The Pros and Cons of Digital Signatures

10 Reasons why in-house notaries choose Secured Signing socials
pros and cons of digital signatures secured signing

Before Digital Signatures were legally recognized, all contracts had to be signed, shipped, faxed, or scanned, and filed. Obviously, this process requires multiple steps making it time consuming, costly, and should be avoided whenever possible in favor of digital signatures. Digital Signature transactions have ballooned in just five years—from 89 million to 745 million. 

Digital Signatures are quickly growing worldwide. They are used for both business and personal purposes, showing their benefits to people everywhere.  

This article talks about the pros and cons of using e-Signatures. It also explains the relationship between Secured Signing’s Digital Signatures platform and this topic. But before we get to that let’s indulge you in a quick story about:  

Once Upon a Time: Life Before Digital Signatures

Choosing the right digital signature platform

Picture this: you, the intrepid document chaser, desperately need to gather signatures from five different people. Each one a character in their own right. First, there’s Brenda in Marketing, who insists on signing with her special “Royal Sapphire” pen. After a city-wide hunt, you finally find it, only for Brenda to decide she needs to “sleep on it.”


Next up is Kevin in Sales, currently in Timbuktu (seriously?). Endless international calls, terrible Wi-Fi, and roaming charges later, you finally secure his signature. Feeling hopeful, you dash to catch Maria in Finance mid-yoga pose at the airport. She signs, after a debate on hemp vs. standard paper.


The CEO only communicates using carrier pigeons. The legal team believes overnight delivery isn’t real. You’ve got caffeine jitters and the tenacity of a bloodhound. There’s got to be a better way, right?

Enter Digital Signatures: The Hero We Need

Imagine a world where you don’t need to chase signatures across continents. Approvals happen instantly, sanity intact, and you save time, money, and a few trees. That’s the magic of digital signatures with Secured Signing.

The Pros of Digital Signatures  

  • Accessibility: Whether your signees are next door or on the other side of the world, they can sign documents anytime, anywhere.  
  • Process Automation: E-signatures integrate seamlessly into automated workflows, moving things along without manual intervention.  
  • Eco-Friendly: Digital signatures save paper, water, and energy. Did you know a pack of 500 sheets of paper uses 7.5 kg of wood and 130 liters of water? Digital is greener!  
  • Cost-Effective: No more spending on paper, ink, and travel. Plus, it’s kinder to your budget.  
  • Improved Records Management: Digital documents are easy to store, retrieve, and manage. No more rifling through filing cabinets.  
  • Customer Satisfaction: Convenience is king. Customers appreciate the ease of signing documents from their homes.  
  • Corporate Image: A digital signature shows you’re modern, sustainable, and forward-thinking.  

 

The Cons of Digital Signatures  

  • Trust Issues: Some folks just don’t trust technology. You might still need to offer wet signatures.  
  • Resistance to Change: People love their routines. Some companies went back to wet signatures post-pandemic just to stick to the old ways.  
  • Tech Requirements: Not everyone has access to the necessary tech. Some transactions might still need a personal touch or physical signing.  

 

The Cherry on Top: Speeding Up Processes  

Take healthcare, for example. Digital signatures speed up time-sensitive contracts, improving patient care. They eliminate the need for repeated signing and accelerate negotiations by making every step visible and trackable. 

Geographically diverse parties? No problem. Digital signatures handle it all without delays.  

Environmental Benefits  

Switching to digital signatures does wonders for the environment:  

  • Waste Reduction: Less paper, toner, and disposable supplies.  
  • Reduced Carbon Emissions: Fewer trees cut, less paper transported, and reduced commuting.  
  • Resource Conservation: Digital processes use less water and energy compared to paper manufacturing.  
Secured Signing leaders in digital signatures

See what a customer using Secured Signing Digital Signature platform has to say in their testimonial. Don’t just take our word.

Secure Signing For Any Document

Being a small-to-medium sized Council, all internal staff are utilizing the Secured Signing platform.

“Whether it’s certificates, community notifications, or food licenses, we utilize Secured Signing everywhere in the organization. Working from home or getting a customer to sign a document has never been easier than with Secured Signing.” – Ajana Ranatunge, Coordinator ICT Projects and Business Operations.

Click here to read for full story.

 

The Best Part: Peace of Mind   

Adopting digital signatures isn’t just about going paperless. It’s a strategic move that enhances security, boosts efficiency, and supports sustainability. With Secured Signing, you can enjoy these benefits while ensuring compliance and security in document processing. So, whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise company we have digital solutions that will suit your needs.  

Ready to step into the future with our Digital Signing solutions?

What is an FAA Compliant Digital Signature  

FAA Compliant
FAA allowed electronic signatures by Secured Signing

Did you know, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accepts printed duplicates of electronic documents that display legible digital signatures on documents?   

In 2016, the FAA allowed electronic signatures to be accepted by issuing a policy outlining the details.   

But what does this mean?  

With an FAA Compliant Digital Signature, you no longer need to sign a paper with a pen, scan it, and send it for filing. Instead, you can digitally send documents for signing. This saves time and effort. You can email the FAA the electronically signed document. This saves time and effort as you can email the FAA the electronically signed document.  

However, these electronically signed documents must be completed through a compliant digital signature provider.

What to look for in an FAA compliant digital signature provider  

As stated on the official FAA website, a “legible and acceptable digital signature, at minimum,” will have the following:  

  • Display the name of the signer and apply it in a way that executes or validates the document.  
  • Includes the type or printed name of the signer below or adjacent to the signature when the signature uses a digitized or scanned version of the signer’s hand scribed signature, or the name is in a cursive font.  
  • Shows the signer’s corporate, managerial, or partnership title as part of or adjacent to the digital signature when appropriate.  
  • Shows evidence of authentication of the signer’s identity such as the text “digitally signed by” along with the software provider’s seal or watermark, date and time of execution; or, have an authentication code or key identifying the software provider, and  
  • The text is easy to read. It can be copied and scanned in black and white. The clarity of font, size, and color will not be lost.  

How Secured Signing Meets FAA Compliant Digital Signature Requirements  

FAA Compliant Digital Signature Requirements

Let’s see how Secured Signing meets the requirements with a labeled screenshot of their FAA compliant digital signature box.  

  1. You can clearly see the name of the signer displayed.   
  2. The name appears directly under the signature, which is in cursive font in this case. Fun fact, with Secured Signing you have many options to sign including font, mobile ePad, uploaded signature, and more.  
  3. The job title of the Signer is displayed underneath the signer’s name. E.g. Notary Public.   
  4. Secured Signing shows that the signer intends to sign the document. This is done through the “Signed by:” text, our special “S” logo, and the unique DocID. These features are added for extra security.  
  5. Secured Signing uses a simple font. The text size is large. The colors can be easily changed to black and white for better readability. 

Further reading  

Remember:  

This information is just to give you a general idea, not legal advice. Always check official government and FAA websites for updated rules on digital signatures. Rules may change, so it’s important to stay informed about what is needed.  

Here are some resources for further clarification:  

Sign your documents with Secured Signing 

Talk to one of our sales team today and see how we can help you get your documents signed with legally binding and compliant electronic signatures. 

How Secured Signing Meets Electronic Signatures Laws  

The FAA needs digital signature providers to follow rules. How does Secured Signing compare to other legal requirements worldwide?  

Secured Signing digitally signs documents that meet law requirements.  

Identifying the Signatory  

The system creates unique “digital certificates” for you, anyone you invite to sign (Invitee), and any witnesses. When people sign up, Secured Signing includes more details in the signature, such as email, name, company, address, and more. This helps ensure they are who they say they are when they sign.  

You can check who signed a document by using verification tools or Secured Signing’s signature verification service.  

The signatory connects to the signature.  

Secured Signing technology makes sure each signature is unique to the signer and document by using their Private Key. The service creates a unique digital certificate for the signer. A Cryptographic Key is used to make this certificate. The key helps prevent anyone from making or copying the same signature.  

Imagine a special key unique to each person. This is their “Private Key” in Secured Signing.  

When someone signs a document, their key “locks” the document to their signature. No one else can use that same key to sign the document.  

Secured Signing also creates a special certificate for each person. This certificate is like an ID card that proves who they are when they sign. These features make sure only the right person signs the document and the signature is always connected to that document.  

Creating the signature is under sole control of the signatory  

Secured Signing sends documents for signing only to the person whose signature is required; Only the person who needs to sign the document gets it. Nobody else will receive it by mistake. 

To sign, you need to prove you’re the right person. This is done by verifying your email address (showing you own it) and logging in with a password. A passcode and/or other layers of document access control are provided through this email address.  

Detecting Changes to the Document and to the Signatures (Data Integrity)  

Secured Signing’s trusted digital signature service is based on PKI technology considered the ONLY technology that ensures non-forgeable signatures. Signed documents are sealed with the signatory’s trusted PKI digital signature key; the system is also able to detect any changes that might be made to the content of the document after it is first signed.

If the document is modified, signatures will immediately become invalid. The indication that changes have been made will appear when opening the documents in electronic format; it will also appear at the verifier desktop.  

How Secured Signing provides additional features to support a valid Digital Signature  

Secured Signing offers additional features within the platform to protect it’s users, including:  

  • Strong SSL encryption for documents sent  
  • E-mail validation to prove ownership  
  • Signature’s Date and signatory’s local Time Stamp  
  • Signature’s purpose (Intent)  
  • Secure log-in and activities report  
  • Secured access  
  • Secured document storage  
  • Full signing process audit log  
  • Document log  

Secured Signing’s Digital Signatures stand out as compliant with the FAA’s regulations. Since the FAA accepts printed duplicates of electronic documents featuring legible digital signatures, the era of traditional pen-and-paper signing for aviation-related documents is fading away.

With the FAA’s 2016 policy, electronic signatures gained official recognition, eliminating the need for physical signatures, scanning, and manual filing efforts. Now, you can conveniently send electronically signed documents to the FAA, provided they are completed through a compliant digital signature provider, marking a significant leap in efficiency and modernizing the document signing process.

Secured Signing’s CEO, Gal Thompson on Video Confirmation in the eSigning process

In a recent interview, Gal Thompson, visionary CEO of Secured Signing, discussed how the company provides enterprise businesses with elevated security features that reinforce identity confirmation capabilities within the eSigning process.

 

As digital signatures become increasingly essential for organizations, Secured Signing’s commitment to security, privacy, and trust is more important than ever. The company continues to lead the industry in identity confirmation capabilities, with its advanced Video Confirmation Technology as part of the online signing process.

 

This advanced feature is available to all customers at no additional cost, further solidifying Secured Signing’s position as the most comprehensive and cutting-edge platform for online signing in the market.

 

Gal Thompson, CEO of Secured Signing, stated, “Our primary goal for Secured Signing is to make it quick and simple for the document signer while delivering the most secure, authentic, and reliable outcome for the document owner. Video confirmation achieves that, taking just a few seconds for the signer while providing the document owner the confidence of non-repudiation.”

 

Recently, there has been a significant surge in demand for this feature, driven by the increasing prevalence of fraud and other security concerns in the digital landscape. By incorporating Video Confirmation, Secured Signing has provided its users with an extra layer of security, ensuring the authenticity of all parties involved in the signing process.

 

Thompson emphasized the need for stringent security measures in the rapidly expanding digital landscape. She explained that in a world where businesses regularly rely on electronic signatures to authenticate and validate contracts, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of these signatures is crucial.

 

As the world becomes more interconnected and cyber threats continue to evolve, Secured Signing’s commitment to safeguarding their clients’ sensitive information remains unwavering, and their Video Confirmation feature stands as a testament to this dedication.

 

The CEO shared details on the company’s advancements in identity confirmation technology. “Our goal is to create an environment where enterprise businesses can confidently rely on digital signatures, knowing they are protected by cutting-edge security features,” Thompson said.

 

Secured Signing has been at the forefront of digital security and innovation for years, and their Video Confirmation feature is a prime example. This cutting-edge solution has been available within the Secured Signing platform for the last five years, demonstrating the company’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve.

 

The CEO went on to explain the additional security measures implemented by Secured Signing: “For enhanced security and fraud prevention, the Video Confirmation cannot be downloaded, and every event is meticulously documented in both the Document Log and the Signing Completion Certificate. This powerful feature is an integral part of the Secured Signing product offering.”

 

To further bolster identity verification and security, Thompson highlighted the option to integrate additional authentication levels into the signing process. “When combined with SMS, Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA), or Identity Verification (IDV) mechanisms, the Video Confirmation feature adds an extra layer of protection, ensuring that the person signing the document is indeed the intended signer,” Thompson concluded.

 

Thompson emphasizes the company’s commitment to supporting enterprise businesses with advanced security features: “At Secured Signing, we understand the unique challenges faced by enterprise organizations when it comes to securing sensitive documents and verifying signer identities.

 

With our video confirmation tool available in the eSigning process, we offer an elevated level of security that not only reinforces identity confirmation capabilities but also gives our enterprise customers the utmost confidence in their online signing processes. This innovative solution showcases our dedication to providing unparalleled security and peace of mind for businesses of all sizes.”

 

About Secured Signing

Secured Signing provides a trusted, tamper-proof Digital Signatures platform to the eSignature market with their legally binding document management solution that enables simple and secure eSigning, streamlined document workflows, and remote online notarization in a single cloud-based platform.

 

Secured Signing’s Digital Signature, Video Signing, and RON platform enables its users to use any device to capture their graphical signature, fill-in, sign, seal and verify documents anywhere, anytime.

The Difference between Electronic Signature and Digital Signature

e-signature-vs-digital-signature-with-Secured-Signing

In today’s digital age, the way we sign documents has evolved significantly. Traditional wet ink signatures have been replaced with electronic and digital signatures, offering convenience and efficiency for both individuals and businesses. In this blog, we’ll explore the key differences between electronic signatures and digital signatures, shedding light on their advantages and use cases. We will also highlight the importance of security and authenticity, emphasizing why Secured Signing’s digital platform, utilizing digital signatures and Remote Online Notarization (RON), stands out as a top security provider. 

What is an Electronic Signature?

An electronic signature, also known as an e-signature, is a digital representation of a person’s signature, used to sign electronic documents and legally binding in most countries. These signatures can take various forms, including scanned images of handwritten signatures or typed names. Electronic signatures are created using various methods, such as typing a name, drawing a signature on a touchscreen, or using a digital signature pad. If you’re in a highly regulated industry dealing with personal or confidential information, such as finance, accounting, HR, legal, or healthcare, you might need to consider a more secure option. 

Advantages of Electronic Signatures 

  • Convenience: Electronic signatures can be created and signed from anywhere, at any time, if there is an internet connection. 
  • Time-saving: Electronic signatures eliminate the need for printing, signing, and scanning documents, saving time and resources. 
  • Cost-effective: With electronic signatures, there is no need for paper, ink, or postage, making it a cost-effective option for businesses. 
  • Legally binding: In most countries, electronic signatures are legally binding and hold the same weight as a handwritten signature. 
e-signature vs digital signature Secured Signing

What is a Digital Signature?

A digital signature, a specialized type of electronic signature, employs the robust encryption method known as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Digital signatures are generated through a digital certificate, provided by a Certificate Authority (CA). They offer the compelling advantage of demonstrating that the original document remains unaltered and free from forgery. Essentially, a digital signature acts as a unique fingerprint exclusive to a specific document, making it impossible for any other document to possess the same digital signature, ensuring the document’s integrity and authenticity. 

Advantages of Digital Signatures 

  • High level of security: Digital signatures use a two-key system, making them more secure than electronic signatures. 
  • Non-repudiation: Digital signatures provide non-repudiation, meaning that the signer cannot deny having signed the document. 
  • Tamper-proof: Digital signatures are difficult to forge or tamper with, providing an extra layer of security for important documents. 
  • Compliance: Digital signatures are compliant with various regulations and standards. 
  • Signer’s Identify is part of the signature.  
  • Signature’s Intent, the reason for signing   

Differences between Electronic Signatures and Digital Signatures 

Electronic and digital signatures serve the same purpose of signing electronic documents but diverge significantly in their technology, security, compliance, and importance in document security. 

  • Technology: 
    – Electronic signatures employ diverse methods like typing or drawing a signature. 
    – Digital signatures use PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) encryption and include signature’s graphical image.

     

  • Security: 
    – Digital signatures are more secure, offering non-repudiation and resistance to forgery or tampering due to PKI. 
  • Compliance: 
    – Digital signatures comply with regulations like the eIDAS Regulation (EU), FDA (Food and Drug Administration) CFR 21 Part 11, ESIGN, UETA, and more.
    – Electronic signatures may not meet certain regulations and can vary in legal weight. 
  • Document Security:
    – Digital signatures provide even higher security through the robust two-key PKI system, guaranteeing authenticity and integrity. 
    – Detect any changes that might be made to the content of the document after it is first signed 
    – If the document is modified, signatures will immediately become invalid 
    – Independent signatures verification.  

Electronic signatures and digital signatures are two distinct methods for signing electronic documents. While electronic signatures are basic solutions, digital signatures offer a higher level of security and assurance that the signature is genuine and unaltered. Understanding the differences between these two methods is crucial for businesses and individuals seeking secure and legally enforceable electronic signatures. 

At Secured Signing, we take your security and authenticity seriously. Our digital platform, incorporating digital signatures and Remote Online Notarization (RON), ensures your documents are protected, legally recognized, and tamper-proof. So, when it comes to securing your electronic signatures, choose the best—choose Secured Signing as your number one security provider. 

Introduction to Digital Signatures

The Process & Validity behind Digital Signature Technology.

Public Key Infrastructure – PKI

cryptographic system that uses two keys, a public key known to everyone and a private key, the private key has full control to the key owner, and has to keep in secured environment. A unique element to the public key system is that the public and private keys are related in such a way that only the public key can be used to encrypt messages and only the corresponding private key can be used to decrypt them. Moreover, it is virtually impossible to deduce the private key if you know the public key.

When David wants to send a secure message to Donna, he uses Donna’s public key to encrypt the message. Donna then uses her private key to decrypt it.

Public key cryptography was invented in 1976 by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman. It is also called asymmetric encryption because it uses two keys instead of one key (symmetric encryption).

Digital Signatures Process

Using David and Donna, we can demonstrate how digital signatures are work.

From David’s point of view, the signing process operation is simple. But few steps are happening while signing process is started. :

Generating a Private and Public Key

For digitally sign documents, David needs to obtain a Private and Public Key – a one-time process , it’s done by Secured Signing Service while user registered. The Private Key isn’t shared and is used only by David sign documents. The Public Key is available for all, used for validate the signatory’s digital signature.

Certificate Authority icon
Certificate Authority
Public & Private keys icon
Private & Public keys
Certificate
Certificate
arrow icon user icon
User

Digitally Signing Document

Create a Digital Signature

A unique document’s hash that represent the document is created using a math scheme (like as SHA-1).

Added the Signature to the Document

The hash result and the user’s digital certificate that includes user’s Public Key are mixed into a digital signature; it’s done by using the user’s Private Key to encrypt the document hash. The resulting signature is unique to both the document and the user. Finally, the digital signature is embedded to the document.

David sends the signed document to Donna. Donna uses David’s public key (which is included in the signature within the Digital Certificate) to authenticate David’s signature and to ensure the document didn’t alter after it was signed.

Donna:

    1. Document validation process starts
    2. Decrypts David’s digital signature with his Public Key and gets sent document
    3. Compares David’s document hash with Donna calculated Has –Donna calculates the document hash of the received document and compares it with the hash document in the digital signature. If both hashes are same, the signed document has not been altered.
  1.  

Signing the document:
Digital Signature workflow
Verify signed document:
Digital Signature verification workflow

Certificate Authority (CA)

CA issued certificates to ensure the authenticity of the signatories. Certificates are similar to ID Document. When you want to identify a user in the system you check his certificate. This certificate issued in registration process once all require information filled in. In PKI world the CA uses the CA’s certificate for authenticating user’s identity.

Building a Business Case for Digital Signatures: 7 things Influencing the Move to Digital

As a digital signature cloud-based technology platform, we’ve noticed an increased amount of enquiries into how organisations can begin digitally transforming their business. Organisation’s we speak to are all on a journey to become a paper free office. They want to be 100% digital across the value chain.

One of the key questions we get asked is “how can I communicate the benefits of digital signatures and digital transformation internally at my organization to those approving new technology”.

This one question is a catch all for:

    • What is the cost of the digital solution to the business?

    • Does it save us money, time, resources?

    • How will I train team members?

    • How will I get buy-in from team members to use the digital platform once trained?

    • How long does it take to implement the digital platform?

The list of questions that stem from “how can I communicate the benefits” is long and as you read on, we’ll let you in on what many organizations are now thinking. 


7 things Influencing the Move to Digital.

So, let’s give a little context as to why organizations are approaching us to assist with digital transformation, the types of scenarios to keep in mind before choosing and implementing a digital solution, and what you can use to build your business case.

With organizations at various stages of their digital transformation journey, we have seen common trends and ideas influencing their decisions to go digital.

Moving to the Cloud 

There has been a lot of grunt work around improving robustness of core systems and moving these systems to the cloud. Resources have been set toward this improvement. 

Hybrid Working Models 

COVID has accelerated the adoption of a hybrid work model, with organizations having to give thought to their policies and procedures. Employees could be located anywhere, and so organizations have begun to think about how they empower these employees and give them the right tools to work from anywhere, at any time. 

Office Footprints being Reviewed 

On the back of hybrid working models, we know that office leasing, and the size of the office, is a huge factor (and cost) in today’s organizational thinking. Staff are not necessarily going to be in the office all the time, and the allocation of spending for storage of records, space for printers, desks, computers, is at the top of the list when reviewing costs.

Digitization strategies – moving from paper and files 

Self-explanatory, but many organizations have started to move their paper files and records into a digital space. The shift coming from an urgency to continue to get back to business-as-usual while being able to uphold a successful work from home/hybrid work strategy. 

Reviewing End-to-End Processes 

Recently, we’ve seen organizations step back and look at their digital transformation strategy, and how their end-to-end processes can be adapted and linked back to their digital strategy. A question we like to ask is “if you are going to implement digital signatures, how can this be used across the organization, and what problems do digital signatures solve”. Digital signatures unlock document workflow across value chains being completed electronic. The signature is the key part but consider what that enables across the process.

Security, Compliance and Avoiding Fraudulent Activity

Post COVID many organizations we talk to have been using electronic signatures to get business done. In brief, that is dropping an electronic version of their or managements signature on a document to sign. Unfortunately, signing this way can mean the document can be altered after the signature. This can lead to altered documents or fraudulent activity. Having a secure Digital Signature provider increases security in the signing process and protects the organization from a legal and compliance perspective.

Corporate Social Responsibility Goals 

Lastly, organizations have increasingly grown in their awareness of their carbon footprint and have been looking for ways to reduce this. Digital signatures play a huge role in getting rid of paper, reducing travel and storage costs, which contributes to the sustainability goals of the org. 

What Does It All Mean?

It is one thing to understand what is driving the change to “go digital”, it is another to get the benefits across to internal stakeholders. 

Digital transformation is a big change and what we’ve seen works in getting internal stakeholders on board can be broken down into two things: efficiency gains and cost-savings. 

Efficiency Gains  

Digital signatures enable you to streamline your process through: 

    • Automating and integrating your document flow so the right forms are sent at the right time. 

    • Removing the need to print, scan, sign, save, email, save to a document management system. 

    • Two-way data flow means you can save documents in the right place, all the time. 

    • Having confidence in the accuracy of documents by recreating re-usable templates. 

    • Improving user and customer experience. 

A recruitment agency that chose Secured Signing as their digital signature provider, was faced with the age old challenge of dealing with too many documents with not enough staff to process them. 

Their processes were essentially manual, involving stacks of paper, which was “hardly environmentally friendly”, and involved more of their staff, taking up resources that could be better utilized elsewhere in the business.  

With their digital transformation, they were able to keep on top of high-volume numbers, with time-savings of around 1250 hours, per month. 

Cost Savings 

We could talk at length about this but for simplicity’s sake this means: 

    • Removing money spent on paper, printers & ink. 

    • Reduction in staff time wasted by handling paper documents. 

    • Office space saved by not having to file & store paper records. 

    • Reduction in money spent on couriers, or fuel, moving documents around. 

A real-life example of digital signatures implemented across an organization is how a local council in New Zealand reduced its operating costs (p.a.) by NZD$26,276 by simply reducing paper, courier and postage, and the time spent preparing, sending, and signing paper files.  

What Have We Learnt? 

When it comes to building your business case for digital signatures and digital transformation within your organization, the numbers speak for themselves, and the benefits are obvious. Save time & money by changing your existing physical processes to digital.  

Once organizations have chosen their digital service provider, and implementation kicks in, there’s no going back to the way things used to be. Digital transformation is a must for any organization wanting to succeed and the sooner you decide to take that first step, the sooner you realize that moment of “why didn’t we do this earlier”.



For more information visit:
www.securedsigning.com

5 Tips for Digitizing your Recruitment processes with Secured Signing

5 Tips for Digitizing 1

Prior to COVID-19, recruitment was very old-fashioned in the sense that the candidate would have to come into your agency, sit face-to-face with you, fill out forms, do an actual in-depth interview, and then refer the suitable candidates to your client. 

It was very traditional. 

When COVID-19 hit, we couldn’t meet face to face, barely anyone had a printer at home, shops were closed, it was a disaster. 

People were forced to go digital, but they didn’t have enough knowledge of what was in the market. Google was every recruiter’s best friend as they tried to navigate the work-from-home recruitment space. Many recruiters are unhappy with the current solution that they have because: 

    • It does not tick all the boxes. 

    • There was not enough research that went into choosing a solution that best fit the recruitment agencies’ needs. 

    • The fast change to working from home within the industry was an unknown phenomenon. 

“The number one thing that I’ve learned over the past two years is that it’s not about who is the best recruiter, but who has the best overall experience for the candidate.”

                   –  Jade Moolman, Business Development Manager (APAC) Secured Signing


Now, the way that things are working is that everything is virtual: meet with candidates online, candidates do not want to come in to meet face-to-face in the current climate. So, even though you’re in the office, and you call them to organize an in-person meeting, a lot of the time candidates are not interested in that. It has now become “who has the easiest candidate experience” is ultimately who the candidate ends up choosing as their recruiter, and who is going to make the placement. 

“Working in this space prior to COVID-19, some recruitment agencies were ahead of the curve doing things digitally online for a long time,” says Gal Thompson, CEO at Secured Signing. “Whereas many more have rushed (in choosing a digital solution) and are now re-evaluating.” 

With that in mind, here are 5 of our teams’ top tips and recommendations when digitizing your recruitment process. 

Tip 1- Transform your Paper forms into Online forms. 

This sounds simple and obvious, but what we’ve seen works well is to really think about your forms and not take them as they are in paper form and replicate them in a digital way.  

Have Fewer Fields. 

Gal Thompson says “think about what is mandatory in today’s recruitment process, what legacy information that you have been collecting but never use, and cull anything that is not relevant.” 

This process allows you to simplify your candidate’s efforts and makes them less likely to drop out of the recruiting process. Less is so much more. 

Only Ask for Information when you Need it. 

“We have seen in the past that people ask for all the information up front in the case that they may need it later down the line. Where they never use this information. You risk candidates opting out as the forms are too complicated or asking for way too much information, and it is too hard. A good example is not asking for payroll/bank information during the initial phases of interacting with a candidate, because you have not talked to them yet, and you may not want to continue after having a chat. 

Capture Key Documents and Information in your Process. 

If you’re getting documents like driver’s licenses, certificates, etc., it is important to capture these when you need them. 


Tip 2- Integrations 

When selecting your digital solution it is important to look out for is: 

Seamless Integration into your current Software and Systems

First, you want something that works with what you have already, and works well. 

“What is the point of having a digital signature or online forms platform that does not integrate into your current systems. You’ll soon find that a massive pain-point for you and your agency will be the double-handling of data, and dragging and dropping files into your CRM/ATS.”  

Limited Clicks 

An integration would not be a particularly good one if you need to click a hundred times before sending a document out to your candidates and clients for signing. 

“You want something that is easy to use, does not look complicated, and has limited clicks to get the job done.” 

Two-way Data Fow 

As mentioned above, you want data to flow from your CRM/ATS automatically, so you can remove double-handling of data and automate the data entry process. The information flows in and out of the candidate record based on what you want to achieve. 

“For instance, with Secured Signing, if you sent out a document to your candidate for filling out and signing, whatever information is populated in the form will be pushed into your CRM/ATS. Keep in mind this would be configured in your settings, and the information that you push, and pull would be entirely up to you and your agency.” 

Remove manual entries and free up time for your recruiters to focus on other things. 

Scales Up with your Recruitment Agency 

When looking at a digital solution you want something that can grow with your agency as you begin expanding, hiring more recruiters, and placing more candidates. 

“Look for something that has features like unlimited use, means you can stay with one solution provider all the way through, with no need to change up due to capacity limitations.” 


Tip 3- Automation 

When talking about integrations and transforming your paper forms into digital versions, you want to find a solution that has built-in automation. Automation makes things easy, simplifies the process for recruiters and candidates, and saves everyone time. 

Again, two-way data flow is essential, but there are some other things you should look out for. 

Turn your processes into Workflows 

One thing that surprises a lot of recruiters is the ability to automatically send the right forms to the right candidates at the right stage and time of the recruitment process.  

“At Secured Signing, we enjoy going into that level of detail when onboarding new recruiters. We find out what emails you want to send at what time, and fully personalize the recruitment process to your needs. This upfront planning can save your team hours and hours in the long run. 

Saved in the Right Place 

No more dragging and dropping files to the correct candidate record – get things automatically saved to the right place. 

Save Time 

We recently did a study on how our integration and how integrations like ours around time saved. You are looking at a 45 minute to an hour-long process when putting candidate details into your ATS/CRM.  

Quite a long time, right?  

With the right solution, we have seen this reduced to just 3 minutes per candidate, which is an insane reduction and time. 


Tip 4- Find a Customizable Solution for your Candidates 

Making the experience personal for your candidates and showcasing your brand can give you the edge over other agencies in the market. 

“We have a lot of options out of the box like adding your brand, everywhere. On all the email communications, on SMS texts to your candidates, during the actual signing of the documents, everywhere. We also let you set up domain verification, which when set up, all emails sent by your agency from our platform, are sent from you. This adds another level of trust and brand integrity when interacting with potential candidates.” 

Full control over what the candidate experiences is essential and can be the difference between them being fully engaged or dropping out of the process. 

“One of the objections we have heard when discussing digitization with recruiters is that the digital way is not personal enough, but once we get into demoing the platform and the brand-related features, this viewpoint changes. It takes the cold, robotic sense of digital and adds a warmer, personal touch to the process.” 


Tip 5- Mobile Friendly 

Lastly, and self-explanatory, is that you have a solution that can be used on any device, whether it is a tablet, PC, Mac, mobile device, anything. 

Candidates and clients will most likely do everything using their mobile. 

One way we cater to this is that we provide a product that fully customizes your paper forms into HTML-5 forms, which automatically formats your forms to fit on any device and screen size. 

Another way is that candidates and clients will not need to sign up and register an account with Secured Signing. Candidates and clients simply receive an SMS text or email which gives them access to any forms or documents that need to be filled out and signed. 

“Secured Signing offers a seamless, one-and-done approach, which many recruiters find adds value to their candidate and client experience.” 

What are some of the key reasons for Digitizing 

To wrap up, here are some of the reasons for recruiters reaching out to us for a digital solution: 

    • Bulk signing for temporary agents. 

    • Collecting payroll information. 

    • Building of forms. 

    • Using automation and triggers. 

If you would like to see a demo of how you can use Secured Signing within your agency you can watch the webinar here and skip ahead to 19:40.

With digitizing here to stay, recruitment agencies shifting to paperless, and increased candidate & client expectations, now is the time to start your digitization journey.

If you are looking to digitize your recruitment process, visit www.securedsigning.com

Digital Signature’s legality – Is a digital signature legally binding?

Today, most countries welcome the use of electronic signatures as a way to move beyond a paper-based environment. New Zealand, Australia (all states), the United States, Canada, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the European Union, and many others have established laws regarding the signing of documents in electronic format.

While people use various ways to sign electronically, ONLY Digital Signature technology that uses industry-based standards of cryptography can satisfy these laws. The Secured Signing digital signatures online service complies with and exceeds these requirements!



 

We are confident that the systems used by Secured Signing ensure that the electronic signatures produced meet the New Zealand legal requirements for a signature. In fact, the security and logging facility, in our view, provides better authenticity than many of the methods by which documents are now commonly signed and exchanged (e.g. email and facsimile). So, unless there are specific laws dictating that a document can only be signed in a particular way, any form of contract can be signed using the Secured Signing System. Rick Shera, Partner, LOWNDES JORDAN, Barristers & Solicitors, Auckland, New Zealand


Law requirements

Legal requirement for a signature is met by means of an electronic signature if the signature:

  • Adequately indentifies the signatory;
  • Adequately indicates the signatory’s approval of the information to which the signature relates; and (Intent)
  • Is as reliable as is appropriate given the circumstances.

An electronic signature is sufficiently reliable if:

  • the means of creating the signature is linked to the person signing and no-one else, and
  • the means of creating the signature was under the control of the person signing and no-one else, and
  • any changes to the signature are detectable, and
  • any changes to the documents are detectable (data integrity ).

Our compliance

How Secured Signing’s trusted Digital Signatures Service meets Electronic Signatures Laws

Documents that are digitally signed with Secured Signing meet the above law requirements as follows:

1. Identifying the Signatory

Only Secured Signing creates a unique digital certificate to a user, an Invitee, and a Witness. When these signatories register, additional information is added to their signature including a unique e-mail address with proof of ownership, full name, company’s legal name, full physical address, password, and more. Some of these details ensure the signatory is identified at the moment the digital signature is created. By digitally signing, users can easily verify the identity of the signatory via the digital certificate incorporated with the digital signature. Signature verification can be done online using Secured Signing’s Free Verification Service and/or on the verifier desktop.

2. Signature is linked to the signatory

The Secured Signing digital signature technology ensures that every signature is uniquely linked to the signatory and to the document by using the signatory’s Private Key. The service creates a unique digital certificate for the signatory using a Cryptographic Key that eliminates the possibility to create and/or duplicate the same signature.

3. Creating the signature is under sole control of the signatory

Secured Signing sends documents for signing only to the person whose signature is required; no one else will receive them. In order to sign, the signatory has to provide credentials verifying their right to sign: a proof of ownership of a unique e-mail address and a password to login.

4. Detecting Changes to the Document and to the Signatures (Data Integrity)

Secured Signing’s trusted digital signature service is based on PKI technology that is considered to be the ONLY technology that ensures non-forgeable signatures. Signed documents are sealed with the signatory’s trusted PKI digital signature key; the system is also able to detect any changes that might be made to the content of the document after it is first signed. If the document is modified, signatures will immediately become invalid. The indication that changes have been made will appear when opening the documents in electronic format; it will also appear at the verifier desktop.

Secured Signing solution provides additional unique features to support a valid Digital Signature:

  • Strong SSL encryption for documents sent
  • e-mail validation to prove ownership
  • Signature’s Date and signatory’s local Time Stamp
  • Signature’s purpose (Intent)
  • Secure log-in and activities report
  • Secured access
  • Secured document storage
  • Full signing process audit log
  • Document log

Digital signatures that use Personalised X509 PKI Digital Signature technology sustain signer authenticity, accountability, data integrity and non-repudiation of documents and transactions.

In 1999, the EU passed the “EU Directive for Electronic Signatures” and on June 30, 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“ESIGN”), which made signed electronic contracts and documents as legally binding as a paper-based contract.

In recent years, most countries worldwide have adopted legislation and regulations that recognise the legality of a digital signature and deem it to be a binding signature. Many of them have an Electronic Transactions Act in place.

These legislations create a uniform standard for all electronic transactions and encourage the use of electronic signatures, giving electronic signatures the same legal effect as pen-and-paper signatures.

“Signing documents online with Secured Signing is the online equivalent of the signatories being in the same room together” Rick Shera, Partner, LOWNDES JORDAN Barristers & Solicitors

Secured signing service complies with ESIGN, UETA, Electronic Transactions Acts and many more.

Some Legislation worldwide:

  • Australian Capital Territory -ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS ACT 2001
  • Australia, New SouthWales (NSW) – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS ACT 2000
  • Australia, Northern Territory (NT) – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS ACT 2000
  • Australia, QLD – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS (QUEENSLAND) ACT 2001
  • Australia, VIC – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS (VICTORIA) ACT 2000
  • Australia, SA – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS ACT 2000
  • Australia, WA – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS ACT 2003
  • Australia, Tasmania – ELECTRONIC TRANSACTIONS ACT 2000
  • Canada – Uniform Electronic Commerce Act (UECA)
  • China – Electronic Signature Law of the People’s Republic of China
  • Europe – eIDAS
  • New Zealand – Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017
  • South Africa – Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2002
  • UK – Electronic Communications Act 2000 (chapter 7)
  • U.S. – Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN)
  • U.S. – Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA)- adopted by 48 states

Nothing on this page constitutes legal advice.

The state of Recruitment – Insights with Jade Moolman

Secured Signing has been working within the Recruitment industry for years and built many integrations to help recruiters with their everyday processes. 


Whether its sending candidates NDA’s, registration forms and job offers, onboarding new staff or sending policies to the team, our digital signatures make this that much easier. 


And we know this because our customers let us know. 


A fast-growing recruitment agency in the UK, said that since using Secured Signing they’ve been able to scale, meet their compliance requirements, as well as significantly reducing their operating costs


“With the help we’ve got and the software we have, that certainly helps us keep on top of high-volume numbers,” says Charlotte Gent, Compliance & Training Manager at Industria. Currently Secured Signing provides Industria with the ability to create eForms and get documents signed online, with their own purpose-built HTML forms being produced by Secured Signing.  


This small investment at the start of the project proved invaluable to Industria, as they were able to ask all the correct questions to ensure their compliance processes were adhered to. All relevant compliance data captured within their forms is automatically populated into their CRM. 


Not bad, huh. 


Steve Santich, Co-Founder and CEO at Veterans Alliance, says that the ability to digitize their forms enabled them to shift to a “fully-online” and mobile approach. Working with clients and candidates from all parts of the US, this was essential. 


“A lot of the folks we work with are travelling contractors. They are not at home, and we needed something that people could do, online, preferably on mobile, to get these documents signed and back to us.” 


With the state of recruitment always changing and innovating we thought we’d get an expert opinion from someone who could add a bit of color to the discussion of digitizing within recruitment.  


Our very own, Jade Moolman, delves a little deeper as we pick her brain on what she has learned, both as a recruiter and as a digital signing software pro. 


Why do you think recruiters are trending toward digitizing their recruitment processes?  

I think there are three reasons for this digital revolution in the industry. The first one being the most obvious, Covid-19. Covid-19 has nudged agencies towards this already impending change, people are less inclined to come in person to fill out registration forms, some are not physically able to due to lockdowns. The second reason would be an equally impactful one, saving our planet by going green and paperless. Many companies around the globe are doing their part, even if it is just for great P.R. The third reason would be that we are living in an age where technology is constantly changing, making our lives easier, less manual and saving us time that could be spent on other core business activities. It makes sense to go digital to become more efficient. 


What do you think the learning curve is when it comes to implementing a digitized system? And what do you think are the key things when thinking about digitizing your recruitment processes? 

Have clear expectations from the beginning. Think about what processes you want to automate and what processes you still want to have a human touch. This is an opportunity to really revamp your workflow, however your roadmap needs to be clear for the well-oiled beast to be efficient. Another important factor is to consider your user’s experience, what would your Candidates, and Clients feel like on the other end of the process? You ultimately want their experience with your brand to be a positive lasting one and that’s how we add value.  


What have been some of the “a-ha” moments when talking with recruiters about a digitized approach? Is it the ability to automate? Digitize forms? The signing process? 

Recruiters definitely love the automation part without a doubt. Most recruiters you speak to hate the admin aspect of the job, it’s not what they are good at or passionate about. The more time spent on admin means less time doing the things that ultimately make them money. The digital forms and the excellent user signing experience are just added bonuses. The real gold is the fact that they no longer have to fix data, add data into their CRM system or even chase up candidates for missing documents. The fact that all of this can be automated is their dream come true.  


What would be the one thing you would recommend any recruiter or recruitment agency to start doing today? 

Digitize your registration process at the very least, or even just start off there before you look at any other aspects of your process. Consultants spend hours each week adding candidates into the CRM who come from outside their conventional sourcing habits, I for one spent ages adding in candidates I had reached out to over LinkedIn or candidates who had walked in, there’s nothing worse than multiple consultants from the same agency reaching out to the same candidates over and over again because there is no record due to lack of time.  

— 

If you are interested in how Secured Signing could be used to digitize your recruitment processes, contact us today. 

Court Case showcases Digital Signing’s shortfalls but there is a Solution

Digital Signing adoption across the world is rowing with Government Regulations being adapted to allow a huge range of documents to be Digitally Signed.

Getting documents signed digitally is not without risks however and if you use the wrong provider or software solution to
get your serious documents signed you could find yourself in trouble in the future.

One recent court case in Australia involving a business lender who was using DocuSign and it perfectly highlights the possible repercussions if incorrect signing processes are followed or the wrong software selected.

Read on for details of the case plus how they could have avoided the issue in the first place.

Marketlend Pty Ltd v Blackburn [2020] NSWDC 358

The business lender Marketlend advanced credit of $600,000AUD to a company called Blackburn, run by a husband and wife. Using their standard digital signing process and DocuSign software the loan documents including personal guarantees were sent for signing to both the husband and wife who both signed digitally. Blackburn later went into liquidation and were unable to make any significant repayments to Marketlend, with the debt growing to over $700,000.

A court case ensued.

Marketlend felt they had a viable case – relying upon the wife’s personal guarantee as proof of initializing the loan agreement. According to the wife, they were separated at the time of the loan agreement and the wife denied signing anything or being liable for the $700,000.

Although Marketlend had a digitally signed document by both parties, it was later found that the husband had access to both her company email and DocuSign account, and signed the documents on her behalf. Utilizing information saved by the e-signing company and mobile telephone location evidence – the court corroborated the wife’s stance, which in turn meant the loan agreement was not legally binding.

In this case, the lack of signer authentication and identity verification throughout the business loan signing process was Marketlends downfall.

So, what could they have done differently to ensure the identities of Blackburn’s signee’s were correctly verified, and that the digital documents were executed in a way to protect from forgery?

 

How to Avoid this Issue by Verifying Who is Signing a Digital Document

There are a number of different techniques Marketlend could of utilised to verify the documents were digitally signed by
the right person – if they were using software which offered those features such as Secured Signing.

Along with email verification and document passwords, Secured Signing offers two additional options to verify the identity
of who is signing:

SMS Verification

As this case showed, company email addresses are not 100% secure and although email verification and password protecting documents is a good start – including a mobile verification step takes verifying who is signing to the next level, after all it’s not often people are without their phone.

Secured Signing’s SMS Verification feature sends an SMS code to the signee’s mobile phone which is used to access the document before signing can take place.

Video Confirmation

Having both email and SMS verification add a layer of protection during the initial phase of digitally signing a document, but access to both can still be compromised.

For the ultimate protection, Secured Signing have created a feature called Video Confirmation which can verify & prove who signed a document easily in the future.

With a simple tick of a box when signing documents – signees must record a 10-second video of themselves performing a specific random gesture during the signing process. The recording is easy for the signee to complete and can be done on any device so adds no friction to the signing process.

Watch the full Video Confirmation demo video here!

The completed video recording then attaches automatically to the signed document and can be accessed at the time to verify the identity of the signee and in the future as long-term evidence that proves exactly who digitally signed the document.

Had Marketlend been using Secured Signing’s Video Confirmation feature they would have quickly seen it was not the wife signing the document and never would have advanced the $700,000 avoiding this issue completely.

Worried about your own digital signing solution or digital signing in general?

If you’re getting serious documents signed,  successfully verifying a signee’s identity is an important step in the digital signing process and ensures a digitally executed document can be upheld in court, or in general business proceedings.

Secured Signing are the only digital signing platform offering the Video Confirmation feature and it’s actually just one of the many features we have available to ensure non-repudiation of contracts.

If after seeing this court case you are worried about your current digital signing solution and are serious about safeguarding your business, signatures and documents, get in touch today and we’ll work with you to ensure your company is protected.