What is an eSignature API, and why Does it Matter?
By Leor Melamedov
An eSignature API allows companies to get more out of their eSignature solution by enabling integrations with existing systems and other third-party vendor platforms. In this blog post, we’ll dive into what constitutes an API, why APIs are used with eSignature solutions, and the many options for configurations that exist specifically within Lightico’s eSignature solution.
What is an API?
An Application Programming Interface (API) serves as a kind of middleman for software. In any given stack of software, some programs sit between whatever program that’s being interacted with directly, and the hardware itself. Without these layers, developers would have to code differently for every single hardware configuration in the world, which would be impossible.
Other layers sit in between two different pieces of other software and help them talk to each other without needing to have tons of code in common. These software layers help standardize the coding process, so that programs can interface with other programs easily.
Windows, Mac OS, and Linux all provide a graphical interface: buttons, checkboxes, menus, and the like that are easy to click on. Without that, people would be left tediously typing commands, like back in the day when doss ruled the world. Similarly, an API provides a way for developers to interact with other kinds of software. A good example of this is social media plugins, such as the ones commonly seen on news feeds that embed tweets or a comments section.
Websites and platforms have their own APIs that make it easy to embed additional programs. Without these APIs, websites and platforms would have to share code directly with owners of other platforms, which would be tedious, difficult, and possibly give away certain trade secrets. APIs make it possible for disparate devices and software to work well with each other, and enable the massive amounts of quick communication and consistent graphics that consumers are accustomed to.
Why APIs are used with eSignature solutions?
eSignature APIs allow businesses to sell and serve their customers immediately, efficiently, and effectively from any touchpoint. With powerful functionality including document collection, file sharing, dynamic form filling and instant eSignatures, businesses can provide robust self-service solutions to businesses serving on-the-go customers.
Customers can be sold to or served more efficiently when the eSignature platform is pre-configured, for example eSignatures for Salesforce users.
Here are some of the most common integrations:
Third-party business applications
Agent call center toolbars
eSignature solutions can also enable white labelling, allowing them to be integrated into the interface while appearing as a native capability. This allows companies to provide customers with an efficient eSignature solution without compromising control over their branding.
Useful eSignature APIs every solution provider must have
The following are some of the most useful API functions to look for in an eSignature solution. These functions enable integrated applications to use more capabilities in a seamless way. Lightico relies on all of these functions to provide developers, end-customers, and agents with a more efficient mobile-first eSignature experience:
Shared review: Agents share, review and annotate PDFs with customers in real-time as though they were sitting in the same room. This enables simultaneous browsing through pages, marking areas of interest, and discussing the content.
Sign once, tap the rest: For a better and faster experience, customers and agents draw or type their signature once in a session and then simply tap to paste the signature in the required places without having to repeatedly draw their signature.
Payment: Starts a payment flow within a session. Send the amount and currency, and receive an event with the payment transaction ID and status.
Document request: Starts a document request form within a session. Sends the required document names to be collected, and receives an event upon customer completion.
Image Send: Sends images over API, in addition to PDF.
Update customer data during a session: Useful when a customer’s data is modified during a session and related assets or workflows use this data.
Customer connected event: Runs logic upon customer connection to a session.
Session end event: Runs logic upon session end.
Session renew event: Runs logic upon session renewal
Application audit: Records administrator and user actions with an audit trail service. Every new, updated or deleted action made by the administrator and major actions made by the agent are collected and stored. Only privileged users have access to the query and reporting tool in which they can search based on agent name, IP, timeframe and action.
Team settings: Allows administrator to set dedicated configuration settings on a team level, which overrides the profile-level configuration.
Add user to session: Enables the addition of a new agent to the session.
Update eSign data: Modifies existing eSign data.
Delete eSign: Deletes a document that has not yet been locked from the collaboration room.
Delete document request: Deletes an existing document request from an existing session.
Delete image: Deletes an existing image from an existing session.
The bottom line: eSignature APIs enable greater flexibility
Companies that adopt eSignature solutions with APIs can benefit from reduced engineering effort, and an easy integration with their existing CRMs and workflows. APIs also allow companies to use the eSignature solution itself in more flexible, useful, and frictionless ways, making it an essential component of a good solution.
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The most helpful thing about Lightico is the fast turnaround time, The upside is that you are giving your customer an easy way to respond quickly and efficiently. Lightico has cut work and waiting time as you can send customer forms via text and get them back quickly, very convenient for both parties.
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I love the fact that I can send or request documents from a customer and it is easy to get the documents back in a secured site via text message. Our company switched from Docusign to Lightico, as Lightico is easier and more convenient than Docusign, as the customer can choose between receiving a text message or an email.