HomeLawyer ArticlesThe Raging Debate between Physical Signatures and E-signatures!

The Raging Debate between Physical Signatures and E-signatures!

In this digital age, the advent of e-signature is a much welcome addition in the corporate environment. With the introduction of e-signature software applications, the amount of companies that have adopted this system has grown astronomically.

The appeal and prospects this software offers are tremendous. For law firms and other personnel associated with the law firm business, it is imperative to understand the pros and cons of electronic signatures, given the nature of the industry. In this piece, we will briefly explore the merits and demerits of e-signature software applications. It can better assist law firms to gauge the advantages and disadvantages before they permanently adopt the system.

Merits of E-Signature Software 

E-signatures are Easy-to-Use

There is no denying that documents are much faster and easier to sign when compared to physical ones. That goes for both employees and customers, too. Electronic signatures are done within a matter of seconds. This saves a tremendous amount of costs and time on an annual basis.  

Near-perfect Accuracy

This is the single biggest advantage of these e-signature applications. It requires a signature on a one-off basis, which can be added in all the documents in the future. Now let’s look at it this way – law firms send documents that require signatures to clients and the clients can submit signed documents, whenever needed. Otherwise, forged signatures can cost huge fees in settling lawsuits out of court.   

Expedite the Business Processes

In the olden days, the clerks would sign documents all day long, just to make sure that business procedures were executed unhindered. But with the advent of electronic signature softwares, you can save your signatures and use them whenever required. This actually reduces needless back and forth, too.

Demerits of E-signature Software

Limited Data Storage Options

Most, if not all, electronic signature application providers require its customers to store all the information on their servers as long as they have subscribed to their service. For many of the law firms that handle major lawsuits and well-known clients, this is a privacy concern, which is a problem for most large-scale firms.

Even though the e-signature companies do offer complete control of the customer information, it is still vital to know about their standard operating procedure regarding data.

Legitimate Concerns over Tampering

Many companies that offer electronic signature applications often make over the top claims about their e-signature application being completely tamper-proof. However, it is not entirely accurate or more a case of misleading marketing. Entry-level softwares cannot protect against forging and other types of tampering. On the other hand, only digital signatures, in reality, offers complete protection to its users.

Cost Factor still Exists

These e-signature software suites provide a range of subscription options for companies to purchase. This is still a part of annual expenditures incurred by a firm. Nevertheless, the electronic signature does boost the efficiency, the operational speed of the firms and brings down the organizational costs considerably. 

So, what is the Way Forward?

Now that we have the pros and cons out of the way, it is all a matter of personal choice and feasibility. It is vital to gauge these variables before purchasing an e-signature software. We hope that this piece has cleared any existing doubts, over the top claims made by some e-signature companies and allow you to make an informed decision about e-signature softwares.

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