For nearly two decades, the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (2000), commonly known as the ESIGN Act, has enabled businesses and consumers to conveniently and legally engage in electronic transactions and agreements. Businesses reap the benefits of saving money and time while eliminating common risks associated with manual, paper-dependent processes. Moreover, companies have enjoyed faster internal processes and greater profits from more rapidly closed transactions—a consumer benefit as much as it is a business one!
Yet despite enormous benefits to consumers and businesses alike, electronic signatures are still burdened with a few mistruths that manufacture unnecessary skepticism. If you happen to fall into the skeptic camp—or have a decision-maker who does—take a look at some of the eSign fake news after it’s been fact-checked:
1. eSignatures aren’t legally binding
Fact check: Electronic signature—or eSigning—provides businesses with a secure and legal alternative to pen and paper signatures. The UETA (1999) and the ESIGN act (2000) afford the same legal standing to digital and eSignatures as physical signatures. Citing this legislation, courts have time and time again upheld the validity of agreements and contracts completed via electronic signatures.
Businesses should ensure they’ve selected an eSign vendor that complies with all UETA and ESIGN Act guidelines. Utilizing a compliant vendor like Nintex AssureSign® ensures every electronic signature is 100 percent valid and legal.
2. eSignatures and digital signatures are the same thing
Fact Check: Despite the two often being used synonymously, electronic signatures are different than their digital signature counterparts. Digital signatures are accompanied by a uniquely assigned digital certificate key (think of this as a digital fingerprint), and uniquely identify a document’s signer. Both the originator and signer of a document must possess a certificate issued by a certification authority (CA) in order for a digital signature to be used. Because digital signatures require more steps and a third-party issuing agency, many businesses simply prefer the electronic signature. Like digital signatures, eSignatures are automatically accompanied by verified data that identifies the signer, such as their public IP address, geolocation, operating system, method of identity verification, and more. This metadata is stored in a document’s audit trail, which can be used to uphold the validity of any eSignature. This is how the United States Olympics (USOC) uses Nintex AssureSign®’s simplified electronic signature to keep athletes focused on the sports they love.
3. Electronic signature is an unnecessary expenditure
Fact Check: Since its adoption in the U.S. and U.K. nearly two decades ago, businesses implementing eSignatures have experienced a decrease in cost, increase in profit, and faster document lifecycles. Consider all the different types of documents that you send out in order to do business: sales contracts, change orders, field services, and employee/contractor onboarding, just to name a few. Shipping/mailing expenses, printing costs, and oversight are just a few of the unnecessary expenditures eliminated with a digital transaction management solution. That’s exactly how Captorra saved over $4K annually while gaining 60% more business using Nintex AssureSign®’s eSign via text solution.
4. eSignature platforms aren’t secure enough for highly sensitive documents
Fact Check: Nintex AssureSign® employs a three-layered data encryption algorithm to protect even the most confidential data when sent for eSignature. In short, all three layers are constantly rotating and encrypting data via geo-dispersed databases, rotating encryption keys, and protected data storage. All three layers leverage SHA-256 data encryption, the industry-standard in high-grade digital security. Additional security measures such as two-factor authentication and knowledge base authentication (KBA) leverage unique identifying information to prevent fraudulent signing attempts. These security features are how educational and government content management vendors like Jadu offer convenient online services without sacrificing consumer security. For more information on the eSign vendor with the industry’s best security track-record, download Nintex AssureSign®’s Legal and Security Commitment eGuide.
5. All eSignature vendors are essentially the same
Fact Check: It’s true that all eSign platforms can offer a method of digitally exchanging documents and electronically completing transactions. However, not all vendors will fit the unique needs of your business!
Look for an eSign vendor who can best meet the unique needs of your department or organization, compare those needs with the vendor differences, such as:
- Customer-centricity/quality support
- Unique to industry solutions and deployments
- White-label/branding capability
- Out-of-the-box and proprietary integrations via REST APIs
- Bulk document sending
- And others
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