The Online Digital Signature Way

A Digital Signature Blog


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15 October, 2015

The 1993 film Groundhog Day found the humour in Bill Murray suffering through the same day, over and over, and over again. When customers send in forms that are incomplete and you have to send them back to be submitted again, it can start to feel like Groundhog Day. 

One of the best things about moving your forms online is that they are much more likely to be complete and correct, the first time. This not only saves time and money but reduces the frustration for everybody involved. Here are some of the tools we can use to get your forms complete and correct the first time.

Online forms can have mandatory fields. I’m sure you’ve seen those red asterisks and know you simply can’t progress until they are all complete. A form that is complete the first time is a big step towards avoiding having to send it back around the loop.

Data lookups help to reduce the simple errors that arise from a slip of the fingers. If a customer needs to supply their banking details, a look up of the BSB number means errors can be fixed before submitting.

Data validation is another tool to ensure the form is not only complete but correct. This can be as simple as checking something is the correct length. For example, phone numbers can be checked to make sure they have the correct number of digits.  It can also include making sure something like email addresses are in a valid format and have no spaces.

The other joy of online forms is no more data entry. We can send back to you not just the completed form but also a data file. You can use the import tools in your back office systems to load the data, or use Secured Signing’s API, or our Salesforce integration. This avoids both the waste of effort and the risk of errors that arise from rekeying the data off the form.

However, the need for forms to be signed has been a stumbling block for many in getting their forms online. Secured Signing’s Form Filler and Form Direct solutions combine the advantages of online forms with the unmatched security and compliance of a personal, PKI digital signature.

Form Filler and Form Direct allow you to get the information you need from your customers with the maximum convenience for everyone without cutting any compliance corners.

Let’s talk about your forms today!

Till next time

Cheers, John


General

15 September, 2015

Do you still have your very first email address? From memory my first email address came with dial up internet access from a service provider called PowerUp. That company has long since ceased operations. It is a fact of life that companies come and go. 

Nowhere is this more true than in the rapidly changing landscape of information technology and the internet in particular.  If youre old enough, you may remember chatting with friends on ICQ and sending them a link to a great new website you found on Alta Vista which they could browse in Netscape Navigator on their Gateway PC.

When you sign up for any online service, understanding where you will be left if they arent around any more is important. One of the things I love about Secured Signing is that we give you complete independence in e-Signing. 

Every document you sign with Secured Signing comes back to you with personal, standards based, PKI digital signatures.  Everything you need to verify those signatures next week, next year, next decade is contained within the document. You dont even need to be online to verify the signatures. Just start up any PDF reader that supports the digital signature standard and you can check the document has not been tampered with and verify the identity of the signers.

Not all electronic signatures give you this degree of independence.  Some e-signature services rely on keeping a copy of your document to be able to prove the validity of the signature. They may also use proprietary methods in their signatures that are supported only by their software. Clearly this creates a high degree of dependence on that company and their service to prove the reliability of your signed documents. Having a copy of your document retained permanently on a system you dont control may also have implications in terms of privacy legislation.

An independent e-signature service that uses public standards means you can be confident in proving the integrity of your signed electronic documents in the long term. It also means you arent locked in to continuing to use a specific service.

Signing documents online is so much quicker and easier and saves you time and money. Just make sure the service you choose offers you the independence you deserve!

Till next time

Cheers, John.


General

8 July, 2015

As a Secured Signing customer you can brand both your invitation emails and the signing page your customers see when they sign. It is a great way to reinforce your brand image and give your customers confidence to eSign online.

The invitation to sign a document will often follow some contact from you. Having a logo the customer recognises at the top of the email helps them recognise the invitation as the document they were expecting to receive. When they click the link to sign, seeing your familiar logo is further confirmation they are on the right track to quickly and easily signing your document online with a secure digital signature.

Many Secured Signing customers also take advantage of email templates to provide specific instructions and information in the invitation email. Of course you can also attach documents that do not need to be signed to the invitation email.

A recent change has been to extend the branding options to include the signing page in We Sign process. When your customer clicks the link in the invitation email, the signing page is what they see next. The new We Sign branding option allows you to add your logo and a link to your website to this page.

Setting up your email and We Sign branding is done with a few mouse clicks in the My Account page. Click My Settings and youll see a Branding option.


Turn on the email branding and then click the Email Branding button. You will be prompted to add a logo and then stepped through options to position the logo, provide your website details and the sign off to be used at the bottom of the email invitation.

Similarly, enable the We Sign Branding first and then click the We Sign Branding button. Upload the logo youd like to use on your signing page and provide your website details.

All Secured Signing accounts are able to tailor email invitations and the We Sign signing page with your logo and your website details. It is quick and easy to setup!  So log in to Secured Signing now and go to My Account  My Settings and Branding to get started.

Till next time

Cheers, John.


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General

10 June, 2015

It is hard to imagine that just a few generations ago, all our news and mail arrived in Australia or New Zealand by sail or steam. Finding out what happened in the world a few weeks ago was considered timely! Our world is now one where we expect to be able to communicate with people anywhere in the world instantly. We truly live in the digital age.

In the digital age we are all looking for alternatives to physically posting documents around the world to get them signed. It can take weeks to turn around and is quite costly. Emailing an electronic copy of the document costs almost nothing and will arrive instantaneously. Sending documents by email is quicker and easier but is it good enough?

Sending a document by email is really outsourcing the inconvenience of managing the paper to your customer. It becomes their cost to print it to sign. The customer then needs to pay the postage to return the hard copy. Alternatively they have to find a scanner to create a new electronic document they can return by email.

The bigger problem is that having a picture of somebodys signature decorating the document provides no meaningful authenticity or reliability.

The electronic document containing a picture of your customer's signature may have been scanned from a paper copy they physically signed. It could just as easily be an image someone pasted into the document. It may have been the customer who added the image to the document but there is no guarantee. Electronic signatures provide no authenticity.

The other problem is that the electronic document may have been modified after the signature was applied. A word or a whole page could have been added or removed from the document and the picture of the signature will still be there. Electronic signatures provide no reliability.

Fortunately, there is a very simple and inexpensive way to have the speed and convenience of email that also provides very strong confidence in the reliability and authenticity of the signed document. PKI based digital signatures can only be applied by the person invited to sign. They cannot be copied to another document. Any change to the document will invalidate the signature and it will fail the verification when the document is opened.

Secured Signing is a local digital signing platform that allows you to add your document and invite your customer to sign online. They receive an email invitation that includes a link, which they can use to review the document and sign with a personal X509 PKI digital signature. Two factors authentication is also available to provide stronger identity verification. Both you and your customer receive the digitally signed document by email, once the signing process is complete.

The signed document is completely self-contained and can be verified off line as well.  When the document is opened, the signature is verified automatically guaranteeing the document is unchanged since it was signed.

The great thing about Secured Signing there is there is no software to buy or download.  Everything happens in a standard web browser on a PC, Mac, iPad or tablet. You simply create an account and pay for what you use each month. You can even sign up for a free evaluation of the service so you can try before you buy.

Why use a decorative signature when the security of a personal PKI digital signature is just a click away?

Till next time,

Cheers, John


General

13 May 2015

Now you look back, the effort you invested in adding fillable fields to your PDF forms might seem like a waste of time. The hope was that it would be a step towards making it easier for your customers to complete the form. In reality, fillable PDF forms are a bit of a dead end. Even though you can fill them on screen, they still need to be printed to be signed and returned.

In this last post in our series introducing the new capabilities of Secured Signing, well show you a way to turn your PDF forms into proper online forms by adding them to Form Filler.

For those of you just joining us, a massive refresh of Secured Signing was launched earlier this year.  As well as a complete update of the look and feel, we introduced a range of new features including:

     Improved support for mobile devices

     Rerouting of invitations

     Ability for an invitee to decline an invitation

     Options for stronger identity verification

Check out the earlier blog posts to learn more about these great new features.  The last of the big updates we want to make sure you know about is the ability to directly import your fillable PDF forms into Form Filler.

Secured Signing has always had great forms capabilities.  For simple forms, Form Filler allows you to convert your existing printable forms to forms than can be filled and signed online.  For more complex forms with internal rules and data validation, Form Direct allows us to build dynamic HTML forms your customers can complete and sign online.

With the new improvements to Form Filler, you can finally get a return on your investment in creating fillable PDF forms.  When you add your PDF form to Form Filler, it will recognise the existing fields and convert them automatically for you.  All you need to do is save your new form as a template and invite people to complete it and sign it.  No need to print!

Even better, the people you invite to fill and sign your form can do so on any browser on any device. This is really convenient for people using mobile devices that typically cant deal with PDF forms at all.

Give it a try yourself!  Click the Form Filler button, upload your existing PDF form and check out the results.  Dont yet have a Secured Signing account?  No Problem!  Register for a free trial account.

Til next time,

Cheers, John


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General