Are Digital Signatures an Acceptable Business Practice?

Digital signatures are the smart way to operate in 2015, allowing business owners to authorize and send documents around the world at the touch of a button.

It’s a global trend. With 11% of American companies and 3.5% of UK companies now regularly using digital signatures, numbers are growing all the time, according to the 2014 Adobe Systems survey.

Innovative companies like eFax, offering virtual fax systems with free cloud storage, include digitized signature technology in all their packages.

So let’s have a look at what this means for modern businesses.

What is a digital signature?

An electronic signature is often in the form of a digitized image of a handwritten signature, which can be attached to electronic documents before they are sent.

Status of electronic and digital signing around the world

Most countries now accept the use of electronic and digital signatures on documents, and it makes a lot of sense to do so given that we live in a digital world.

More and more businesses are going paperless and communicating mostly online, which means being able to attach an electronic signature does away with the need to print out, sign, scan and email important documents.

In 2013, the United Nations Convention on the use of Electronic Communications in International Contracts came into force, aimed at standardizing the use of electronic signatures.

In 2014, the European Union agreed to accept electronic signatures, with the specific aim of helping individuals, consumers and traders to integrate their online use.

Advantages of using digital signing

Computer. It’s a simple, quick and convenient way of dragging and dropping your stored digital signature into a document before sending.

Mobile or handheld device. You can fax documents authorized with your digital signature across the globe. Using the eFax Mobile App, just take a picture of your handwritten signature with the phone’s built-in camera and add it to your document. Tap ‘sign faxes’, then save.

Office. Forget physically signing and posting that mountain of paper documents at the end of each day. Pop in a digital signature then Fax-to-Email anywhere in the world in just a few clicks, using eFax digital technology.

Green cred. The use of a digitized signature has the benefit of drastically reducing paper consumption in your business. Use digital signatures in conjunction with online faxing and it’s a terrific green solution. Read internet faxes directly from a computer screen, and decide if you want to print them or not – no more indiscriminate printing of advertising material and spam by your old-fashioned fax machine.

Cost. Signing documents electronically allows you to process them much faster. It reduces time spent looking for lost pieces of office paper – usually the most important and urgent ones. Storing documents in the cloud means you’ll be able to find them easily next time. All this saved time means a significant cost reduction for your business.

As well as saving paper, time and money, digitized signatures offer the ultimate in convenience and are now generally globally accepted.