What is a Electronic signature or Digital signature?
Digital Signature also called as electronic signature or e signatures or esign are the digital confirmation of a sender’s intent to sign a document. Electronic signatures are the signature at the end of an email or the signature at the end of an e-filed tax return.
With the shift to a remote work model, more businesses are adopting esignatures every day. But the acceptance of esignatures has also given rise to scams & identify thefts. According to a report by Tech Digest, Amazon (17.7%) & DHL (16.5%) topped the list for the most impersonated brands in email phishing attacks worldwide last year. And that is why it is important that users fully understand the applications of electronic signatures and the service providers that are at the forefront of this technology.
When can you use Esignatures?
People have been signing documents electronically for many years, but there are plenty who don’t know what documents they can or cannot sign electronically. Here are a few documents you can & cannot sign using esignatures as per the CCLA (Contract & Commercial Law Act, 2017).
Documents where you can use Digital signatures:
- Real estate agreements
- Leasing agreements
- Commercial agreements
- Director resolutions
- Shareholder resolutions
Documents where you cannot use Esign:
- Testamentary documents like Wills
- Statutory declarations
- Powers of Attorney
- Information that is required to be given in writing
*Note: Different countries have different laws concerning the application of e sign. The best way to confirm which document can or cannot be electronically signed is by checking with the concerned authorities.
Is Esign safe?
Esign or electronic document signing is one of the Safest forms of digital confirmation. Esign comes with an electronic record & geotag that serve as an audit trail. The trail contains every action performed on the document, including when & where it was opened, edited & signed. Audit trails help to resolve conflicts like signature thefts & more.
But the question we need to ask is can e sign be stolen? To which the answer is yes, but only if the user clicks on a malicious link or email. One of the most common ways of acquiring an e sign is called Phishing. This report by security intelligence details how hackers infiltrate user accounts and acquire their e-signatures & other information using fake emails.
The best way to counter these digital threats is by educating yourself & your staff on ways of identifying & protecting their information from such traps.
What are the benefits of Digital signatures?
Consistent: Inconsistent signatures are rejected by banks & government bodies. Once created, an e signature can be replicated in any number of documents ensuring the consistency & authenticity of the signature.
Time-saving: E signatures reduce the time required to transfer documents in person or via mail.
Cost-effective: Going digital reduces traditional business costs related to paper supplies, stationery, and storage units, as well as non-traditional costs such as damages due to misfiling of documents, improper signing, etc.
Better data security: Electronic signatures are one of the most secure digital imprints. They can be safeguarded with encryptions, and two-factor authentication, and tracked using electronic records.
Fast & efficient: The availability of e signatures results in faster document signing & better productivity across the organization.
What is a wet signature?
Wet signatures or wet ink signatures are signatures written on a piece of paper using a pen or a name seal. Wet signatures are the traditional way of signing documents, with more than 80% of businesses worldwide still opting for wet signatures. But the rise of smart devices, and the improved accessibility & security of electronic signatures has resulted in more businesses shifting to e signatures over the last few years.
Are wet signatures required?
The Contract & Commercial Law Act of 2017 (CCLA) states both wet signatures & e signatures carry the same legal weight. This means wet signatures aren’t mandatory for any organization, however, there are plenty of businesses & government bodies that still prefer wet signatures, particularly for documents such as loan agreements, purchase or sale agreements, and specific contracts & transactions.
Do e signatures include scanned signatures?
Yes, e sign also include scanned signatures. A wet signature can be scanned and converted into an e sign
Are e signatures legally binding?
Yes, e signatures are legally binding. As per the Contract & Commercial Law Act of 2017, e signatures hold the same value as wet signatures in a court of law. E signatures are legally binding in more than 27 countries, including the USA, India, Canada, Australia & more. Users need to conduct their research as to which documents can be signed electronically & which need an in-person written signature.
Examples of Digital Signature?
Here are some examples of digital signature you might have come across:
- The signature at the end of an email
- The signature on the invoice of an online retail purchase
- The signature on an e-ticket
Best Esignature software?
Here are some of the best Esignature software based on factors like additional services offered, pricing, security, integration capabilities, etc:
How to create an E signature
There are many ways of creating an E signature:
- Design your E signature in Paint or Microsoft Word’s signature tool
- Use an online signature generator or electronic signature app
- Get a free electronic signature template based on your name or credentials
- Write your signature on a piece of paper, capture it using your phone & upload it to the system as an e signature
How to create an electronic signature using GLOBODOX – Document Management System
GLOBODOX is a document management system which comes with electronic signatures feature. Creating an e signature with GLOBODOX is very simple. You can create a custom e signature or even select an image as a signature in GLOBODOX. You can also customize the font, color, size & border of your e signatures.
Here’s how you can create a new e signature in GLOBODOX:
Tools -> Template Manager -> Stamps & Signatures -> New
Use the ‘New’ tab to customize your signature. Once the e signature is created, click on ‘Save & Close’.
How do I insert an e-signature into a PDF?
Signing PDF documents such as invoices, receipts & legal contracts is one of the most important features of an esignature. Most pdf viewer’s such as Adobe Reader or Foxit allows users to add a signature to PDF files using a built-in PDF signer or by creating a PDF signature.
All you have to do is… in the pdf viewer application find the Fill & Sign option and add your signature. Now you have to select your added signature and click on the area you want to apply it on.
This is how GLOBODOX lets you insert an esignature into a PDF:
- Select a PDF document to insert the signature
- Click the Signature button in the Annotations Toolbar
- Select the signature you want to add
- Drag the pointer on the PDF document to insert the signature
- Drag to resize the signature
How do I insert an e signature into a Word document?
MS Word comes with a built in option of inserting signature. You can used your signature image to sign a Word document.
To add a signature on MS Word…
- Open the Word document. Click where you want to insert the line.
- Click Insert > Signature Line > Microsoft Office Signature Line.
- On the pop-up, type in the signer’s name and title, so they know where to sign
- Click OK to add the Signature Line.
- Now on the document, right click on the line signature. Choose Sign… option
- Select your signature image and click Sign. Your signature will appear on the document.
Here is how GLOBODOX lets you insert an esignature into a Word document.
- Select a Word document to insert the signature
- Click the Signature button in the Annotations Toolbar
- Select your signature to add
- Drag the pointer on the Word document to insert the signature
- Drag to resize the signature
Note: E signatures are not permanently imprinted on any document in GLOBODOX, which means that they can be moved or deleted. To permanently imprint the signature, click on the Burn button in the Mini Toolbar. You can also select to display/hide the signer’s information using the Information button.
What document formats does GLOBODOX support for e signatures?
GLOBODOX allows you to sign all popular document formats, including Word documents (.doc), PDF files (.pdf), Excel sheets (.xls) & more.
GLOBODOX also provides an industry-grade encryption system that can be used to store documents & e-signatures, and an in-app electronic tracking system that acts as an audit trail for e-signatures.
What is GLOBODOX?
GLOBODOX document management software (DMS) has been a widely recognized name in the document management space for more than 22 years. GLOBODOX is a 5-star rated document management system with users in more than 60 countries around the world. GLOBODOX’s user-friendly design & wide range of features have made it the perfect choice for 2500+ businesses, including MNCs like Hutch, Tata, Westin, FDA, Nasa & many more.
GLOBODOX provides features like automated indexing, document linking & stacking, document retention, workflow automation, document access control, document encryption & more. GLOBODOX provides both on-premise & cloud based document management solutions, and is one of the pioneers of the workflow or process automation industry.GLOBODOX is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, IOS & Android operating systems.
The cost & application benefits of e-signatures are going to make them the norm in the coming years. Businesses need to start understanding & implementing this technology as early as possible.
We hope this article has left you with a better understanding of e-signatures. But if you still have any questions or queries, please leave a comment below.
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