E-signatures are fast becoming a way to agree to contractual documentation. In August, InfoTrack conducted a survey asking our clients what they would like to learn more about to increase efficiencies and make their firm more productive. 58% of respondents said e-signing would be a key contributor to helping them service their clients better.
To keep up with client demand and deliver on the 24/7 nature of doing business, InfoTrack developed SignIT, electronic signing software facilitated through DocuSign, the market-leader in eSignatures.
Electronic signatures are only going to become more common. However, as not everyone is using e-signing for important documentation, lawyers will need to engage with the counterparty’s lawyers early on to agree if electronic signatures will be accepted. They can then follow the appropriate procedures to get the relevant documents signed electronically without fear of rejection.
Generally, for an electronic signature to be deemed effective, it must satisfy the following conditions:
- Identity: The person must use a method to identify themselves and indicate their intention.
- Reliability: The method of identification must be as reliable as appropriate considering the purpose of the communication.
- Consent: The person to whom the signature is given must consent to the use of electronic communication to fulfil the requirement for a signature and to the method of identification.
If your client ticks all three requirements, here’s why you should incorporate it into your firm.
Benefits of e-signing
- Improved flexibility breeds happy clients
InfoTrack clients who have used SignIT, report that it reduces manual labour associated with administration paperwork.
During our survey, one challenge clients nominated with the replacement of e-signing over more traditional methods, is the perceived reduction in client relationships. E-signing reduces the need for clients to come to your office for face to face signing. This makes the method more convenient for them. Yet, there is some concern that reducing the face to face element of signing important documents like contracts, may take away from the seriousness of signing such significant documentation. Valuable client relationships can still exist when e-signing is implemented. You can still bring your client in to e-sign documents. This gives you the opportunity to explain any complex or confusing elements of property contracts in order for your client to understand the gravity of what they are signing.
Furthermore, should your client to choose to e-sign away from your office, SignIT gives status updates and automatically notifies all involved parties once a document is signed. This can enhance client relationships, as your clients will know where their property contract is up to. This added level of transparency makes your clients feel they are being kept in the loop thereby demonstrating your superior level of service.
- Safe and secure
Electronic signatures provide more security and leave a strong evidence trail in comparison to ink on paper. When a document is e-signed, you can see when the document was received, when it was accessed and on what device the documentation was signed and returned.
If you don’t feel that email security is safe enough, SignIT also offer SMS verification. This is an optional feature where you can select to have SMS authentication. When signatures have been requested and the email accessed by the recipient, they will be prompted to select the mobile number and send SMS. An authentication code will be sent to the provided mobile number, which can then be used to access the document for signing. This added layer of authentication demonstrates InfoTrack’s commitment to keeping you and your client’s safe from cyber security hacks.
In a world where it is important to keep up with client demand and to be across digital practices, e-signing is fast becoming a primary choice for many industries. Convenience is the main driver for the rise of technology options, despite the impression that e-signing takes away from the gravity of signing important legal documentation. As we move ahead, law firms must be on board to accommodate the fast pace of doing business today and ensuring the security of clients.
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