E-signatures and Contactless Signature Capture successfully increased onsite safety, but in a post-pandemic world, e-signatures have many great benefits for enterprise-level businesses wanting to reduce data inaccuracies and save money
As the world slowly readjusts to pre-pandemic operating procedures and physical contact, or at least physical distance resumes to ‘normal’ levels, one particular digital sign-off procedure is here to stay – the contactless signature capture, or e-signature as it’s otherwise known.
Where the days of passing a pen or paper form between teams and the use of ‘wet signatures’ drastically came to a halt in 2020, the e-signature or contactless signature capture app has seen a surge in popularity. According to Statista, the use of electronic signatures grew by 747% between 2012 and 2017. A study found that e-signatures were expected to grow 39% more by 2020 – and that was pre-pandemic! It’s likely that number skyrocketed in 2020.
Businesses during the pandemic quickly understood the value that contactless signatures provided. They offered a range of benefits including:
- Increased data accuracy,
- A way to authenticate information
- To reduce the margin for error associated with paper forms
- A reduction in costs in admin
- A reduction in paper costs
So, in this article, we thought we’d take a look at the key benefits of contactless signature capture and e-signatures, a feature available within the foms2 platform and show you how it not only keeps field teams safe, but decreases business costs, eradicates the need for manual admin uploading and increases accountability.
What is an electronic signature or e-signature?
An electronic signature or e-signature is a legally binding digital replacement of a handwritten signature. It essentially replaces a handwritten signature and allows someone to digitally “write” their signature on a smart device including phone, tablet or computer instead of physically using a pen and paper – otherwise known as a “wet” signature.
They could use their finger, a stylus or a digital pen or even save their signature and copy and paste it into a selectable field when needed.
What is contactless signature capture?
Contactless signature capture is a type of digital data capture that allows people to sign an electronic form without having to physically touch a piece of paper or exchange a tablet or smartphone with another person.
Here’s an example of contactless signature capture with the forms2 platform.
- As you can see in the video the contactless e-signature feature within the forms2 platform displays a QR code within your form where the signature box on your form usually is.
- The person who needs to electronically sign your mobile form can quickly scan the QR code using the camera app on their phone or tablet (including iPad) and sign their signature from their own device.
Their signature now appears in your form as if they had signed directly on your screen.
What are the benefits of contactless signature capture and e-signatures?
There are a tonne of benefits to e-signatures and contactless signature capture, including reduced costs, less admin time and a drastic reduction in data processing errors. It’s all part of a business’s digital transformation. Here are some of the key benefits of using contactless signature capture or a job completion sign off form (as it’s otherwise known):
1. Stop the spread of COVID-19
Of course, the key benefit of contactless signature capture was the fact you didn’t have to share tablets or phones with other workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many restrictions across the globe have been relaxed, contactless signature capture is still very effective in reducing COVID-19 transmissions and other illnesses as you no longer have to handle someone else’s device and can keep a safe distance whilst signing a document.
2. Save on paper costs
According to this study, US businesses waste $8 billion per year on managing paper. Think of every piece of paper you use to capture signatures, then add up the costs for storage and you’re going to run into the thousands.
A YouGov survey found that 84% of UK businesses print documents just to get them signed while 62% print additional copies just to obtain “wet” signatures. With some companies having to fill out forms and have them signed in multiples, chances are they’re wasting a lot of money on paper!
Through a combination of mobile forms, business apps and contactless signature capture European Camping Group saved a total of £277,000 per year including £92,000 in paper per year, £20,000 in fax machine costs and £75,000 in admin per year.
How much paper are you wasting every year just to get a signature?
3. Faster sign-off time
Another key benefit of contactless signature capture and e-signatures is the time-saving element. You can get signatures instantly, rather than having to email someone and wait for a signed document to be sent back.
The same YouGov research found that 72% of UK businesses surveyed who print documents said processes were delayed because of the need to collect signatures, with this number rising to 77% of medium-sized businesses and 83% of large organisations.
In addition, 24% of large organisations said they lost more than one day per transaction just to collect signatures.
Those days add up!
Accountability is vital in business, especially where safety is involved. Getting sign off for jobs or tasks with e-signatures ensures you get the right person to sign and approval is granted. With the forms2 platform, you can also specify mandatory fields with electronic signatures so that certain tasks can only be completed once a signature is received.
Colleagues, managers and clients can all sign, whether in person via contactless signature capture or remotely through the signature field.
If you have a large workforce, this is a key benefit of a job completion sign-off form.
5. Conform to audit requirements
Audits can require sign-off by multiple signatories. Getting those multiple signatories to sign a physical document swiftly can be a problem. E-signatures and a signature capture app can not only speed up the sign-off process but ensure you are conforming to all relevant legislation, regulations and audit requirements.
Electronic signatures also provide an audit trail, so you know you can stay compliant. This is a key benefit of digital transformation too!
6. Reduced errors
Paper gets lost, signatures can be damaged and sometimes forms don’t get filled out! E-signatures provide a method of digital authentication that can’t simply be lost, scrapped or smudged. The signature is clear within your mobile form allowing you to make correct decisions and verify specific signatories.
7. Reduced admin costs
Manually uploading or scanning signed documents can take days. By using a digital signature capture platform like forms2, you no longer have to manually scan, upload or distribute signed documents. The platform can do it for you. Once signed, you can set your app to send out a completed document to everyone who needs it as well as your back office for digital storage.
You can essentially save days of admin tasks simply by moving to digital sign-offs. In fact, ALS Global saved 600,000 minutes which equates to 416 days, and around £30,000 in admin by moving to digital forms and obtaining sign off digitally.
8. Enhanced Security
Data security is extremely important for all businesses. Loss of data, data breaches or even identity theft can be disastrous. A study by Forrester Research in 2015 found that most data breaches were not the result of external hackers breaking into digital files, but finding physical copies of documents! 25% of data breaches occurred because of a “malicious insider,” and 36% were caused by employee mistakes.
If you have sensitive data signed by someone sitting in a filing cupboard, it’s easy for someone to walk up and take it, stealing their identity and details.
You can create safer documents and reduce the risk of forged signatures by adding extra layers of identification such as password protection. In addition, with contactless signature capture, you’re standing right next to the person who needs to sign the document!
9. Maintain legal compliance
Digital signatures are legally compliant with the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).
As safety is baked into everything we do, we’re aware of how important legal compliance is! Read the forms2 Trust Hub to see why our customers choose the forms2 platform.
Final thoughts on Contactless signature capture and e-signatures
Put simply, contactless signature capture and e-signatures improve workflows, reduce admin time and drastically reduce paper costs whilst providing security and safety for your teams.
No need to email the form to the next person be it a supervisor or customer, no need to wait for them to send it back. With the forms2 platform, it’s the quickest, easiest, safest way to capture electronic signatures with android, iOS and Windows devices without physical contact.
Log in to the forms2 mobile app builder to give it a go and help keep your field teams safe, healthy and within recommended guidelines.