Maximising the value of digital transformation is important in most industries—and critical for survival against competition for some. Organizations that sell virtual rather than physical products, especially, have a cost base that is largely focused on processing and servicing, which makes such organizations highly sensitive to digital transformation. For these, there needs to be a concerted focus on automating core activities to boost self-service and “straight through” transaction processing.
With online e-signing it’s easy to complete a business process and to get documents signed on any device without having to meet the recipient in-person. Simply send documents out for signature to other people, get instant visibility into your document status, access completed documents, and much more. Whether you or your recipients are in the office, at home, or on the go, online e-signing works every time from every device.
If you send documents out for signature, the recipient gets an email with a link to your document and can sign on a smartphone, tablet, or any web/HTML5-enabled device without the need to download anything. You can have multiple signers and get them to sign in the order you need. E-signatures don’t just let you reach customers on the devices they most commonly use; they also let you create compliance and comfortable engagement. E-signature solutions allow you to build in markers (tags) and metadata about documents that can help consumers understand what they are signing and what fields they have to fill out. To eliminate human error, electronic documents can also include auto-check tools that identify common mistakes. All these functions together add up to a better customer experience.
This series of posts will help you to understand what a remote online e-signing solution needs to provide. With an emphasis on why the last mile to the signer needs to be closely managed and what this includes, it will help you to select the most appropriate methodologies for authenticating a remote signer. Then we will discuss the most fitting use for each signing technology—biometric, HTML5, or certificate-based signing—and why this is, depending on the actual use case. There you will see that e-signing is about more than simply signing digital documents — it’s about optimizing productivity. Finally, we also illustrate the end-to-end business process that a real-customer (The Phone House) has implemented.
Online signing solutions typically consist of the following three basic functionalities:
- Preparing and sending
Each task has certain typical steps, as outlined below.
- Start a new “envelope” (a container used to send one or more documents for signature)
- Add documents (and other content types)
- Add recipients
- If you are uploading a PDF document with form fields, the fields are automatically detected
- Place tags/markers in the document for signatures, attachments and other information
- Add your subject and email message
- Set recipient options, reminders, expirations, and more
- Send the envelope/document for signature.
- Signers receive an email with a link to the document
- They click the link
- There is typically no need to download or sign up for anything
- They may have to further authenticate themselves
- They can review and print the document or complete form fields and add attachments
- Whenever they are ready, they sign using a mouse or stylus by hand (on their smartphone, tablet, PC, etc.), or they “Click to sign” or “Type to sign” from any web-enabled device.
- Typically, you will have implemented a dashboard to check the status of your documents. This way you always know where your document is in the signing process. You can set reminders and be notified at each step of the process.
- Further, you can manage internal users and adjust branding by Business Line or Use Case if required.
Preparing, sending, and managing are discussed in more detail in section 2—“Managing the Last Mile.” What needs to be done to actually sign a document that is distributed via the web is then discussed in detail in the following sections, which also describe the two main steps in this process:
- User (signer) authentication (see Section 3)
- Signature execution (see Section 4).
… read more next week.