Electronic signature software or esignature is one of the effective trends in today’s time. Digital signatures come with multiple features that benefit in cost-saving measures. People/organizations and governments are integrating Electronic Signature software with their existing system. This is benefitting them in terms of savings on the administrative, paperwork cost.
When the United States passed the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) in 2000, it was a notable step that boosted the use of electronic signatures and the people were keener, assured of the safety and the legality of this solution.
What is an electronic signature?
An electronic signature also known as e-signature, is a reference to information in an electronic format. It is linked with other information in electronic form, that the user follows to sign the document. Electronic signature has the same legal status as a handwritten signature. Moreover, it also compiles to the specifications of the particular regulation.
Just for your note, eSignatures are not same as digital signatures. The goal of electronic signatures is to instantly authenticate a document using an identifier that does not need pen and paper. Digitally signed documents are extensively used in private and legal matters for business transactions. They are also used as a part of official documents of the government.
Are eSignatures Legal?
In a nutshell yes. Electronic signatures offer the same or even more legal value as traditional signatures. Various countries have legalized electronic signatures under their Electronic Communications Act 2000 and the Electronic Signatures Regulation 2002.
Since the year 2000, Ireland also had a legal recognition of electronic signatures under the Electronic Commerce Act. This eIDAS (electronic signature, authentication, and trust Services) regulation is an EU law that governs electronic identification, which includes electronic signatures and digital signature applications such as DocuSign eSignature, which is in compliance with eIDAS.
In the United Kindom, the eIDAS Regulation passed a law under legislation titled; “Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions Regulations 2016 (2016 No.696) and section 7 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000.” There are a handful of examples where electronic signatures are not in compliance with the legal specifications. The HM Land Registry (HMLR) started to accept digitally signed documents.
What are the benefits of electronic signatures?
As companies continue to shift toward digital transformation and automation electronic signatures are now an essential business tool and an appropriate alternative to wet signatures. Here are some of the advantages that electronic signatures offer:
- Go Paper-Free: reduce paper use E-signing can reduce the paper needed and will assist businesses in their quest to be paper-free.
- High Flexibilities: You can sign from anywhere, making it simpler to do business from a remote area or even on the move.
- Cost Reduction: electronic signatures can aid organizations in saving money. They improve workflows to reduce time and improve efficiency. This cuts down on printing, postage, and storage for filing.
- Risks and Errors are Reduced Advanced secure and authenticated digital techniques reduce risks. Pre-filling of forms eliminates human errors. eSignatures also help with providing audit trail for ensuring compliance.
- Improved Efficiency: The approval process is automated, which allows document owners to easily see who has signed the document and when, and an efficient process boosts employee productivity. Electronic signature software usually comes with an online dashboard. It allows you to identify which documents are waiting for approval. This results in speeding the process that could have previously required months. The software also saves signed documents, which makes it easier to find them.
- Better UX: Signing a document using software that can sign documents electronically is simple and quick. It provides a better experience for both employees and customers. Users can also integrate eSignatures into their systems.
The Following Features of E-signature Help in Cost-saving Measure
The cost-saving benefits of Digital Signature Solutions are one of the primary factors behind their popularity. Businesses and government bodies can use electronic signature solutions in multiple ways to save costs. Here is how eSignatures can work as a cost saving resource for your business:
Saves Money & Time
One of the benefits of the E signature solution that helps in the digitization of the approval process. Right from the creation of the document to share it with the concerned signatories for their signatures. It is done through online sources. This saves time and reduces the tedious paperwork. Additionally, it saves the cost of printing, scanning, and faxing the document to multiple parties. E-signature solutions accept digital authentication of documents/files/contracts. Documents can also be on the cloud for better security.
Better opportunities for overseas trade
Performing Overseas trade demands crucial paperwork and assigning the contract and other documents in person. This ensures authenticity of the signed document for both the parties. However, it is not always feasible to be present for every contract signing procedure. Then the contract can be shared with the concerned parties through the mail. E-signature solutions allow every concerned party to perform their duty/signature through any part of the world in real-time. Here, the transparency stays intact too.
While performing work manually, one may miss out on some documents, or content, leading to the cancelation of the document/contract. This means loss of time, money, and going through all the process once again.
Since the initial stage, digital signatures keep a track of the whole document. This reduces the chances of unwanted penalties for contract discrepancies.
Reduced errors are equal to higher savings
Lack of errors is one of the ways of reducing costs. Limited human intervention to perform tasks reduces the chances of errors. Errors in the document or the signature can cause delays and inconvenience. In the case of matters related to health and finance, even a little day can cost a lot. Additionally, what matters as much as accuracy is time. Fatal errors mind demand re-establishment of the whole process wasting time.
Electronic signature solutions allow users to control the approval and signing process. Detecting errors in digital documents is also easy.
Savings on the costs of procuring physical materials
Creating documents on paper or other materials for signing is exhaustive. If you have deployed electronic signature software, you do not need papers, courier packages, or any other signing material.
The quicker agreement turnaround time is one more advantage of signature software. Faster execution of agreements helps in quicker payments.
Security instruments of esignature are one of the crucial features of the solution. Security also leads to cost-saving for organizations. Such software usually stores all the data securely on the cloud saving storage space.
Productivity based profitability
eSignatures can also help in increasing the productivity of the organization. A productive organization can earn more profit, with e-signature solutions by providing a better client experience.
E-signature solutions are surely one of the effective ways of saving costs. To overcome the traditional hurdles in this highly competitive environment, businesses have started to up-grade digitally. Almost every organization can find it beneficial for all the reasons mentioned above and more. In terms of longer run, digital signature software can turn out to be not just coat-saving but also productive and beneficial.
Deploying an e-signature solution might not deliver immediate results in operational cost savings. But it will simplify the complex, traditional work procedures by digitizing them.
Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!
Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!
UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!