Electronic signature software is a must in a world that is rapidly embracing digitalization, phasing out paper-based processes in favor of streamlined electronic alternatives. This transformation encompasses a wide range of applications, from official documents and exams to payments and online document signing.
Signing documents using a pen is becoming obsolete. The COVID-19 pandemic has added fuel to the fire by boosting remote work, where online document signing seemed to be the only option. That’s why it’s impractical to use traditional signatures for personal and business use, especially when working with people from huge distances.
Not to mention, physical signatures require in-person appointments, scanning, printing, mailing, or faxing the document to the concerned personnel. This entire process is tedious, time-consuming, and labor-intensive.
This is where signature software is helpful! It automates the process and saves you from hassles. So, if you want to improve your productivity and workflows while avoiding the issues associated with the age-old signature practice, here’s your chance with these top e-signature software for businesses.
Top E-signature Software for Businesses in 2024
Online document signing is easy with signNow, it lets you generate e-signatures for various use cases and boost your workflow. Send documents to get them signed by several recipients, or sign your own files in a matter of a few clicks. Their powerful and straightforward eSignatures API helps you embed signatures easily to your website or app in minutes.
Even if you don’t have an internet connection, you can sign your documents anywhere. It allows you to make a request for additional information or documents, set notifications on completion, bulk invite multiple recipients, and set specific signing orders for your templates.
You can create a unique signing link for getting the documents signed, request optional payment sections into your fillable forms, and customize the signing invite messages. Add carbon copy (CC) to some recipients who may need notifications along with an expiration date. signNow also notifies you in case a recipient declines to sign your document.
It is compliant with PCI DSS, GDPR, HIPAA, SOC 2 Type II, and 21 CFR Part 11 and has advanced threat protection capabilities. signNow has an outstanding RESTful API that can be quickly integrated with other tools.
Seal your deals with legally binding and convenient e-signatures by using PandaDoc.
More than 20k companies are already using this solution to save their time and resources. Use PandaDoc for sending proposals, quotes, contracts, and payment collections that require approvals.
You can read our detailed PandaDoc review.
You can take advantage of this solution by using it anywhere and on any device; you like to streamline work quickly. PandaDoc never compromises on security and has built its e-signature technology with full compliance to UETA and ESIGN. They also provide an electronic certificate with each signed document.
Avoid guesswork; instead, use their document analytics plus notifications to get an instant outlook when your prospect opens the documents you have sent or views and comments on them. They offer 200+ professional-looking templates that are designed to cast an everlasting impression on your business.
PandaDoc also integrates with a huge number of integrations to speed up your workflow. It includes HubSpot CRM, Zoho, PayPal, Dropbox, Slack, etc.
Zoho Sign brings everything to the table to effortlessly manage e-signing from anywhere with unparalleled security.
For starters, it gives multiple options for signing, including drawing, uploading, and typing. One can also save the preference, which would be used subsequently unless changed.
It also supports in-person and mobile signing. The former is about physically collecting signatures using your laptop or smartphone. Mobile signing indicates using Zoho Sign’s iOS or Android apps to sign or send the document to request signatures on the go.
The best part is integrated document management (including backups), which allows easy document transferring from cloud storage solutions, like Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox, Zoho WorkDrive, etc., to Zoho Sign. This is compatible with popular formats like PDF, JPEG, DOCX, and more.
Moreover, you can add a public or private note to the document. This also facilitates real-time commenting to avoid unnecessary back and forth. It also features document signing status, and one can send reminders to fast-track the process. Zoho Sign lets you recall the document for any possible correction or terminate the signing altogether.
You can also project your brand identity by customizing the documents with logos, colors, etc. It also allows vernacular signing, where the recipient can sign in their native language.
With Zoho Sign, businesses can create templates for frequent use cases. It also integrates with your existing apps with its plugins and REST API.
Zoho Sign deploys AES-256-bit encryption for a bank-grade secure atmosphere. Plus, you can apply multi-factor authentication for added document and account security. Its blockchain-powered timestamps mean you can see the real activity history, such as sending, viewing, signing, and more, without any possible malpractice.
Finally, signatures done via Zoho Sign are legally binding as per various international regulations, including the ESIGN ACT, UETA, EIDAS, and more.
You can see all this in action with its free trial.
Adobe Sign is another good option for you. This simplistic tool helps you send documents with ease, just like emails. All you need to do is upload a file, type the signer’s email address, and hit that ‘send’ button.
On the signer’s side, they can click the link you sent and sign there themselves using a browser on any device, whether smartphone or computer. For their convenience, Adobe does not require them to sign up or download, necessarily.
You can view the signature status, send reminders, view detailed audits, or cancel requests for your transactions. Adobe Sign can work effortlessly with different tools so you can send documents from tools like Microsoft 365, Dropbox, Box, and more.
For security, it is compliant with standards like PCI DSS, SOC 2 Type 2, and ISO 27001. It also supports different file formats, including Adobe PDF and other PDFs, MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Text, WordPerfect, graphics like PNG, GIF, JPG, JPEG, TIF, and BMP; along with HTML and HTM.
Give your prospects a truly convenient e-signing experience using Nitro Sign.
It eliminates usage tiers, and overages, and does not cost you per signature. Whether you work with contracts, spreadsheets, forms, blueprints, and other documents, Nitro provides you with the tools you need to simplify e-signing.
It is compatible with multiple web browsers and mobile devices. Nitro Sign is secure and compliant with the US e-signature legislation. It facilitates seamless collaboration through sharing documents online, reviewing, and annotating them in the cloud.
You can easily invite others to comment on the documents and track workflows by viewing analytics and real-time notifications. To protect your documents and data, Nitro Sign employs two-factor authentication, audit trails, and sophisticated compliance certifications from HIPAA, SOC Type II, Privacy Shield, etc.
Propel your projects and provide a better experience to your customers by creating, combining, converting, and editing PDF files on your device. Hence, it helps to eliminate human errors involved in the process.
This is probably the best and the most well-rounded e-signature solution out there at the moment. It is also probably the easiest method by which you can fill in PDFs and also send signatures that would hold up in court. One of the best things about Fill is that it can be used on virtually any computer, iOS, or even Android device. This really helps with cross-platform functionality and accessibility.
Fill users can also rest assured in the knowledge that they are in safe hands. Fill is able to meet global security standards and also privacy standards. They also follow best practices when it comes to security. This is why Fill is being used widely in industries like healthcare, law enforcement, real estate, and financial services.
Users will be happy to know that their data is stored extremely securely with encryption that is Military grade and is in compliance with HIPAA. Fill also gives its users some smart analytics. This can be of great use to a lot of different businesses.
Automate both client-facing and internal signatures, as well as approvals using Xodo Sign (formerly eversign). Signing with this tool is secure and easy using any device and helps businesses of every scale and size.
It features a built-in editor that provides you with useful tools to modify, sign, and send all the documents in no time. Eversign also has a fully featured and powerful JSON-based REST API to automate the functionalities.
Its features are similar to what you have seen in the previous tools, such as templates, audit trails, in-person signing, integration, compliance, etc. For security, it offers 256-bit SSL, plus they handle it closely with a monitored infrastructure.
You can also schedule any auto-expire document, remove them permanently, or export them somewhere else private. You can add up to 25 members to a team or manage multiple businesses as well.
Use it for free for 5 documents each month and 3 API documents. Or, use its paid plans starting from $9.99/month for unlimited documents and extended features.
Accelerate your work from contracts, offer letters, and account openings, to invoices by leveraging DocuSign. Send agreements and get them signed online with security, regardless of what device you or the other party use.
Eliminate repeated manual tasks and save dollars that’s spent unnecessarily; instead, use their seamless offerings and impressive features. It provides applications for three platforms – Android, Windows, and iOS so that you can work from anywhere.
Get to know your agreement’s status as to how far it has come in the process and set reminders to receive notifications automatically at each step. You can include standard fields on your agreement, such as date and signature, or create custom fields and save them.
DocuSign allows users to sign in 43 languages and send documents in 13 languages. Standardize the entire process and save time by storing documents that you frequently use and reusing the recipient routing, custom fields, etc. used in those papers.
Connect and integrate e-signatures with the tools and software you use because DocuSign supports 350+ integrations and leading APIs, including Salesforce, Google products, SAP, etc. The resilient infrastructure of DocuSign enables them to deliver 99.99% availability, much needed for your work.
Don’t worry about the security as DocuSign meets stringent security standards used globally, including the EU and US, and it also uses strong and advanced technologies for data encryption. It complies with regulatory bodies such as the UETA, US ESIGN Act, and the EU elDAS. They also store and generate precise audit trails for your documents.
Its pricing starts from $10 per month.
With more than 10 years of consistent innovation, SignEasy has already helped 35k+ organizations automate the signature process with e-signatures. Forget about printing, scanning, and faxing documents; instead, use this easy-to-use tool that offers an excellent signing experience.
Just insert signatures to a document using your finger, stylus, or mouse. Or, you can also upload the image of the handwritten signature taken on paper. It allows you to send documents in a parallel or serial sequence to multiple people. You can also enable people to sign them in a particular order, one by one, or at once.
You can review the progress of sending documents by checking who needs to sign them or who has already done it. Send push notifications or emails as a reminder and get notified when an action takes place. Other features include wide integration, compliance, global recognition, advanced security with fingerprint authentication, passcodes, and SSL certification.
It supports file formats like MS Word, Excel, PDF, Pages, PNG, etc. It also allows saving your unfinished documents, so you can come back later and make edits, along with the option to access the files offline. Import your documents from the cloud, SD cards, emails, and other applications.
Its quality of signatures is also high, resembling physical signatures. You can reuse the existing templates, add images, annotations, initials, apart from texts, and set custom fields and email footers for faster work. SignEasy is available in 24 languages. For surety, you can take their 14-day free trial.
Trusted by thousands of individuals and businesses around the world, HelloSign is an effortless e-signature solution. Now, it is owned by Dropbox so that you can wield the power of both amazing platforms.
It is available in the form of a unique web interface, Salesforce add-on, or a developer-friendly API.
You have the option to reuse signature documents as templates along with a bunch of features like custom branding, signer attachments, white-labeling, sophisticated team management, embedded e-signatures, and Salesforce integration. HelloSign is a complaint to HIPAA, so you don’t need to worry.
Its pricing starts at $15/month when you pay annually. You can also test HelloSign for free without entering your credit card details.
Docsketch is a free tool for faster signing, and it builds electronic signatures in a highly intuitive way. That’s the reason why this tool is effortless for everyone with any skill sets to use it. It archives and protects your signed documents so that no one can tamper with them in any case.
Docsketch is compliant with both the US along global e-signature laws. Set the signing process to ask them one by one; the choice is yours! If you set some order, then the concerned person will get notified automatically when their turn comes. It will also help you see how many people are left to sign your document.
You can turn a document into a reusable template so that you can access it anytime and anywhere. With every signed file, you receive a detailed report with legal information as well. It features blank line automatic detection in your files, which helps to position the fields correctly. Consequently, the setting up of documents to get them filled out becomes easy and faster.
Using its ‘Send as Sales Document’ feature, you can get certain types of documents approved, such as bids, estimates, and proposals. If the recipient is ready to approve, they can click the ‘Approve’ button, and then, they will be guided through the next steps.
SignRequest is an industry-leading electronic signature solution trusted by over 3 lakh users around 26 countries. SignRequest prioritizes both security and ease of use for users online.
With its commitment to international standards through ISO 27001 certification and GDPR compliance, SignRequest offers customers the assurance that documents are securely signed with legally binding e-signatures in line with regulations around the world.
Bringing convenience to your digital process, users can manage signatures quickly by leveraging one simple platform or integrating their existing Salesforce software into it via REST API support for programmatic sign requests.
|✅ Multilingual -17 languages
|❌ Bulk send options are paid
|✅ Highest standards of security
|❌ Search function challenges
|✅ User-friendly interface
|❌ Lacks Customization
|✅ Integration with Google
|❌ No user-friendly Mobile app
Is SignRequest Costly?
SignRequest offers a Free version with limitations of 10 documents per month and limited storage. Its paid version starts from €9 per month/user. The software also provides 14 days free trial.
ShareFile is a trusted document and client-facing workflow solution that allows users to store documents securely, get feedback more quickly, and send files for signature in one place.
RightSignature, an e-signature service included with ShareFile, helps you automate the document lifecycle. Streamline client onboarding and send documents for signing quickly. Automatically route signed agreements to their intended folder.
ShareFile RightSignature is the perfect way to streamline document management securely online by allowing users to obtain legally binding electronic signatures from clients with biometric signature capture security and 256-bit encryption for compliance in regulated industries such as accounting, finance, healthcare, and legal.
|✅ Protects from phishing
|❌ E-signature is part of the premium version
|✅ Include biometric signatures
|❌ Costly compared to others
|✅ Unlimited storage
|❌ Learning curve while integrating
|✅ Support HIPAA and FINRA compliance
|❌ No user-friendly Mobile app
Is RightSignature Free?
ShareFile premium version, which includes E-signature, offers a 30-day free trial period. The price for premium is $25 Per user/month for a Minimum of 3 users.
ReadySign is a cloud-based electronic signature software with an intuitive user interface to securely sign, store, and share documents on any device – averaging 80% quicker than pen and paper.
With transparent pricing on ReadySign, get fixed prices that are all-inclusive and cover unlimited document types, signatures, and features, as well as real-time tracking of document statuses, allowing for easy tracking of all the contracts or invoices you have forwarded.
Security measures – including MFA, single sign-on (SSO), and permission-based user roles upheld by a 256-bit SSL encryption meet the highest international standards as regards the protection of your valuable data.
|✅ Transparent pricing
|❌ Lags in Automation
|✅ SOC 2 and Type 2 Complaint
|❌ Lower charges if you go for a higher plan
|✅ Audit trail reporting
|❌ Lacks templates customization
|✅ Unlimited signatures and documents for a single price
How much does Readysign cost?
The company has designed the pricing structure based on user plans such as 10, 40, and 100 user plans, and the price starts at $6 /User per month and climbs to $25/User per month.
Now that you’ve seen how an electronic signature can be done, let’s understand the basics of electronic signature, whether they are legal and how they work.
What’s an Electronic Signature?
An electronic signature (e-signature) is an encoded form of a signature, indicating approval to an electronic contract or a document. And the software that enables people to sign a document online can be termed as electronic signature software.
You can upload a document through your computer, tablet, or smartphone and then send it to multiple people using the software. This way, they can sign it online without having to go through the traditional process.
With electronic signature apps, you can effortlessly collect and store signatures by adding entry forms into your documents.
And don’t worry about its security because these software types allow you to verify the signature and protect all the data entered inside it through strong encryption. Good software providers can also offer more security features such as audit logs, authentication, and more.
For example, you might have signed your name while receiving your parcel through a courier service using a mobile or tablet. That exactly is an e-signature. Voila! You knew it.
Some use cases include: sales contracts, supplier or vendor agreements, fresh customer forms, customer approvals, change orders, employee onboarding, legal documents like intellectual property linens, age verification and parental consent, non-disclosure agreements and channels
Are E-signatures Legal?
Another important question that comes to almost everyone’s mind regarding e-signatures is – are they legal?
Electronic signatures are legally binding.
In the year 2000, The US enforced the ESIGN Act, making e-signatures legal for any virtual use. Similarly, other regions across the globe, such as Europe’s elDAS, also followed suit.
Now, companies and solopreneurs do not have to remain limited to executing contracts on paper.
How Does Electronic Signature Work
Upon signing a digital document, an exclusive code is generated, which is a part of the electronic signature process. This code, which is made up of letters and numbers, is a means of maintaining your signature distinct and is not identifiable. Therefore, the document cannot be altered, regardless of whether someone tries to copy your electronic signature.
A particular type of electronic signature known as a digital signature operates via the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) protocol. To implement PKI, the provider must create two lengthy numbers or keys. It’s a mathematical process that includes two keys, public and private.
Whenever a signer signs documents electronically, the safely kept private key is used to make the signature. Similar to a cipher, the mathematical method generates data referred to as a hash, which matches signed text and encrypts it.
So, the digital signature is the resultant data that was encrypted. The time of the signature is also marked by the signature, and it becomes void if the document is altered after it has been signed.
Here are the steps related to the procedure for sending a digital signature:
- The file to be digitally signed is chosen by the sender inside the document platform or application.
- A unique hash value is generated for the file content by the computer of the sender.
- The digital signature is then created by encrypting this value with the sender’s private key.
- The recipient receives the original file along with the digital signature.
Thus, this makes the process simple as well as secure.
How Can E-signature Help Your Business?
The popularity of e-signatures is increasing like wildfire.
The e-signature market is projected to grow at 26.6% CAGR until 2030.
What’s the reason?
Speedy workflow to save time ⏱️
Using e-signature, the time consumed is lower as documents can be assigned instantly online. You don’t have to wait for the concerned person to arrive and then sign it, which hinders workflow by holding tasks for an extended period.
This technology is especially a blessing for healthcare and other critical businesses where approval needs to be made immediately.
Increased convenience 💯
Traveling to far off places only to take approval seems an age-old practice now. When you have the power of the internet and e-signature software, you can take approvals in no time, which increases convenience on both sides.
Tons of paper are utilized in making paper every year, which degrades the environment. Go paperless to save trees and the environment so the next generation sees a greener ecosystem than we do.
Save resources ✂️
E-signatures not only save time but also cost. Don’t waste your resources on travel expenses or buying more ink and paper. Plus, you can also free some workforce involved in scanning, printing, and delivering the documents to work on other important activities.
You are now familiar with simple things that can help you big time when you choose e-signature over physical signatures.
Difference Between Electronic Signature and Digital Signature
While both digital and electronic signatures can be utilized to authenticate and sign digital documents, there are important differences between them. These differences are based on technology, security, and legal ramifications. Here are some key differences between the two:
#1. Technology & Security
Electronic signature depends on a number of technologies, including entering one’s name, using a stylus or finger to create a signature, or capturing an image. Scanning a handwritten signature can be one good example of it.
Moreover, it provides a rudimentary degree of security, which can be revoked or forged. Besides, it usually does not use the robust cryptography methods seen in digital signatures.
On the other hand, digital signature makes use of two keys and asymmetric cryptography. One of the keys is private, and it’s used for document signing. The other matching public key is used for document verification.
For security purposes, it uses digital certificates, hashing, and encryption to confirm the document’s validity and integrity, giving it a greater degree of security. Besides, it provides a strong defense against tampering with the document since any alteration would render the signature invalid.
Electronic signature depends on a number of authentication techniques, such as entering one’s name or using a password, username, or biometric. Although the degree of verification varies greatly, it can’t always guarantee a solid connection between the signer’s identity and the signature.
A digital signature uses digital certificates from reliable Certificate Authorities (CAs) to connect the signer’s public key and identity with the signature. It offers a reliable and consistent way to confirm the signer’s identity.
#3. Legal Validity
Though electronic signatures are legally valid in different countries, extra proof of validity and purpose should be declared. However, it often has more legal weight since it includes cryptographic confirmation of integrity and identity.
Since digital signatures provide cryptographic verification of identity and document integrity, they’re legally accepted in different countries. Besides, it is acceptable when it comes to legally binding any transaction.
#4. Use Cases
Electronic signatures are often used for a variety of standard tasks like signing contracts, filling out online forms, and verifying email receipts. So, it is suitable for transactions that require less security and are less sensitive.
Digital signatures are highly recommended for transactions that require high security, such as secure email exchanges, financial transactions, legal contracts, and government documents. Thus, this type of signature is often used to confirm the legitimacy of the document, and the singer’s identity is essential.
Electronic signatures refer to confirming the signer’s identity and purpose. However, it could not have the same degree of cryptographic evidence as digital signatures.
When it comes to digital signatures, it uses cryptography to verify the validity of the signer. Moreover, the integrity of the document and the timestamp are also provided with it if applicable.
#6. Cost and Complexity
Electronic signatures are renowned for their simplicity and affordable when it comes to deployment. When the document is used for basic usage, this type of signature is ideal compared to its cost.
Since digital signature requires complex configuration and authorizations from Certificate Authorities (CAs), the associated costs can be higher.
Choosing between these signature types comes down to a few important factors. You must take into account your unique goals or the use cases, the level of security that you require, and any compliance obligations that you have.
Also read: How to Write a Professional Email Signature: Templates and Examples
Bonus Tips to Choose a Good Electronic Signature Software
You might find these software offering a similar set of features, but they are unique in the way they provide solutions. Hence, it can be confusing to choose among. Therefore, understand a few things, and then make your decision.
- Document volume: Determine how often you send documents that need e-signatures. If it’s a very few times in a year, then there’s no point in getting software that offers a very large bandwidth. Instead, choose the range based on your volume requirement.
- Compliance: Don’t trust a solution blindly. Check the level of security and compliance regulations they abide by. It must verify the authenticity, provide audit trails, and other important features that prove its authenticity.
- Integrations and API: Check how seamless the software is to integrate with 3rd-party tools you already use. Also, find out if they provide a customizable open API to embed electronic signature functionality directly on your application or website.
- Cross-platform: make sure the software you choose is compatible easily with different platforms. You must not face difficulty if you send a contract from your Android smartphone, and the recipient uses a macOS.
- Document types: the e-signature software must support multiple types of documents and formats, so you don’t face any trouble midway.
Electronic signatures have become essential for modern businesses and individuals alike. It has been widely accepted by businesses and has the blessings of compliance regulations that are much needed when dealing with clients from different countries.
So, what are you waiting for? Get an e-signature software to sign now and accelerate your workflow faster than ever before!
You can trust Geekflare
Imagine the satisfaction of finding just what you wanted and needed. We understand that feeling, too, so we go to great lengths to evaluate free and paid trials, subscribe to the premium plan if required, have a cup of coffee, and test the software and tools! While we may receive affiliate commissions from purchasing links on our site, our primary focus remains steadfast: delivering unbiased editorial insights, meticulously crafted product tables, and in-depth reviews. To learn more about our expert unbiased reviews from your perspective, check out how we test.