Signatures have found diverse applications, from validating documents and authenticating artwork to leaving an autograph or a heartfelt birthday card.
With electronic signatures, you no longer need to be physically present to sign an important document. You can edit PDF files and add handwritten signatures from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
In this article, we’ll explore why businesses sign documents online in order to fast-track authorization processes.
The evolution from traditional to electronic signatures
The shift from handwritten to digitally generated signatures is similar to how we used to send letters in the mail, but now we use email for instant communication.
Traditional signatures, where you use a pen to sign on paper, have been how we confirm things for a long time. They are like your stamp saying, “I agree” to the terms of a contract or any other document.
Electronic signatures involve signing a document on your computer or phone instead of pen and paper. You can add eSignature to PDF documents without the need to be there in person. Plus, they speed up your workflow.
What are the benefits of eSignatures?
Here are some reasons why eSignatures are becoming popular in modern workplaces.
eSignatures lets you sign documents on your computer or phone without printing, scanning, and mailing them. This means you don’t waste time dealing with paper, so things get done faster. Whether it’s a business contract or a simple consent form, the process is more efficient, enabling swift decision-making and improved productivity.
Convenience for users
As remote work and global collaboration become more prominent, the ability to sign documents online from anywhere and whenever is convenient is a plus. Whether on a business trip, working remotely, or simply at home, eSignatures make signing papers a breeze, allowing you to stay productive and efficient on your schedule.
With eSignatures solutions, you can share, sign, and fill out forms within minutes, as opposed to days or weeks that it might take for people to sign in the old-fashioned way. This optimized workflow speeds up decision-making, project timelines, and overall business operations.
Paperless and environmentally friendly workflows
When you eSign a document, you can process it electronically without needing to print it out. So, there’s no need to worry about finding a place to keep a paper copy.
Also, by eliminating the need for physical documents, eSignatures protects the environment by saving trees, reducing water usage, and curbing energy consumption associated with paper production, printing, and shipping.
This lowers an organization’s carbon footprint, which is good for the planet, and it also helps organizations be more eco-friendly and create less waste.
Many eSignature PDF tools have robust security features that protect the integrity and authenticity of signed documents.
Some of these security features include password protection, two-factor authentication, and biometric verification. They ensure that only authorized individuals can sign a document.
Moreover, many of these platforms provide detailed audit trails, which record every action taken on a document. This creates transparency and accountability, allowing you to track who signed a document reducing the risk of disputes or fraud.
In many countries, including the United States (under the ESIGN Act and UETA), eSignatures are legally recognized and considered equivalent to handwritten signatures as long as they meet specific requirements.
These requirements often include ensuring the signer’s intent, maintaining document integrity, and providing a means to identify the signer securely.
Five eSignature tools for modern workflows
Here are some modern eSignature solutions that can help you simplify and hasten document approval processes.
Lumin is a cloud-based PDF editing platform created to help individuals, businesses, and teams get work done digitally. This PDF signature tool is easy to use since it requires little or no onboarding for non-technical users.
With Lumin PDF, you can say goodbye to printing, signing, and scanning paper documents. This PDF tool offers free and paid options. So, you can start working with the essential editing tools before upgrading to the paid option.
Other available Lumin PDF features include document conversion, annotation, locking and unlocking, tracking, editing, merging, and fillable form creation.
This user-friendly eSignature tool is known for its document creation, templates, and integration capabilities. With PandaDoc, you can create, edit, send, track, and eSign documents quickly and easily.
The platform provides legally valid and secure eSignature capabilities. This saves time and enhances the efficiency and convenience of document management and approval processes.
PandaDoc also has a vast library of templates for various forms of documents. The eSignature solution is available via a subscription-based pricing model on a per-user basis.
Adobe Fill and Sign
As the name suggests, Adobe Fill and Sign is an Adobe product that simplifies the process of filling out and signing documents digitally. You can sign documents by either drawing them with your finger or stylus or importing a pre-saved signature image.
Adobe Fill & Sign complies with eSignature laws, making the signed documents legally binding in many regions. While Adobe Fill & Sign offers many advantages, the features depend on your subscription plan.
And most importantly, you get access to other products in the Adobe Cloud.
SignNow is a cloud-based eSignature solution for small, medium-sized, and large businesses. The electronic signature PDF solution supports online collaboration and teamwork and scales with your workflow.
SignNow also works on mobile. This platform offers paid options with different subscription plans. The tool is secure and compliant with ESIGN and other data regulations.
Being one of the biggest names in the industry, DocuSign has the core functionality required to sign contracts online. It is a fast and reliable tool for electronically signing agreements.
DocuSign also has robust safety and security measures for managing all kinds of electronic documents, including contracts, quotes, agreements, and letters.
DocuSign offers four different pricing plans for individuals and businesses. You can also use the browser extension to sign your documents.
You’ll agree that while the historical significance of signatures as markers of individuality and purpose remains, their practical application has changed over time. This is primarily due to advancements in technology and the provision of helpful tools.
Modernizing the authorization process through digital signatures in PDF documents is a sign of progress and adapting to technology in our personal lives and the corporate world. This progress fosters sustainability and adaptability, accommodating the needs of a dynamic and interconnected global economy.