As you start to think about how to turn your old paper-based process into a digital process, keep in mind that you will need a high level of flexibility within your e-signature suite. There are many different use cases, participants in the process, types of devices that you and your clients will want to use during the process, and actions that need to be completed within this last step in completing a contract.
A robust e-signature solution helps you to manage the e-signature process from beginning to end in a complete and totally secure way, and also ensures that all participants can easily access the final signed document. The goal is for the signer to have the best possible user experience when completing a document-based transaction so that she or he would like to do it again, which potentially leads to new business opportunities.
Thus, an e-signature solution needs to do more than just capture a signature; it needs to improve the entire process that comes with it, including processes inside and outside the document itself. Additionally, customers are seeking an omni-channel experience, with the flexibility to start a transaction in one channel and complete it in another one. Consequently, they need to be able to close transactions from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
All these requirements are best fulfilled with a true e-signature platform built to support the relevant business cases end-to-end.
More than just signature capturing
Completing a contract involves not just signing, but potentially also editing, filling out the document itself, or attaching other documents. The more complex this process is, the greater the likelihood is that mistakes will be made, which makes providing proper guidance to the signers highly desirable to avoid expensive process mistakes. Finally, workflow rules for document distribution and completion help to ensure that all participants are automatically involved at the right time so that the sender only has to step in if something goes wrong.
Enable signers to work with documents as if they were paper
In many cases, a document must be edited by the signer before he or she can actually sign it. For example, the signer may need to fill out form fields (such as answers to health questions in an application for a life insurance), add photos at a pre-defined location at a certain size (e.g., as proof for a real-life situation), and attach document scans (e.g., of the signer’s ID) or other attachments. Additionally, you may even want to allow the signer to edit the document without any constraints as if it were a piece of paper. For example, the signer could make annotations (with a typewriter or freehand), or highlight certain areas (with a text marker), which are basic document tools often used when concluding a contract
Guide signers in a document
You must be able to design the optimal user experience and enforce workflow rules within a document in order to eliminate expensive process failures such as missing signatures, data entries, or attachments. Therefore, you will want to add signature fields and other tags to help your signers know precisely what actions you want them to take, where in the document you want them to sign or to add information such as user data or photos, and in what order.
Easy and secure access to the signed document
Once a document is signed you typically need to provide all external signers an easy way to access the signed document. However, a simple e-mail won’t work, because e-mail is not viewed as a secure delivery mechanism.
To overcome this issue, the recipient only gets a download link to the document. To ensure that only the intended recipient downloads the actual document you may define a required client authentication – e.g. via SMS/TAN using the mobile phone number you already got (e.g. from the application form / signed document). This way the recipient does not even need a registered user account, which means he does not need to remember login data such as username and password.
The same process can be also used to safely deliver documents to signers that have been created based on a signed document. An example for this is an insurance policy that has been created based on a signed insurance application form.
Multi-channel and device support
Closing transactions anywhere, at any time, on any device means providing full coverage for the following channels:
- In-house point-of-sale (POS) in branches, stores, receptions, etc.—e.g., on a POS-PC with a signature screen that is used to display the document to be signed and capture a client’s signature directly on the displayed document.
- External point-of-sale through independent business partners (such as agencies)—e.g., on a POS-PC with a smartphone, so that the PC displays the document to be signed on its screen and the smartphone is used to capture the client’s handwritten signature.
- Mobile sales and service delivery (door-to-door agents)—e.g., on a mobile tablet that is used to display the document to be signed and capture a client’s signature directly on the displayed document.
- Online/remote — e.g. directly on whatever device the client is using, be it a standard PC, tablet, or smartphone.
Given that five years from now, the majority of signature transactions are expected to be closed on mobile devices, your company needs to be fully committed to offering e-signatures on all mobile platforms. That means choosing an e-signature solution that is mobile-ready and enables capturing e-signatures through any browser-based mobile device, and equipping staff, agents, and representatives with e-sign-enabled native apps.
This series of posts will help you to understand what a remote online e-signing solution needs to provide. This is post 5/5.
With SIGNificant, xyzmo provides an enterprise e-signature platform that allows you to conveniently send documents for signature or simply sign them yourself online. SIGNificant efficiently provides you with the user interface and tools needed to define an optimal e-signature process and user experience. Whether for HTML5 (placeholder) signatures, biometric signatures, or digital signatures with personal certificates, the platform’s building blocks make it easy to choose the best combination of signing method and signer authentication, regardless of which signature device the recipient uses.
To better illustrate how xyzmo’s SIGNificant can be applied in selected industries for online signing scenarios, the following section outlines a real case study of a customer that implemented SIGNificant for online-signing with its end-to-end business process implemented.
- Digitally sign insurance contracts for mobile phones online in the web browser on any HTML5 device
- Signing application: SIGNificant Server with SignAnywhere
End-to-end business process:
- The client selects the insurance contract they want to add to their phone online on The Phone House website.
- The Phone House backend systems automatically create the insurance contract to be signed and send a link to the contract to be viewed and signed online to the client.
- The client opens the insurance contract in a browser that supports HTML5 and signs two signature fields through Type-2-Sign or Draw-2-Sign.
- The signed document and the audit trail are safely stored in The Phone House’s archiving system.
- The client is informed about the results of the transaction online and can access a copy of the signed insurance contract directly in their web browser session.