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Signing contracts still remains a fact of the modern day. From making large purchases to renting an apartment to starting new business relationships, contracts allow parties to work out and agree to suitable and fair terms. They build legal precedents and protections for everyone involved.
As technology has grown, business has become increasingly digital, and that includes signing contracts. In the past, signing a contract required everyone to be in the same room, but people can now easily receive, sign, and send contracts almost instantly without even being on the same continent. This advancement alone has allowed many businesses to pursue international expansion by extending their offering to global markets. Learn more about why you should invest in a digital document signing solution below.
Faster Time to Signature
In the past, if you needed a contract signed but the two parties were unable to actually meet each other, you had to rely on the post. Some businesses still deal with contracts this way. This process involves mailing a traditional paper contract, allowing all the interested parties to review the contract terms, having the party sign it, and waiting for them to send the signed contract back to you. That is a lengthy process. On the shorter side of it, it could take a few days to complete a contract, but it could also take a few weeks.
Even when contracts are sent electronically, printed, signed, and scanned, you still run into delays and accessibility issues. The contract signer must be in the same physical space as the contract, meaning they need access to a printer and a scanner to eventually send the signed document back.
Electronic signatures do away with all of that trouble and speed up the general contract signing process. You can sign a contract from anywhere, using any device connected to the internet. That contract can then be securely sent as soon as you sign. This reduces delays and allows you and the other party to proceed to the next steps as soon as possible.
Contracts can naturally come with discrepancies. Some of that can involve illegal methods, like manipulating the contract after it has already been signed and initialed, but most issues come down to human error. Even the most seasoned veteran will deal with the occasional typo.
Regardless of the circumstances, physical contracts can introduce many errors, which can lead to some severe legal consequences. Electronic contracts can reduce errors through a variety of means. They allow all recipients to view the contract on a single web page. This also allows for greater collaboration on the contract to create mutually beneficial terms. Many digital contract services also allow you to enter in client data that auto-populates fields. That ensures consistency for repeated elements, including names, addresses, initials, and signatures.
Security is one of the most important components of any contract signing. Good security ensures confidentiality for all parties and prevents the leak of sensitive information. Physical contracts can be easy to tamper with, steal, or destroy. Solutions for cloud computing in business such as electronic contracts have built-in features that limit access to only interested parties with proper credentials, on top of encryption and other digital security features. Online contract signing software also usually features easy recovery options in the event of an emergency. This reduces the need to make several physical backup copies of contracts, which can become their own security liabilities.
Digital contracts are also harder for people to manipulate. With physical contracts, it can be difficult to notice sudden changes or alterations, especially with longer contracts featuring denser terms. Contract management services can automatically detect and record even the smallest changes to a contract, making note of who made the changes and when.
Another one of the benefits of digitizing documents such as contracts is reduced costs. Part of that comes from the reduction in human error, which can slow down the entire signing process and contribute to costly issues later on. Digital contract management software can save the cost of fixing these issues.
Electronic contracts also reduce operational and material costs. Fewer physical contracts inherently means less money spent on certain office supplies and equipment, including:
- Toner cartridges
- General printing equipment
- Printing equipment maintenance
- Postage and courier fees
- Filing and storage
- Utility bills
The reduced time to signature can also save money for you and your clients who are unable to meet in-person.
Digital signature solutions offer greater convenience, reduced costs, and improved efficiency. Investing in the right electronic contract software also ensures good service for you and your clients. With Xerox® ConnectKey® Technology, you can streamline the way your business handles critical information. Be sure to talk with an MRC associate about this technology that allows Xerox® multifunction printers to connect directly with your Docusign account.