The COVID19 pandemic is transforming the way we do business, and its impact is still felt in the turmoil of supply chains, business processes, and remote work. At Certinal, one of the most notable changes we’ve seen includes accelerating the development of digital transformation strategies and the use of digital signatures, intelligent digital forms, and enhanced authentication to enhance digital businesses. Adoption of digital technology. The government enables it. As the era of paper changes to the era of SaaS, data analytics, blockchain, and big data, startups and corporate leaders will eliminate inefficient consensus processes and replace them with fully automated digital processes. Looking a year ahead, here are four forecasts that will shape the outlook for digital contracts and the advanced eSignature market in 2022.
In reaction to the pandemic, people and corporations have sought to restrict public exposure to public settings consisting of bank branches and point-of-sale (POS) locations. Those adjustments to customer choices will carry into 2022. According to a report from Aite-Novarica, as activities get more complex, customers generally tend to switch to channels wherein they could get human help and assistance. Wealth management, for example, is based closely on in-character interactions among economic advisors and their customers. The need for vendors to modernize delivery is key to meeting increased client expectations for convenience and personalization.
Although the virtual experience is essential, customers are searching for hybrid experiences that could meet their needs. It offers the right balance between a virtual and human-mediated service. Consumers can switch between a digital experience and a human-mediated experience while researching and collecting information for some activities, such as applying for a loan or life insurance. Therefore, it is vital to make these end-to-end digital tools available both online and as consultants or agents for the customer.
Modern digital signatures laws are now 20 years old and have evolved over time as the use of digital signatures has increased in recent years. In the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and dozens of other countries, all governments have laws and regulations that allow signatures and electronic records to have the same legal effect as ink signatures and paper-based documents.
In the light of today’s pandemic, many governments have increased the flexibility to use digital signatures in areas that previously required physical signatures. Some of these measures were temporarily implemented, including changes in the U.S. SECURE Act on Online Remote Notarization and Ontario, Canada, in preparing affidavits and enforcing wills and adult guardianship only. However, pandemics are expected to act as catalysts for more lasting progress in technology to implement legally binding agreements that were previously considered infeasible digitally.
This is a recent example of how electronic signature law and regulatory frameworks around the world are evolving to enable digital business and government.
In 2022, organizations will drive digital transformation by enhancing remote processes with stronger authentication and identity verification checks.
Agreement processes, such as paperwork, account opening, and notarization for new employees, have historically been done directly, but the rules of telecommuting (WFH) and physical distancing rules have resulted in the need for higher verification of the signer’s identity hence ensuring cyber security and prevent fraud. This is especially true for high-value, high-risk contracts in financial services, insurance, and similar industries. For example, contracts with economic impact may benefit from a higher level of personal information assurance because they may have a higher risk of fraud compared to other use cases. This refers to the level of trust that the credentials presented by a person actually represent a real world identity. A simple email or SMS authentication may be sufficient for some low-risk scenarios. Other methods may require advanced authentication using government-issued photo ID and biometrics.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach because the level of risk varies from use case to use case. The bottom line is that you need to look for digital signature solutions that offer a wide range of identity verification and authentication capabilities to protect contracts, mitigate risk, and increase compliance.
E-Signature undoubtedly brings improvements in efficiency in the context of digitization of paper-based processes. However, if you abandon the form filling and data collection process due to a frustrating experience, you will not have the opportunity to sign the document. That’s why businesses invest in intelligent digital forms to turn long, complex PDFs into mobile-ready forms that provide step-by-step guidance. It makes completing forms easy, whether on a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone. The customer details provided on the form will generate a signable agreement that will bring your company one step closer to closing the deal. Incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning into forms is expected to be an essential step in the evolution of customer-facing contracts.
Businesses, healthcare, and government agencies have made great strides in their digital transformation journey to end the paper era, but we’re not there yet. While many companies are still spending their budget on digitizing outdated paper-based processes, more mature companies are investing in modernizing existing digital processes and improving completion rates. Regardless of where your business ends up, we believe that the digital changes that the pandemic has ushered in and accelerated will remain in the new business ecosystem. At Certinal, it is inevitable that most consumers worldwide will continue to sign agreements electronically after the pandemic. It’s the key to shortening lead times, reducing the workload on internal teams, improving referrals, and increasing completion rates to ensure fewer customers stray from your competitors. You cancel business transactions due to the extra effort required to complete and sign forms and agreements.
Switch to Certinal today to experience a world of security and both global and local compliance. Read about how Certinal can add value to your business here.