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For thousands of years, humans have used handwritten signatures as proof of identity and intent. From authorizing checks and documents to concluding letters, the signature is powerful, authoritative, and—in most cases—legally binding. 

In the 21st century, advancing technology has provided new tools for giving, receiving, and verifying signatures. The electronic signature has surged in popularity over recent years, with the global e-signature market expected to grow by 27% from 2021 to 2030.

The term “e-signature” can refer to a number of electronically-provided signatures, such as a signature created on a table, a typed name, or even a scanned image of an ink signature. However, the most secure type of e-signature is the digital signature, which encrypts a document using a mathematical algorithm which is very difficult to falsify or duplicate. 

Digital signatures provide a powerful, secure, and efficient way of digitally authenticating content. They can save time and money for companies in nearly every industry—particularly in the legal, healthcare, finance, real estate, and entertainment sectors. 

However, there are benefits and challenges to the digital signature that should be considered before implementing this technology. Here are the top five pros and cons of incorporating digital signatures into your business processes: 

Pros of using a digital signature

  1. Digital signatures speed up business processes. Instead of taking the time to acquire and verify an ink signature, a digital signature allows you to confirm identity and authorize documents instantly with the click of a button.  
  2. Digital signatures are convenient. At PRUVID, we believe that “video is the new ink.” Using secure digital identity verification and digital signature processes frees up time and energy. Imagine the convenience of using one’s face to access a website or sign a document. 
  3. Digital signatures provide peace of mind. Signatures are one of the most common types of forgery and it is unfortunately fairly easy to mimic someone’s ink signature. Digital signatures are far more secure than ink signatures, giving businesses and individuals peace of mind that their information and assets are protected. 
  4. Digital signatures improve the customer experience. Businesses that offer a digital signature tool to their clients and customers are able to provide additional value in the form of ease, convenience, flexibility and control. This makes for more satisfied customers and a better brand reputation.
  5. Digital signatures allow for greater accuracy. Automating the identity verification and document authorization processes reduces the risk of human error. This improves outcomes across the board and can save time and money in the long run.

Cons of using a digital signature 

  1. Technology barrier for some users. Not all individuals have access to a computer or mobile device and others, particularly the elderly, may be limited in their technological skills and need assistance in providing a digital signature. 
  2. Document viability in court. E-signatures are legally enforceable but may be difficult to prove in a court of law.
  3. Hardware malfunctions. In the event of a power outage, hardware damage, or hardware malfunction, a digital signature is more difficult to access than an ink signature on a paper document. 
  4. Security level depends on the vendor. Not all e-signature and digital signature vendors are equal and some offer relatively low levels of security. Make sure you thoroughly research the digital signature software and vendor you are considering before moving forward. 
  5. Customer bias. More traditional customers or partners may have a bias against digital signatures and question their integrity, despite the proven advantages. 

Although there are some minor drawbacks to utilizing digital signatures, the benefits of this tool vastly outweigh them. Digital signatures are faster, more convenient, more secure, and less costly than traditional paper and ink signatures and are the most accurate type of e-signature available.

If you have questions about how digital signatures could improve your business processes or are ready to get started with your digital signature software, contact us today.