What to Look For in an eSignature Solution Provider

Howard Schulman

As electronic signatures became more popular and accepted, numerous eSignature solution providers sprang up. The challenge is to choose the one that matches the needs of your business and your customers, while also complying with the requirements that make eSignatures legally binding.

Defining a Reliable and Powerful eSignature Provider

eSignature solution providers must posses stability and reach. Buyers should check the number of documents and signatures each provider processes each year and for whom. Depending on the diversity of your industry and your customers, you should look for a soltuion that fits your needs and market.

The eSignture solution must provide professional services and a customer success team. If a provider has a small staff, they might not have enough skilled professionals to serve your needs. Look for a company that has at least 15 employees focused on implementing eSignature and other solutions.

If you are an enterprise, even more so. Companies that need to implement different, customized eSignature use cases within the same solution, such as across multiple departments, will need a provider that’s able to deliver enterprise-grade services.

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How to Choose an eSignature Solution Provider

Before choosing an eSignature provider, it’s important for enterprises to think about the most important elements for it to deliver. Some issues to consider include:

  • Will eSignatures be mediated by a company employee, agent, or customer representative (e.g., insurance agreements, auto loan agreements)? If so, you’ll want strong collaboration capabilities that you can rely on.
  • For non-mediated eSignature use cases, ease of use for signatories becomes a paramount concern. You’ll also want a solution that is highly customizable and delivers mobile support. E.g., eCommerce purchases, self-serve.
  • Are your eSignatures needed for high-value transactions, like loan applications and agreements or investments? The higher the value of the agreement, the more important it is to choose a solution that delivers strong electronic evidence and has increases the chances that the contract will be returned signed.
  • Will you be using eSignature solutions for internal workflows, such as quality assurance or revenue recognition for SOX compliance? In these cases, ease of use and low cost is key, along with a reliable audit trail to track user history.

10 Things to Look for in an eSignature Solution

1. Smooth integration with other tools

Your eSignature solution doesn’t operate in a vacuum. You want one that integrates easily with your CRM, customer service portal, contact center, and payment processors, etc. so that you can match it to different use cases according to your needs.

2. A complete, end to end solution

Ideally, your eSignature provider can handle the entire signing process from end to end. It should allow the signatory to add documents, pause and save the process before completion to return to it later, and save it even if a document is missing. This is especially important if you need it for unmediated eSignatures.

3. Strong proof of signing

The best eSignature solutions deliver strong electronic evidence that links the signature of the user with the records that they have signed. It should also be impossible to change the data within the records without it being immediately obvious.

4.Real time collaboration

An eSignature solution that enables both parties to examine the document or action and e-sign in real time helps eradicate misunderstandings, increases mutual trust, and helps identify and correct errors. In the case of customer transactions, contracts, or other agreements, you need to be sure that both signatories understand the conditions laid out in the document. Real time collaboration helps make sure that the document to be signed is accurate, with all details completed and any necessary documents uploaded. It enables all parties to verify that the documents are presented correctly and that both sides have the same view.

5. Cross-device compatibility

Today, most of us are connected to our phones at all times. We are used to shopping, banking, and learning while on the go, so we also want a digital signature solution that is easy to use on mobile. This is especially true for eCommerce purchases, e-voting, completing employment forms, and employee quality assurance workflows. That means using a responsive electronic signature solution that can transfer from mobile to desktop to tablet, so that users can complete and sign on any channel.

6. Easily customizable

Look for an eSignature solution that is flexible enough to meet your needs and offer different methods for approval or signature capture, like finger swipes, clicking a checkbox, and free-drawing a signature with a finger or stylus.

7. Reliable authentication and identification

eSignatures stand or fall by their authentication methods. You’ll want to look for an electronic signature solution that also incorporates ID verification and authentication as an option.

8. Clear line of consent

In order to be legally accepted, your eSignature solution needs to incorporate all the necessary disclosures. The solution should make it very clear that this is an electronic signature platform, and allow the user to decline if they aren’t comfortable with that option. It should make it easy to verify that the user is aware of their actions.

9. Secure, and tamper-proof

Maintaining data integrity is a key element in assuring the acceptability of electronically signed records. You want an eSignature solution provider who can deliver a reliable, and secure solution. It should include third-party certifications, encryption over the internet and  tamper-proof features that make it obvious if the records or the data within them have been altered or changed in any way.

10. Clear audit trail

If you should have to prove the validity of your e-signed documents, you’ll want to be able to draw on a clear audit trail. This tracks the actions taken by the signator along each step of the signing process, in order to demonstrate the entire interaction and prove the user’s intent to sign.

Lightico eSignature Solution

With its advanced security, real-time collaboration capabilities, strong authentication and electronic evidence, and a reliable audit trail, Lightico more than checks the boxes for a versatile eSignature solution provider. Lightico’s proprietary eSignature solution integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Lightico platform, making it easy to guide users to complete agreements in real time, collect supporting documents, complete forms and more.

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