By Brad Newton, vice president, Australia and New Zealand, DocuSign

Contracts can be risky business. If a signed contract is incomplete, late or if a signature has been forged, it could end up costing a business or the parties involved a significant amount of money. Recently spoke with Dynamic Business about how Australian businesses can increase security by ditching written signatures and going digital and therefore reduce the risk of monetary loss. Here are the hard facts:

eSignatures are legally enforceable

Electronic signatures are both legally enforceable and court-admissible under the Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Cth), provided key requirements are met. Only a few exclusions apply under the Act. Wills, for example, still require a wet signature in every state. However, for a majority of standard business documents, including contracts, electronic signatures are legally enforceable.

eSignatures make your business more secure

Electronic signatures are more secure than written signatures due to an inbuilt audit trail, thus providing certainty around the integrity and authenticity of a signed document and the signatory’s identity. This authentication process provides the user with:

  • The signatory’s IP address,
  • Time and location stamps,
  • Anti-tampering mechanisms.

Depending on the needs and sophistication of the customer, additional levels of security include:

  • Secret question safe-guards for identity proofing
  • Facial recognition and voiceprints for speech verification
  • Inclusion of passport and driver’s license into a document
  • SMS code identification

eSignatures increase speed, accuracy, and cut costs

Having a wholly digital process is much faster than a paper based process, cutting down on the manual labour of printing, couriering and mailing physical contracts. Historically, documents such as a home loan would take weeks to get signed. With an electronic process, they can be signed in less than a day and, in some case, less than 15 minutes.

There is also a cost incentive. We’ve found that businesses that digitise save on average $48 in hard costs per document. If your business is sending out thousands of contracts and documents for signing, call DocuSign today on 1-800-255-982 to learn how your business can save time and money.

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