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Lokjithkirthik Viswanathan

What is Wet Signature? Electronic Signature vs Wet Signature4 min read

What is Wet Signature

At this point in your life, you must have signed a document at least once. Signing a document, including contracts, agreements and forms, expresses your acknowledgement, approval or consent. Whether it’s documentation related to selling a property, accepting a job offer, or even giving consent for medical treatment, signing has become an integral part of our lives.  

The earliest use of signatures to validate authenticity in documented history dates to 3000 BC, and it wasn’t until the 1600s that signatures were given legal recognition and became an accepted method to validate authenticity.  

As technology kept advancing, signature adoption also rose across different industries. In the 1980s, the fax significantly impacted how documents were signed. Scanned documents were sent across for review and signing at never-before-seen speeds.   

But up until this point in history, documents were signed using wet signatures. How do they compare to electronic signature software solutions or signature solutions? 

What is a Wet Signature 

Did you know that signing a paper using a pen that leaves ink impressions is called a wet signature? Wet signatures are a legally recognized way to sign any documents and to make them legally binding.   

As enterprises undergo digital transformation and processes are digitizing, signatures have also taken a digital or electronic form called the E-Signature solution or electronic signature software. Nations across the world, including the US and the UK, recognize e-signatures as equivalent to wet signatures under different legal statutes and regulations.  

Why is E-Signature replacing Wet Signature 

Even though wet signatures have been around for centuries, they came with challenges.   

Electronic Signature vs Wet Signature

1. Enhanced Document Security

Documents signed using wet signatures were validated by a graphologist, a forensic examiner or a witness. A skilled forger can effortlessly pass the test of authenticity. An electronic signature employs complex encryption algorithms and security protocols that protect it against fraud and forgery. Unlike wet signatures, electronic signatures also offer multiple levels of security. Therefore, electronic signature is the way to go if security is your priority.  

2. Reduce Turnaround Time

A wholly electronic signature transaction does not require a physical copy at any stage. This means documents requiring signatures can be signed with the click of a button. You can be assured of quicker signing and closing. 

3. Business Cost

It’s true what they say, “Time is money”. Beyond saving paper costs, quicker signing of documents can help your business realize revenue faster than electronic signatures. Reducing sales cycle durations enables you to save on costs and other resources.  

4. Better Stakeholder Experience

Adoption of electronic signatures can benefit employees and customers. Reduction in turnaround time can enrich their experience and help them focus on what matters. For example, a doctor can quickly get consent using an electronic signature solution and focus on the treatment. Here, the patient doesn’t have to wait to consent; the doctor can focus on treatment rather than the paperwork.  

5. Efficient Document Management

You can ditch your filing cabinets. Documents signed using electronic signature solutions are stored in encrypted storage or data centers. They are stored according to well-defined data management protocols to ensure quick access and retrieval.   

6. Environmental Impact

Global organizations are racing to reduce their carbon footprint, and replacing wet signatures with electronic signatures can help save paper that is sourced from the environment. Reducing the impact on the environment is more than just about feeling good about ourselves or the company. Under global regulations, it is a mandate for businesses to reduce their impact on the environment.  

Read our Blog- Certinal eSign: Your First Step to Kickstart Digital Signature Workflow Automation

How to Convert Wet Signature to Electronic Signature 

Replacing wet signatures with e-signatures does not make them obsolete – you can still use your wet signature to sign documents, and you’ll need an image of your signature for this.  

  • Open the document you want to sign in an esignature solution like Certinal eSign.  
  • Navigate to the signature field where you are required to sign.  
  • Select the option to scan and upload a signature.  
  • Navigate to the location where the signature image is stored and select it to upload.  
  • You can now choose the image you uploaded to sign the document securely.   

Download our Whitepaper- Your Definitive Guide to Sourcing NextGen eSignature

Conclusion  

Enterprises operating in different industries are realizing the benefits of using electronic signatures and are adopting and aligning them to their specific use cases.  

Tailor-made esignature solutions like Certinal eSign lead this change to a more secure and efficient signature workflow. Access Your Definitive Guide to Sourcing NextGen eSignature for insights on signature pain-points, signature lifecycle, how to gather esignature requirements and more. 

Book a demo to experience Certinal eSign. Or write to us at switchto@certinal.com and share your requirements for a personalized demo. 

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Author
Senior Executive - Marketing
Lokjith is a marketing content writer, and he writes about eSignature technology to raise awareness and help enterprises make informed decisions. Before discovering the SaaS industry, he organized Offline Marketing campaigns campaigns. He has a master’s degree from the Institute of Management Technology, specializing in Marketing.
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