Many years ago, one of the few ways documents could be legally binding was by affixing physical or wet signatures. One has to print hard copies of the document, and both parties must sign the paperwork with a pen. But time has certainly changed.
The digital revolution has paved the way for a simpler and more convenient way of signing documents. Nowadays, using electronic and digital signatures are more prevalent, casting a massive shadow on physical signatures.
Why do we still need physical signatures in today’s modern landscape, where almost everything is done digitally? Are they still relevant? Let’s explore.
Table of Contents:
- Why do we still need physical signatures?
- What are the advantages of using physical signatures?
- Physical vs Electronic Signatures: Which is Better?
- Key Takeaway
Why do we still need physical signatures?
There’s no denying that there is a massive digital shift in almost all aspects of our lives. Most transactions from banking to commerce are now done digitally or online. With all these changes happening, one can’t help but wonder, Why do we still need physical signatures in the current environment?
Although digitally signing documents has become the norm for most organizations, there is still some relevance to using physical ones. There are still documents such as mortgages and deeds that require wet signatures to be legally binding and valid. Writing a will also needs a physical signature to be honored and accepted in the court of law in most countries.
What are the advantages of using physical signatures?
Now that we have briefly explained the reason why do we still need physical signatures, let’s take a look at some of the advantages this method has over the more modern solution.
1. They are widely accepted all over the world.
Although most countries around the world consider digital and electronic signatures legally binding, a few countries still do not honor them. Physical signatures are widely accepted worldwide, regardless of the type of document you are signing.
2. They are very convenient.
For people who are a bit inexperienced with technology, using wet signatures to sign paperwork can be a more convenient way of signing. It requires no fancy gadget or equipment, just your pen and the printed copies of your documents.
3. They are harder to forge.
Why do you still need physical signatures in this day and age? To a certain extent, using wet signatures offers better protection as they are harder to forge, so they are still widely used in government forms and documents.
Physical vs Electronic Signatures: Which is Better?
Is the new better than the old? Which one offers more advantages? Let’s find out.
They both earn their own merits in terms of convenience and ease of use. As mentioned above, physical signatures are pretty straightforward. All you need is a pen, and you can sign any physical documents. That should be enough to make any paperwork legally binding. There’s no need to download any application or software.
On the other hand, while you may be required to download an esignature app, the entire document signing process becomes more straightforward when you do it digitally. You can send the documents in minutes, and there’s no need to print anything. Just a few clicks, and you’re good to go. Of course, you still have to go through the process of creating an electronic signature.
One significant advantage an electronic signature has over a wet signature is the ability to keep track of the progress of your paperwork. When you have an electronic signature app, you can receive notifications to keep you updated on whether the other party has received the document yet or if they’ve opened or signed it. It’s hard to do this with physical documents.
Going the digital route can prove to be more advantageous when it comes to cost, especially if you deal with a massive amount of documents that need signatures. Not only will you save money on paper, inks, and printer maintenance, but you also do not have to pay for courier services as files can be transmitted electronically. However, you still need to pay for the monthly or yearly electronic signature services.
Which one offers the most security and protection between physical and digital signatures? One of the reasons why do we still need physical signatures is that this method reduces the risk of forgery, as previously stated. Conversely, digital signatures offer an extra layer of protection against any form of fraudulent activity.
Why do we still need physical signatures? One of the reasons we shouldn’t completely abandon using physical signatures is that they are still widely used worldwide. It might be an old way of sealing the deal, but it most certainly is not irrelevant. Some big intuitions and organizations still prefer the traditional way over the digital approach to document handling and workflow.
However, using physical or wet signatures does not mean that you also have to do away with using electronic or digital ones. In fact, having both options can undoubtedly make your document workflow more efficient. You do not have to choose between the two. They can be used hand in hand.
Do you want to get started with electronic signatures?
If you want to use electronic signatures in conjunction with physical signatures, the best way to get started is by signing up with Fill. Once you have created your account with Fill, you will gain access to its on-screen canvas so you can make your own electronic signature. You can draw or you can also upload if you already have a digital copy of your physical signature.
Fill also allows you to get an audit trail and log in real-time so you can keep a close eye on the progress of your paperwork. Moreover, Fill simplifies the document signing process by allowing you to share links to your documents with the other parties. It allows for better accessibility while maintaining privacy and confidentiality.
For as low as $4.99 per user per month, you can also enjoy other features such as unlimited esignature requests, unlimited document uploads, customizable templates, and so much more.