Home Market The world is becoming digital first. Are e-signatures taking off?

The world is becoming digital first. Are e-signatures taking off?

E-signatures deliver a great customer experience and help businesses move faster, offering sign-offs and approvals from mobile devices on the move. This flexible approach can speed up transaction processes by up to 500%, which is no small increase, an Adobe official claims.

A recent study from Forrester Consulting revealed that despite the lack of e-signature implementation, most companies plan to invest in it over the next 12 to 24 months.

iTWire asked Chandra Sinnathamby, head of document cloud – APAC at Adobe, for more insight into how this would work.

Adobe has unveiled the first cloud-based digital signatures built on an open standard.

Adobe Document Cloud and Adobe Sign will enable digital signatures, the most advanced and secure type of electronic signatures used for things like healthcare forms or mortgage applications, in any browser or on any mobile device.

Adobe Chandra Sinnathamby

“Open standards propel entire industries forward, allowing interoperability between otherwise fragmented solutions, and paving the way for widespread adoption," he said.

"Adobe pioneered digital signatures. And as the creator and champion of standards like PDF, we are proud to have once again rallied the industry to develop a new, open standard for digital signatures in the cloud, ensuring a great customer experience.”

How are e-signatures changing the way business works?

They deliver a great customer experience and help businesses move faster, offering sign-offs and approvals from mobile devices on the move. This flexible approach can speed up transaction processes by up to 500%, which is no small increase.

When companies don’t go digital, office workers spend countless hours hunting down approvals and ink signatures, then print, scan, fax or mail documents to get the job done. The resulting delays are frustrating for all concerned — customers, business partners and employees — and can ultimately tarnish the company’s brand. So, the ease of e-signatures not only changes the way businesses work, but the way they are perceived, too.

In 2017, relying on pen and paper is like being a cash-only business. Your customers are annoyed, and your days are numbered.

With Adobe pushing e-signatures to become the standard way of doing business, do you believe this will make mass global adoption of digital signing a reality?

We believe mass global adoption of digital signing is an inevitability. It’s more convenient, secure, and reliable than the method of signing it will replace, and I can’t think of a single form of technology from the past that fulfilled those criteria in its early days and didn’t succeed in becoming the norm.

According to Forrester Consulting’s research, we will see 98 million transactions over one 12-month period by 2020, while Adobe’s formation and continued support of the Cloud Signature Consortium (CSC) continues to drive global adoption through the release an open standard for e-signatures.

How is Adobe expanding the scope of capabilities past “just” signing to simplifying complex business processes?

There’s much more to e-signatures than the mere act of signing digitally, and we are working to digitise the entire workflow from start to finish.

Adobe’s workflow automation solution, Sign, speeds up the entire process, enabling businesses to tailor and automate signing workflows without being technical experts. With Sign, businesses can build reusable workflow templates that automate signing steps, add signature workflows to enterprise applications, including popular systems of record like Salesforce and Workday, and create self-serve web applications that automate complete business processes requiring signatures.

How will Australians use this technology in everyday life?

This technology can be used by Australians without any specific hardware or software to sign the document. All that’s required is a device with a web browser that can access the internet. It’s simple and can be used anywhere.

Will people trust this technology?

People are always suspicious about new technology, but you can help them get through that with education and proven security credentials. Our technology creates legally binding documents that recipients can sign via a mobile web browser from anywhere, worldwide, while also meeting all the industry’s leading security standards. This technology is more secure and reliable than the paper and ink we currently use, and once people understand this I don’t think a lack of trust will be an issue at all.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!