5 Great Industries That Could Benefit from Electronic Signatures and Why

5 Industries that use Electronic SignaturesElectronic signatures are a method of signing paperwork and documents without having to be physically present. Documents can be signed right over the computer or even on your smart phone, saving a ton of time and money. Here are 5 great industries that can really benefit from this technology:

1. Real Estate

Real estate agents often need tons of paperwork signed by their clients and sometimes, paperwork must be signed quickly; within 24 hours. A lot of time is spent by real estate agents driving from one place to another trying to catch up with clients and fit into their schedules in order to get paperwork signed. By utilizing electronic signatures, real estate agents can shave time from their day and get things done much more easily.

2. The Financial Industry 

There are many different reasons why electronic signatures can be great for the financial industry. Paperwork must be signed for virtually every transaction, and electronic documents can be just as confidential as physical documents, and sometimes even more so. Rather than spending the money and resources to send faxes or mail documents, financial professionals can simply send electronic documents to their clients have them electronically sign them.

3. The Construction Industry

When a client is having something built, there are often several teams involved, from engineers to various contractors and construction teams. Most of the time, the client must sign to approve actions before they take place. In the traditional manner (delivering the documents in person or mailing/faxing them), the construction project could be delayed until the signature is obtained. With electronic signatures, the project can go forward faster and it’s more convenient for everyone involved. 

4. The Legal Industry

Attorneys often have to file a lot of paperwork on behalf of their clients, no matter what type of legal situation they’re dealing with. This paperwork often takes a while to sign, and the client will usually have to go in to the office when they have time in order to sign those papers. With electronic signatures, clients can easily sign the documents to be filed from the convenience of their own homes and can get it done quickly.

5. The Insurance Industry

Finally, the insurance industry is another thick with paperwork. Clients must sign paperwork to begin coverage as well as maintain their current coverage and insurance professionals can really benefit from electronic signatures. Providing convenience for their customers is something most insurance professionals would like to do, and electronic signatures allow them to accomplish that.

6. Retail

But the post said 5 you’re thinking.  That’s right.  The reality is that there are endless industry where e-signatures make sense and we thought we would give you a bonus one.  Retail clients like an online jewelry boutique or a baby pajama store use e-signatures when working with vendors to streamline their operations.

Electronic signatures work well for any industry in which signatures are often needed and there are a lot of documents and paperwork to sign. Electronic signatures are easy to implement and records can be more easily kept and filed for future reference.

What Are Electronic Signatures?

What is an Electronic Signature

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I Don’t Want to Sound Dumb, But What Exactly Are Electronic Signatures? 

Most people have heard the term “electronic signatures” thrown around here and there, but many aren’t quite sure exactly what electronic signatures are. If you do any sort of business that requires signatures, you’re in for a real treat, because electronic signatures can make your life much easier.

What is an Electronic Signature?

Rather than mailing or delivering papers to other parties to have them sign, with an electronic signature, you can simply send it to them via your computer and receive the signed document back in the same way. Individuals will “sign” the documents by typing their name, or physically signing on the dotted line using their computer. This eliminates the need for them to actually hold the documents in their hand in order to sign them, and allows the process to be completed much faster than the old way.

The Legality of Electronic Signatures

If you’re immediately wondering about the legality of electronic signatures, you’re not alone. Most savvy business owners want to make sure that any contract or document signed with an electronic signature is legal and binding. Well, rest assured, it is. The E-SIGN act (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act) was created in 2000 and upholds the legality of electronically signed documents. It states that “the term electronic signature means an electronic sound, symbol or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign a record.”

How Electronic Signatures Make Life More Convenient

Electronic signatures can be used by virtually anyone who needs signatures on documents and contracts often. From real estate agents to online marketers, being able to have someone electronically sign a document and then forward it back via email is much more convenient than traditional signatures. They can be stored for future reference if needed, and save time, money, and resources. Many green businesses have adopted esignatures as the primary way to run their business, to cut down on paper waste from printing and filing as well as mailing documents.

How Easy Is It to Use Electronic Signatures?

If you choose the right company to provide you with the ability to accept and send electronic signatures, it’s extremely easy. The process is pretty straightforward, and most programs will walk you through the steps to using them so that you can send documents to business associates, customers and others. Those same programs will notify recipients of exactly what to do in order to sign and send back the document to complete the process. You don’t have to be tech savvy at all to use electronic signatures, and the process is fast and convenient.

Now you know what electronic signatures are, as well as the massive benefits you can gain by utilizing them for your personal and business needs.

 

Got an Idea You Don’t Want Anyone to Talk About? Use eSignatures for Your NDAs

Electronic Signature on NDA

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A huge number of people do business via the Internet these days. Operating a website or company can mean that you often need help from third parties, from freelance writers and web designers to marketers and more. If you’re working with a brand new idea that you don’t want just anyone to know about, you’ll want any third parties you bring in to the project to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). eSignatures allow you to make this process fast and easy.

What are eSignatures?

A lot of time is typically spent on administrative duties, including obtaining signatures for specific documents like NDAs. eSignatures allow you to save a ton of time on administrative duties. When you need a signature, you simply create the electronic document and send it to the individual you’re working with. They can read it at their convenience, then “sign” it over the internet and send it back to you. The time saved is significant.

How it Works

When you send your NDA to the individual you plan on working with, they have the option of reading it and then agreeing to the terms as well as adding their “signature.” Their signature can be as simple as them typing their name to the document and then confirming it. They can do so and send the document back within minutes, allowing you to retain important records and save time as you focus on the more important aspects of your business.

Is it Legal and Binding?

Electronic signatures are as legal and binding as traditional signatures, as stated in the ESIGN act of 2000. This act states that documents signed with electronic signatures are as legal and binding as those signed with traditional signatures, as long as individuals are aware that they’re signing a legal document and that proof of the signature is retained. This means that in a court of law, the document signed by an eSignature is just as valid as if the individual were sitting in the same room with you, signing manually.

Using eSignatures for a Non Disclosure Agreement

It’s easier than ever to use eSignatures for a non disclosure agreement. Simply let the individual know what it is you’re having him or her sign. Clearly state in the document what you expect from the individual, and then ensure that they understand that the document they’re signing is a legal document. It can all be accomplished via email within just a few minutes.

The benefits of using eSignatures are massive, from going green to saving time and money. They’re easy to use and are a benefit to any business that implements them. In addition to being legally binding, they’re better for keeping records, for both parties.

Sign In Blue Launches Facebook App Making it Easier to Get Your Documents Digitally Signed Online

Digital Signatures on FacebookSign In Blue, an E-signature company, has just launched a new Facebook app, allowing individuals to send documents via the social networking site and receive digital signatures quickly and easily. As more and more business individuals are turning to Facebook to connect with fellow entrepreneurs and increase their customer base, Sign In Blue is offering a platform that allows those business individuals to get signatures faster than ever before.

“The Sign In Blue Facebook App will open a lot of doors as businesses move more and more of the administrative side of their business to Internet platforms,” says owner Robert Bustamante. “The possibilities are limitless; individuals can have their Facebook friends sign petitions, obtain signatures from customers for various purposes and much more. More and more businesses are starting to understand the importance of Facebook.”

Sign In Blue is the first company to provide an E-signature Facebook app, but they don’t expect to be the last. While the majority of the apps in the Facebook marketplace revolve around games or surveys, more and more businesses are bringing their applications to the Facebook platform. Sign In Blue has created their app on the heels of some other very popular business apps, such as the business profile app, the promotions app, business testimonials apps, and e-commerce and donations apps. The popularity of these suggest that the E-signature application is going to be a successful one, and that users are going to embrace the ability to sign documents right from their Facebook accounts.

E-signatures are as legal and binding as traditional signatures, as stated in the ESIGN act of 2000. The act states that the customer must understand that they’re signing a legal document and must provide a unique signature. The document must be preserved as well, in case it is needed for disputes or conflicts. Sign In Blue confirms more than once that the customer understands what they are signing, gives them the option to physically sign their name or simply type it, and the documents can be stored as long as users have accounts with the company.

Those who are curious to learn more are invited to visit http://www.signinblue.com and try their free demonstration, which shows exactly how the process works.  The app is easy to install directly at https://apps.facebook.com/signinblue

How an Accountant Can Utilize Esignatures to Streamline Their Business

Esignatures for Accountants

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Esignatures are perfectly legal and an acceptable substitute for a traditional signature. Laws like the ESIGN act of 2000 make esignatures just as legal and binding in a court of law as a traditional signature, so they can be used for anything that would need a signature. Because of this, esignatures can be extremely beneficial to accountants.

What Exactly IS an Esignature?

According to the Electronic Transactions Act, a signature is an electronic sound, symbol or process that is associated with an electronic record, adopted or used by a person with an intent to sign an electronic record. It might be your initials or your typed name, or even a mark that is confirmed as a representation of your signature. Because it’s so easy, many people don’t believe esignatures are completely legal, but in fact, they are just as legal as a traditionally obtained signature.

Forms, Forms and More Forms

Accountants log figures, keep records, and make sure everything is filled out on its own form and tucked away for safekeeping. There is no end to the forms an accountant will need to fill out, or that his or her clients will need to sign. Especially during tax time, an accountant lives and breathes forms that need to be signed by clients in order to proceed. This can take up a lot of time, and can be inconvenient for both the accountant and the clients.

An Accountant’s Biggest Enemy

One of the things that take up so much of an accountant’s time is tracking their clients down for signatures. The accountant typically has to schedule an appointment for the client to come in and sign documents, or has to spend the time to visit the client on his or her schedule to try and obtain signatures. Esignatures alleviate the wasted time and allows accountants to obtain the signatures quickly, without having to worry about conflicting schedules.

How Esignatures Work

When an accountant utilizes esignatures, he or she can send over the documents that need to be signed electronically, so the client can pick it up right from their email. They can then read over the document and sign it electronically, from the comfort of their computer desks, and mail it right back. The whole process doesn’t take more than a few minutes, and each signature is confirmed before the document is sent back to the accountant. This allows clients to sign documents when they have a few extra minutes rather than having to drive over or schedule an appointment with the client.

Whether you’re an accountant, a real estate agent, or any other professional, you can truly benefit from esignatures. You can quickly send documents to clients to have them sign when they have an extra moment, and they can sign them without worrying about scanning and copying or mailing. It’s easy and effective, and perfect for streamlining an accountant’s business.

How a Plumbing Company Can Streamline Quotes and Proposals with E-Signatures

esign-proposals

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One of the biggest goals of any company should be efficiency, because when systems are running efficiently, more profits are being made, the productivity increases, and more time is freed up. Plumbing companies, like any other company, should seek to create more efficiency with administrative tasks. One important way to do this is through E-signatures.

Alleviate Wasted Time

When a plumbing company gets ready to do a job, one of the first steps is to provide potential customers with a quote for the job. This means providing the client with a written estimate of how much the entire job is going to cost, including materials and labor. Many times, the plumber will need to drive out to the customer’s home, take a look at the problem, go back to the office and draft up the quote, and then return to the customer’s home at the customer’s convenience to deliver the quote.

When a plumber is able to go back to the office and draft up a quote and then send it to the customer electronically for a signature, the company is saving time and money. This is also true when it comes to proposals, which are more in-depth explanations of the job that will be completed, the materials needed, and any guarantees the plumbing company offers.

Stop Running Around

Many times, when a plumbing company wants to give a proposal or quote to the client and obtain a signature, they have to drive out to the customer’s home. Typically, this has to be at the customer’s convenience and it can take a lot of time out of the day. These hours really add up, and alleviating them means spending time on more important projects and tasks. E-signatures allow the plumbing companies to send documents to their customers any time, and receive the documents back at the customer’s convenience, without having to drive back and forth.

No Wasted Time

A lot of individuals will get quotes from several different plumbing companies. Many times, the customer will choose just one company and the others are left with wasted time. Not only does checking out the problem take up a lot of time, but so does driving the proposals and quotes to the client. With E-signatures, the only time wasted will be the actual investigation of the problem, because quotes and proposals have simply been sent electronically.

Records

Another wonderful benefit of E-signatures is easier record keeping. The plumbing company will have a record instantly of the documents they send to customers and the documents the customers send back signed. They don’t have to be scanned into the computer for records, because they’re already there. This is perfect for streamlining records, and great for companies who are trying to become more environmentally conscious.

Overall, E-signatures are the perfect way to streamline any company, and should certainly be considered by plumbing companies who end up with a lot of wasted hours and days driving back and forth to obtain signatures from customers.

Realtors: Don’t Waste Time Getting Documents Signed

Free Esignatures

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Realtors carry a heavy load and have a lot of responsibilities. Often times, their schedules are so hectic, they find it difficult to have any personal time at all. One of the things that take up a lot of their time is getting signatures from clients or potential clients. This can often mean driving a lot and spending hours simply getting a name signed. E-signatures are a valuable solution to this problem, and can make a realtor’s day a lot less hectic.

Saving Time

One of the biggest benefits of taking advantage of E-signatures is saving time. Realtors spend so much time getting signatures for large numbers of documents that are necessary with selling and marketing homes. When they have the ability to send documents on the computer to clients who can sign them immediately and send them right back, a massive amount of time is saved. Not only will this provide realtors with the ability to enjoy more personal time, it can increase productivity and therefore, increase sales.

Fitting Clients’ Schedules

Another huge benefit for realtors when it comes to E-signatures is being able to work around clients’ schedules. Rather than trying to schedule a time to drive out to the client, the realtor can simply send over the documents that need to be signed and the client can take a few moments to sign them whenever he or she has time. This is much more convenient to the client, and allows the realtor to be more professional when collecting signatures.

Easier Record Keeping/Greener Practices

In addition to saving a lot of time and being more convenient, E-signatures make it much easier to keep records of the documents signed by each client. They’re already electronically stored, via email and other applications, when you secure the signature. You can then simply print out what is needed as it’s needed. They also make it easy to become more eco-friendly in business, which is something a lot of realtors are attempting to do.

Legality of E-signatures

Realtors don’t have to worry about the legality of E-signatures, as they are considered just as legal as a traditional signature. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) went into affect in the year 2,000. This act made E-signatures just as legal and binding as a regular signature. As long as the signature is unique to the person using it, verifiable, in the sole control of the person using it and the client understands that he or she is electronically signing a document, it’s legal. The document must also be protected against having anything altered after the individual signs it.

Overall, E-signatures are extremely convenient for realtors and can really turn their businesses around. The amount of time that is saved by utilizing this tool is significant and can be used for personal time, or to further the realtor’s business, helping them earn more money and succeed.

Electronic Signatures in under two minutes

In this video we walk you through the process of sending out a document for electronic signatures. It is a quick video and you can send out documents just as quickly.

Video transcript below:

In this video we are going to show you how to send out a document for e-signatures in under two minutes.

Once you have logged into your account, click on the new transaction button near the left-hand side of the screen.

You are presented with two options. You can upload a document or choose from your stored documents. We are going to select upload a document.

Click on the select button near the top right of the window.  Locate the file you want to send out for e-signatures and click open.

Once you are done selecting all of the documents you want to upload for e-signatures, click on the next button.

Your documents are then imported into our system and you are taken to the mapping tool.

The first step is to add the name and email address of a party you would like to e-sign your document.  Then we select their role, which is most cases will be signer. Then click on the add signer button.

The second step is placing the signature and initial locations for the individual we have added to the transaction.  First I am going to click on a signature button and drag it to the location where they are to sign the document. Then I am going to click and drag an initial location next to their name.

Next I am going to repeat this process and add another party to the document.  I am entering their name and email address, selecting their role as a signer and clicking on add signer.

Now drag their signature and initials on to the page in the desired locations.

Once all of the parties have been added to the transaction you click on the I’m done button.

Give the transaction a name that is easy to remember and add a message to the parties you are sending the e-signature transaction out to.  You can also re-arrange the order the parties will receive the transaction if you desire.

Click on confirm and send for signature and you are done.

Using E-Signatures to Sign Your Tax Returns

Image: Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Using E-Signatures to Sign Your Tax Returns

Many individuals take advantage of e-signatures when it comes to signing their tax returns, and there are numerous benefits to doing so. For individuals who are still unsure about e-signatures, it’s important to know their legal validity as well as the advantages of using e-signatures to sign your tax returns.

Filers Must Use an E-Signature for Electronic Returns

If you plan on filing your tax documents electronically, you must use an electronic signature. The signature comes in the form of a typed name as well as a five digit PIN (personal identification number). You will choose any PIN you want, so it’s simple to pick something you will remember easily. Most types of tax software will walk you through the process of choosing a PIN and signing your tax documents electronically. It’s important to know that an e-signature is just as legal and valid as a traditional signature, according to the Electronic Signature Act signed by former President Clinton in 2000.

Tax Returns Come Back Faster with E-Signatures

When your taxes are electronically filed, you will receive your return much faster than if you print, traditionally sign, and send your tax documents through the mail. In fact, most folks receive their returns within just a few weeks or less. Those who send the physical tax documents in will often wait between several weeks and even a few months to receive their tax returns. If you have your tax return deposited to a bank account, you can receive it even faster.

Safety and Security

When using an e-signature to sign your tax documents, you shouldn’t worry about safety and security. Depending upon the tax software you use, you will benefit from different types of security. Other individuals won’t be able to access your tax documents unless they know the PIN you’ve chosen. Also, as the information is transmitted, most of the time it is encrypted so even if someone were able to get it, they wouldn’t be able to understand it. It’s important to make sure your tax filing software or platform uses encryption and high level security.

Other Benefits of E-Signatures for Tax Returns

In addition to receiving your tax returns back faster, there are other benefits to using an e-signature for your tax returns. Individuals who are environmentally conscious don’t have to worry about the wasted paper that comes along with printing copies for the IRS as well as personal files and records. It’s possible to file electronically and use an e-signature for free. Also, there is more security with an e-signature, because other individuals don’t have access to your PIN, whereas anyone could attempt to forge your signature on a physical document.

Utilizing the benefits of e-signatures to sign your tax returns is a wise and smart decision, and something many individuals have been doing for several years now. From enhanced safety and security to faster returns, those who haven’t utilized e-signatures yet should consider it this year when filing their taxes.

The Evolution of Signatures

History of electronic signaturesA signature is a very powerful thing. Since the beginning, the signature has been a physical representation of a person’s word, or promise, to follow through with specific actions. The signature has evolved quite a bit, but even in these modern times, when a signature can be given through email or on a website, it still stands for a promise given from one person or company to another.

Ink

In 1776, when John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence, he did so with a quill pen and ink. One of the first methods of actually writing a signature, ink was used to allow individuals to give their promise, in writing, to others. Even today, signatures created with an ink and quill pen are used to study the characteristics and traits of the individuals who signed. In times like these, when a signature was needed, an individual had to be in person and most of the time, witnesses were present to view the signing and sometimes were called on to verify a signature and it’s authenticity.

Pen

Those who signed with pen, whether it was felt tip or ball point, were still giving a promise using their name, and still signing in person and sometimes in the presence of a witness. While the method is without a doubt more convenient and easier than ink and a quill pen, individuals are still required to be present in order to sign their names to documents and paperwork.

Email Signatures

As email became more and more popular, email signatures were created. These are a little different from a regular signature, as the purpose of email signatures are not to seal a promise, but simply to provide information about the sender. Email signatures are commonly used to include business information like website URLs, contact phone numbers, and blog URLs. Email signatures are convenient and a good way to help promote websites and other information.

Fax Signatures

With the convenience of the fax machines, providing signatures became even easier. Individuals could fax paperwork to the recipient, who could then sign it, and fax it back. This was a serious advance in business and other industries, because individuals could sign their names to documents without being present. However, there are drawbacks with faxed signatures, especially for businesses and companies trying to go green. The waste of paper and delay are disadvantages, although faxes are certainly more convenient than having to meet in person or have papers mailed physically to the recipient.

E-Signatures

The most convenient method of signing documents these days is the e-signature. Unlike faxes, there is no wasted paper in order for an individual to sign a document with an e-signature. These documents can be sent via email and signed as a PDF document. The greatest thing about e-signatures is that they are just as legally binding as a traditional signature, making them convenient for business use and other important documents and paperwork that must be signed. They’re even revolutionizing the healthcare industry.

Overall, the evolution of signatures has been a long one, and the huge advances made have created safer, easier and more convenient methods of signing a document, or providing a promise.