Electronic Signatures Vs. Wet Signatures : Complete Guide

Electronic Vs. Wet Signatures — An In-depth Review

Awesome Sign

Published on:  

June 10 , 2022


5 min read

Electronic Vs. Wet Signatures — An In-depth Review

Noting differences between signature styles could be quite confusing. Most people also do not know basic terms like electronic and wet signatures.

However, identifying this distinction is vital for your daily and legal usage. Firms that conflate these sign formats are more prone to risks later in the future. Further, they also limit their gains and risk their earnings big time.

Businesses that study these aspects and lay down a specific plan for using signatures enjoy the benefits of doing so beforehand. It enables quicker document approvals, more assurance concerning laws, and more security for paperwork or vital documents.

You will discover the finest insights about wet and electronic signatures with us. It is a precise dive-in to help you pick an ideal choice and outline the important distinction between the two signature styles.

Wet Signature: What Is It?

A physical signature with pen and ink is a simple mark used for approval. When a person uses this mark over an important document or hardcopy, such as a contract using a pen, they are issuing a wet signature on the paper. Signatures are cursive styles used to distinguish identities from one another.

Wet signatures are used across the globe and are one of the most approved formats of official marking. Using these unique styles, people do not just approve but legally bound themselves to a task or contract. Every individual must have a distinct signature that no one can copy. Doing so enables better security and covers all your payments with maximum assurance.

Today, maximum jurisdictions globally identify wet signatures' legal importance and binding nature. However, these signatures also require secondary criteria like witnesses in specific cases.

Electronic Signature: What Is It?

These styles are also quite like the signatures. However, they have a thin line of differentiation.

Electronic signatures are digital marks like a digital representation in the image format of a wet signature used to approve a document or paper.

If you create a wet signature on paper and later scan it on your PC, it turns into an electric signature. However, it may still be considered a wet signature. Most individuals secure a digital copy of their wet signatures in their PCs and storage drives. Moreover, they can also use applications and automatically create a new sign in any style or font.

Many people consider electronic signatures to be unauthentic. They think these signatures are not legally-binding and random. In most cases, the answer to this could be yes, as these signatures are not as legally approved as wet signs.

Today maximum countries have approved the validity of electronic signatures by declaring them legal. Further, the UN has set guidelines to inform states to pass similar new legislation.

In most cases, electronic signs are considered safer than wet signs as they use transparent paper, which is also used for certifications, storing electronic documents, and more.

Perks of Opting for Electronic Signatures

If you are confused about which signature style you should use for your firm, this section might assist you. Electronic signatures are the preferable options for documents and PDFs, especially when it comes to signing a large amount of paperwork together.

Some major perks of using electronic signs are:

  • These signature styles are simpler to use as they do not necessitate recipients to initiate printing or use papers. A user can even sign using their smartphone or device.
  • Electronic signs are simple to embed in digital papers.
  • Firms that opt for electronic signatures experience a quicker approval rate.
  • Electronic signatures are simple to authenticate and completely legal in most cases.
  • Virtual signatures are easily accessible, cheap, and simple to use.

With the increasing number of firms opting for electronic signatures, most of the documentation in the future will go paperless. Clients expect to sign digitally now and prefer not to print any papers for their procedures. Not offering these modern signature styles can reduce approval rates and dissatisfaction.

The ESIGN officially came into effect in 2000, and since then, electronic and virtual signatures have acquired the same legal position as that wet signatures.

However, every firm must lay out a framework for using these signatures to operate any work. Despite being vastly accepted in most jurisdictions across the globe, most people still hesitate to use these formats, considering them not highly authentic.

Every jurisdiction has its own specific rules for using e-signatures, subject to specific terms and exceptions. For more details, you may have to check details in the ESIGN Act in the US or eIDAS in the EU. The guidelines will specify the documents where these signs are considered valid and not.

There are quite a few warnings, however. To ensure that an electronic signature is valid, one needs to prove the signer's identity and consent and verify the integrity of the documents as well.

Reasons to Opt for Electronic Signatures

Today the world demands fast-paced work. So, to stay in this highly competitive global market, boosting your work's entire productivity and efficacy is essential. Certain amends do require some time. However, you can easily adopt other random and easy-to-manage changes like e-signatures.

E-signatures permit organizations to efficiently gather signatures with no security risks, whereas it was difficult in the case of wet signatures. The perks of opting for electronic signatures outweigh other aspects, and thus one must consider using them for the following reasons:

· Quick and Timely:

A company needs to collect signatures using ancient ways depending on several aspects. Electronic signs reduce the time that random transactions demand significantly. One can quickly receive electronic documents, studied, signed, and submitted via any smart device in 24 hours.

· Eliminates hidden costs:

Firms save on much more than ink when opting for electronic signatures. The company also reduces other hidden costs like papers and delivery services. Via traditional methods, it takes around 7 days to sign a contract. Thus, firms must also consider the expense of the loss during that period. Further, delays in the arrival of sales contracts can make you lose clients and get a low response.

· Better client experience:

Paper documents and contracts are not easy to fill in. They are susceptible to additional mistakes and faults, increasing the rechecking time. Adopting electronic signatures permits much better agility to perfectly send a signature within seconds, make alterations, and limit friction in the entire purchase procedure. It's a vital process in any firm's transaction, particularly if your business runs on online transactions.

· Improved Record Keeping:

E-signs are used in digital formats, mostly via the e-service providers in the market. So, firms can easily record, audit, and preserve all signed papers on the cloud, safeguarding them from any loss or physical damage.

· Preserves paper:

Firms that opt for electronic signatures can also feel better about preserving paper, thereby saving the forests. There is a significant limitation in paper usage and other related resources of the environment.

Electronic Signatures Vs. Wet SignaturesConclusion

Wet and electronic signatures are the most used signature formats today. Most firms are switching to e-signs noticing their benefits and getting maximum profits. Both the signatures are legal; however, an electronic signature may not be considered valid in all cases. Note all these significant aspects and opt for the most suitable option for your company's progress.