Choosing the Right eSignature Solution

Choosing the right eSignature Solutions

Choosing the right eSignature solution can be concerning when you don’t have access to all the information you need. And with the rapid rise in digital transformation, eSignature solutions have become par for the course and quite frankly, no business should be without one. Fortunately, there are a host of options available. But finding the perfect solution for your business can be challenging if you’re not sure what to look out for. 

You will probably be surprised to know that here in South Africa, electronic signatures were approved back in 2002 under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA). So, they have been around for a while and from a legal perspective, the law doesn’t differentiate between electronic signatures and hand-written ones.  

When it comes to making that all-important decision, your first port of call should be to define what your business requires from an eSignature solution.  Here are some key factors to take into consideration before diving in.

Types of eSignatures

There are two main types of eSignatures, electronic and digital. Simple electronic signatures (SES) fall into the electronic category while advanced electronic signatures (AES) and qualified electronic signatures (QES) are classified as digital signatures. 

An electronic signature can be a scanned handwritten signature, or a signature drawn with digital tools. Digital signatures use encryption technology to prevent anyone from editing a digital document once it has been signed. These solutions often also provide additional steps to validate the identity of the signer.

Deciding between an electronic and digital solution comes down to your compliance requirements. If you need an audit trail and surety that the document cannot be tampered with post signature, the digital solution is the way to go.

Ease of use

It’s important to ensure that new products you add to your organisation don’t change the way you currently work. Make sure whichever solution you choose easily integrates with your existing applications like Adobe PDFs, Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.

Digital transformation should be about improving and streamlining existing processes and your eSignature solution should be simple, quick, and intuitive for everyone to use.

Flexibility

Within each business, different departments have their own specific needs. You want to ensure whichever solution you choose not only meets your existing requirements, but also your future requirements. 

Your solution should provide the flexibility to have different types of signatures. Like the ability to customise, have multiple signatures per document, and batch signing processes if necessary.

Users should be able to sign electronically no matter what time it is, where they are located and no matter which device they are using. Your eSignature solution should allow your employees, partners and clients to sign without having to install specific software.

Control

As a business, you always want to maintain control of your documents. So it is vital to ensure that all of your documents remain within your IT domain and are not saved on external servers. This is especially important to the South African market with the introduction of POPIA.

CONCLUSION

Digital transformation and eSignatures go hand in hand. They are one of the key ways to reduce manual processes within any business. We have seen a huge increase in demand for these solutions. Especially with the introduction of remote working and the hybrid work model.  

No matter which solution you choose, your business and your clients will reap the benefits of eSignatures. Leaving you wondering why you never implemented it earlier!

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