easy steps. Here’s how:

1.) Open the Fill app on your iOS or Android device.

2.) Go to Settings and select My Signatures.

3.) Select New Signature and then choose Import to upload your scanned signature. The app will automatically convert it into a legally binding electronic signature. Select Save, and that’s it.

To add your signature to a document, hold and drag it to your desired field or area. It’s that simple.

See also: How to Create a Handwritten Signature Online.

Final Thoughts

By knowing how and when to use your wet signature, you’ll be able to decide what’s best depending on the situation. You can also implement ways to make it less vulnerable to security threats by converting it into a legally binding electronic signature. This way, you can still use your handwritten signature to sign documents while ensuring that it’s safe and well-protected against identity thieves and online fraudsters.

Want a faster and smoother way to execute documents? Fill has all the features and options you need to streamline your document processes. With our mobile and web-based apps, you have all the freedom to sign documents from anywhere, at any time. Take a free tour to learn more about how it works.

Kent Cañas

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