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Electronic Signature Buying Guide

Electronic Signature Buying Guide

There are many eSignature solutions available in the market today due to the growth and acceptance of eSignatures in various domains. But picking the right eSignature solution can be tricky. People often worry about how well it works with their current systems, understanding the costs, and ensuring its legal acceptance, among other concerns. Let’s delve into these issues to help you make a well-informed choice.

From exploring essential features such as signature types, authentication methods, and document tracking, to understanding the benefits like time and cost savings, improved audit trails, and the legal validity of eSignatures, we’ve got you covered. This blog will serve as a valuable guide to help you consider the crucial aspects before making your eSignature application purchase.

12 things to consider when buying an eSignature solution

Here are 12 essential factors to take into account when acquiring an eSignature solution. In addition, you can customize your electronic signature buying guide checklist by incorporating additional requirements to ensure the best fit for your needs.

Feature Set

When selecting an eSignature application, the primary consideration is its feature set. This helps ensure that it matches up perfectly with what your business needs. Also, think about the specific people who will be using these features – this will guide your decisions and help you pick an eSignature solution that’s just right for your team and makes managing documents even better.

Start with the basics when exploring electronic signature solutions. Confirm that the platform encompasses key features such as self-signing, sending signature requests to multiple recipients, revoking, reassigning, declining, setting expiration dates, and sending reminders, etc. These fundamental features address your core business requirements. Be vigilant about hidden limitations, such as document attachment restrictions or form field limitations. A reliable eSignature tool not only includes these basic features but also operates without unexpected restrictions, making document management easy and dependable.

Also do consider the size of your team when picking an eSignature tool. For larger teams, look for features like team management and customizable permissions to maintain organization. For smaller groups, prioritize simplicity and ease of use, focusing on essentials like document tracking and electronic signatures. Aligning features with your team size ensures the tool fits well and is effective for everyone.

User Friendly

It is essential to consider how easy the application is to use. Pick an app with a straightforward UI that doesn’t overwhelm users with unnecessary steps. Ideally, the app should be self-explanatory, and its menus and options should be intuitive.

Ensure the app is responsive across various devices such as phones and tablets for versatile usage. Seek out value-added features that genuinely benefit the senders and signers. Some of the helpful features are preview support for reviewing documents before sending them for signatures, zoom-in and pan capabilities for closer examination, push notifications for staying informed, and the option to localize app contents in the desired language.

Security

Security is a critical factor to consider in the electronic signature buying guide. Always opt for products that have successfully passed audits such as SOC 2® for high-security standards. Ensure compliance with data protection regulations, like GDPR, to safeguard personal information. Verify if your data will be stored on servers within your region for added security. Choose apps with a robust security reputation and implement strong encryption measures.

For financial transactions, prioritize eSignature platforms with secure payment processors, such as PCI, to protect sensitive financial data. Lastly, select solutions that actively monitor and conduct security tests, enabling swift responses to potential risks. By considering these factors, you’ll identify an eSignature solution that not only streamlines your processes but also adheres to top-notch security and compliance standards, ensuring the protection of your data.

Legality

When selecting an eSignature tool, it’s crucial to ensure its compliance with eSignature regulations in your region. Verify that it employs robust methods to authenticate signatories, maintains a transparent record of the signing process, and safeguards documents securely.

The eSignature process should demonstrate unanimous agreement from all parties involved. For international engagements, confirm if the tool aligns with global eSignature laws and standards. Additionally, ensure compatibility with your existing system. By addressing these considerations, you can choose an eSignature tool that not only makes things easier but also follows the eSignature regulations in your specific situation.

Documentation

A thorough documentation is essential for a seamless and effective user experience. Look for user guides offering step-by-step instructions, video tutorials for visual demonstrations, and FAQs for quick problem-solving.

Integration documentation is important for understanding how the application connects with existing systems, while comprehensive API documentation is vital for organizations with more technical requirements. Ensure that security and compliance documents align with industry standards and check for release notes to stay informed about updates and new features.

A well-documented eSignature application not only simplifies onboarding but also empowers users to navigate features, troubleshoot issues, and stay updated on the application’s evolving capabilities.

Downtime

Downtime refers to the periods when a computer or an app takes a break and temporarily ceases to function. In the context of an eSignature app, downtime indicates times when the service is unavailable, either for maintenance or addressing issues. Considering downtime is crucial as you want the app to be accessible whenever needed. Excessive downtime in an eSignature app can lead to delays in signing crucial documents. Therefore, when selecting an app, it’s advisable to choose one with a track record of minimal or zero downtime. This ensures you can use the app whenever required without significant waiting periods.

Versions and Updates

Versions and updates for an eSignature app are like getting enhanced features and improvements for your application. Just like when you update your phone to get new features, an app also gets updates to work better or to have new options. Versions represent different editions of the app, while updates encompass fixes and improvements to ensure smooth operation.

Analyzing the version and update history of an eSignature app is crucial to understand the product’s maturity. An app receiving frequent updates is indicative of ongoing development and adaptability to new devices. Therefore, selecting an eSignature app with regular versions and updates ensures you have the latest and most advanced tools for electronically signing documents.

Document and User Limits

Document count for creation is like a counter that shows how many new documents you can make using an eSignature app. It’s a way to keep track of how many times you can start a brand new paper to sign. This matters because some apps might have a limit on how many new documents you can create even on their topmost plan. So, knowing your document count for creation helps you understand how many fresh papers you can start before you might need to stop. When you’re picking an eSignature app, it’s good to think about this count and choose one that gives you unlimited documents to create all the new documents you’ll need.

It’s essential to understand the user limit imposed by the platform. The user limit indicates the maximum number of individuals within your organization who can utilize the eSignature features. Take the time to assess this limit and ensure it aligns with the size of your team or company. This check is especially important for businesses with growth plans, as it provides that the selected eSignature solution is not only suitable for your current team size but also adaptable to the evolving needs of your expanding organization.

API

Considering the eSignature API is an important point in the electronic signature buying guide. The eSignature API enables you to seamlessly incorporate the entire eSignature process into your applications, eliminating the need for users to switch between multiple apps for eSignature operations. This enhances the user experience, enabling them to effortlessly manage the complete eSignature workflow within your application.

If the eSignature process is a fundamental part of your workflow, integrating eSignatures into your app is a beneficial strategy. This integration streamlines your workflow and simplifies the process for the long run. In such cases, it is crucial to thoroughly analyze the APIs before selecting an eSignature solution.

Some eSignature software lacks API support, posing challenges if you’ve been using their app for an extended period and plan to integrate it into your application later. Therefore, it’s advisable to choose a solution with robust API support. Consider the following aspects to ensure the effectiveness of eSignature APIs:

  • Performance: The API should exhibit high performance capabilities, efficiently handling millions of requests without any noticeable lag.
  • Documentation: Thorough documentation is essential, encompassing API uses, example code snippets, parameters, request body details, and example responses.
  • Programming languages: Code samples and client libraries should be accessible in popular languages and frameworks, including C#, Java, PHP, Python, NodeJS, etc.
  • Free sandbox: A free sandbox environment should be available for testing, ensuring the seamless functionality of all APIs.
  • Embedded sending and signing: Support for embedding the exact sending and signing UI directly into your application.
  • Requests count per hour: Consideration of the number of requests allowed per hour per account is crucial for efficient usage.
  • Feature set: Ensure that all features present in the eSignature application are also available through APIs.
  • Webhooks: Provision of webhooks to offer other applications real-time information when a user performs an action in your documents.

Pricing

Choosing the right pricing for an eSignature application is important because it directly impacts the value you get. The best pricing should offer a balance between affordability and the features you need. Look for plans that match your usage frequency – whether you’re sending documents occasionally or frequently. Flexible plans can accommodate your changing needs.

Moreover, custom pricing options are beneficial for tailoring the cost to your unique requirements, offering a personalized approach that aligns precisely with your business needs. This ensures that you’re not only getting the best value but also a pricing structure that grows and adjusts alongside the changing demands of your eSignature usage.

Free Trial

Opting for an eSignature application that offers a free trial plan can be a smart move. It allows you to explore the app’s features and experience how it works before committing financially. During the trial period, you can evaluate if the app meets your requirements, is user-friendly, and aligns with your workflow. This hands-on experience helps you make an informed decision and ensures that the eSignature application is the right fit for your needs.

Trying the free trial helps you see if the app works well for you in real situations. It’s like a test to make sure it meets your expectations and makes signing documents easier. This step is important before deciding to buy so you can be sure the app suits your requirements without spending money.

Customer Support

Getting good technical support with your eSignature app is really important. It means that if you ever run into problems or need help using the app, there’s a team ready to assist you. This support team can guide you, solve issues, and help with any challenges you might face, from setting up the app correctly to answering your questions. Choosing an eSignature app with strong technical support, including features like 24/7 help, live chat for quick assistance, the option to schedule meetings for questions, and technical demos, means knowing that expert help is there whenever you need it.

Conclusion

Thank you for reading! I hope you now have a comprehensive checklist for choosing the eSignature solution that best suits your needs. By referencing the essential factors highlighted in our electronic signature buying guide, we suggest the BoldSign eSignature solution which checks all the boxes in the checklist.

BoldSign stands out as a top choice for your electronic signature needs. It ensures a seamless and efficient experience for both you and your clients. So, if you are looking for an electronic signature solution that truly delivers, look no further than BoldSign. The best way to truly experience this would be to sign up for a free trail and send a few signature requests yourself. No credit card required to sign up. With this free account you can test all the BoldSign’s features – Explore all eSignature Features.

If you have any feedback, please post it in the comments section below. If you require any assistance or wish to explore our services in more detail, we invite you to schedule a demo or reach out to our dedicated support team via our support portal.

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Caroline Dolly

Caroline Dolly

Caroline Dolly, a technical writer at BoldSign, excels at translating intricate concepts into explicit and engaging content across various formats, including video tutorials, help articles, and comprehensive documentation. Her proficiency in both language and technology ensures that information is accessible and comprehensible for diverse audiences.

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Caroline Dolly

Caroline Dolly

Caroline Dolly, a technical writer at BoldSign, excels at translating intricate concepts into explicit and engaging content across various formats, including video tutorials, help articles, and comprehensive documentation. Her proficiency in both language and technology ensures that information is accessible and comprehensible for diverse audiences.

Subscribe RSS feed

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