A study by Forrester Research found that businesses using electronic signatures saw an average reduction of 1.5 hours per transaction, resulting in a 90% reduction in turnaround time. And let’s not forget the positive impact on the environment. Similar research shows that traditional paper-based signatures are costly, with businesses spending an average of $20 in labor costs to file, store, and retrieve a single paper document. Electronic signatures eliminate the need for paper, saving businesses both time and money.
Hard copy seal management includes all of the same requirements as wet-ink signatures with the additional requirement of secure storage and problematic re-call in situations where Power of Attorney is revoked.
Moving from paper-based processes to technologically automated processes is still challenging on many fronts (implementation cost, rate of adoption, ongoing support and maintenance). It’s further complicated by the plethora of vendor offerings that increase almost daily and offer what appears to be the same thing.
Here’s a short list of important differentiators to help shorten the list of digital signature and seal vendor solutions worth investigating.
First, the solution should not rely solely on email to transmit electronic signatures and seals as email is vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), email is the most common way that electronic signatures are transmitted. E-Signature solutions that eliminate this risk by allowing business documents to be signed without the need for email or any other external systems, provide greater security and eliminate the possibility of unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Second, the solution needs to focus on protection and detection. Look for solutions that use advanced encryption and signature verification methods that make it virtually impossible for unauthorized parties to gain access to sensitive information or tamper with e-signatures, e-seals or the e-signed/sealed documents. The Ponemon Institute found that businesses using electronic signatures saw a 55% reduction in document fraud and a 70% reduction in data breaches.
Third, and especially important in the Surety Industry, look for solutions that enable electronic POA management to simplify the process of authorizing and verifying signatures and seals on power of attorney documents. e-POA management allows instant granting, revoking and tracking of authorized signatories.
Fourth, ensure the solution provides a robust audit trail. This feature enables businesses to track who has signed/sealed documents, when, and with what authority. The audit trail can be used for compliance and legal purposes. Businesses can be confident that all signed/sealed documents are legally binding.
Fifth, confirm that the solution enforces a chain of trust discipline that underlies all elements of authorized signing and sealing. Assignment of signing and sealing authorities needs to be managed and maintained by authorized organization executives and based on thorough vetting. Each participating organization needs to be in control of their respective employee participants and the e-signature/seal solution needs to electronically emulate the regulatory compliance specific to industries like Insurance and Surety.
With these five key differentiators, your chosen digital signature and seal solution will be a significant cornerstone of your overall digitalization journey, securing a strong and sustainable base for the many advances in business automation that are yet to come.
About Xenex Enterprises Inc.
Xenex is focused on Business Innovation that enables clients to accelerate their business productivity and simplify business life in general. With a focus on the Surety and Insurance Industries, the SignatureMaster™ and SuretyMasterBonds™ solutions bring the latest technologies to the table to allow client businesses to digitalize their business at the pace appropriate to each client’s appetite for and ability to adopt change to their fundamental business processes.
SignatureMaster™ continues to keep a step ahead. While the blockchain technology is catching the attention of the e-signing vendors and clients, the SignatureMaster™ solution is already modeled on blockchain technology.
Xenex was established in 1983 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada