Cloud-Based Digital Signature Service Arrives
October 25, 2017 Dan Burger
The widespread adoption of e-commerce and its benefit of improved workflow has led to the increased use of electronic signature capture. Return on investment (ROI) from shortening transaction times has grabbed the attention of businesses in many industries. Legal and security concerns — addressed by legislation such as the ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act — have eased the minds of many who were wary when electronic signature capture was new.
Power i4 Solution, a small, Connecticut-based custom software company with the majority of its business in the rental equipment field, has followed the e-signature orientation by introducing an electronic signature service it calls NowYouSign. It integrates with FormsTrack, the rental industry software produced by Power i4.
This cloud-based service emails a unique link that leads to an online business document that can be signed using a keyboard, a mouse, or a touch screen on any Internet-capable device. Recipients sign a document by typing his or her name into an accepted, standardized format recognized by the legal industry. Written signatures on a touchscreen are also an option.
Document protection is provided by encryption keys that reassure a third party that a document, a message, or a transaction comes from the expected source. The IP address of the person sending the digital signature is also captured for a measure of additional security.
Where security concerns were once a barrier to digital signature capture, the technology now seems to have soothed consumer fears about the dangers posed by hackers and the perceived risks of sending messages securely. Either that, or the prospects for streamlining workflow, shipping and receiving product faster, and giving customers what they want have become the higher priorities.
It’s easy to appreciate the elimination of all the manual processes involved — finding a document, attaching it to an email, sending it to a customer, who then must print the document, sign it, scan it, attach the file to an email, and return it to the sender. With digital signature capture, the process is simpler: The customer is sent a link, they click on it, sign it, and with another click, the document goes back to the IBM i database of the company that sent the link.
NowYouSign integrates into the IBM i printing process and is also compatible with any PDF document, the company says.
“Using digital signatures is really a matter of comfort level,” says Joe Power, owner of Power 4i. “Once companies considering digital signatures talk with their lawyers, they are comfortable using it.”
As with most new technology, some companies remain hesitant. They tend to be hesitant in a lot of ways. Companies that still rely on printed forms would need to convert documents to a digital format — at the minimum, it would require scanning the document, adding the digital signature capability, and emailing it to the recipient.
Companies generating their documents on the IBM i can capture the output from the print process and have the documents sent to recipients for a digital signature. The process could also be set up so documents are stored for later use rather than immediately sent.
Pricing is based on the number of documents signed each month. An organization must have more than 1,000 documents each month before the first price break is reached. The second price break comes at the 2,000-per-month level. Another price break comes at the 5,000-per-month level.
Price breaks at lower levels are being discussed, with 100 documents per month the likely lowest level for a price break. That pricing should arrive in a month or two, according to Power.
For more information, see the Power 4i website: http://www.poweri4.com/