How to sign a PDF with an eSignature
How to sign a PDF with an eSignature
Sign on the dotted line. It’s a common phrase that’s repeated in countless settings, from high-stakes business deals to everyday restaurant transactions. We all understand that, in most cases, a signature is the key to creating an official, legally binding contract or agreement.
However, as the world becomes increasingly connected, more and more business is being conducted remotely. Instead of face-to-face meetings and paper contracts, we use electronic forms and online delivery methods. As a result, the definition of the term signature has evolved.
Over the past several decades, countries around the world have enacted laws and regulations governing the use of electronic signatures (or eSignatures). In this blog post, we’ll explore the difference between traditional wet signatures and eSignatures, along with common use cases for both.
Wet signature is the catch-all term that’s used to describe a traditional, handwritten signature applied to a physical document using pen and ink. Wet signatures have been used throughout history to verify identity and execute legally binding contracts.
Today, eSignatures carry the same legal weight as wet signatures in most cases. However, in certain situations, traditional handwritten signatures are required to provide an extra layer of protection against fraud or forgery. These include:
eSignature is a fast, efficient way to sign an agreement using a digital action or process. An electronic signature can resemble a traditional wet signature, but that's not necessary. As long as the eSignature is associated with a particular record and the signer intends to use it as their signature, it is considered valid. Common eSignature formats include:
For more than 20 years, eSignatures have been recognized under US law and are generally granted the same legal weight as handwritten signatures. They are valid and enforceable for most transactions in the United States. Common use cases include:
While the terms electronic signature and digital signature are often used interchangeably, there are some important distinctions between the two.
In the US, an electronic signature is defined as: an electronic sound, symbol, or process attached to or associated with a contract or other record and adopted by a person with the intent to sign. They carry the same weight as handwritten signatures and are legally enforceable, as long as a few basic requirements are met. These include:
A digital signature is a more secure form of electronic signature. It must be backed by a digital certificate, which provides proof of the signer’s identity. Digital signatures are electronically bound to the signed document and include encryption that prevents tampering with both the signature and the document itself.
While eSignatures are sufficient for most everyday agreements, digital signatures provide an extra layer of security. They’re most often used for sensitive documents and highly regulated industries like government, healthcare, and financial services.
The main advantage of a wet signature is that it’s accepted and legally binding for any type of transaction. Wet signatures are easy to understand, and they don’t require any technology or special processes.
That said, capturing signatures the old-fashioned way is slow, inefficient, and needlessly complicated—not to mention risky. Here are some of the main challenges companies face when relying on wet signatures:
eSignature technology is an important tool for any modern business that relies on contracts, agreements, and other signed documents. It can transform the end-to-end signature process by automating document delivery, streamlining approvals, improving security, and more.
Here are a few of the many advantages eSignature can deliver:
Today’s customers expect business processes to be quick, easy, and seamless—which makes eSignature a must. Adding the right eSignature solution to your business can improve workflows and allow you to capture the signatures you need at any time, on any device, from anywhere.
Conga Sign lets you modernize your signature process, putting time and money back into your organization. With our easy-to-use, secure eSignature solution, you can speed up approvals, save money, and reduce risk—all while creating an easy, efficient experience for your customers and employees.
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