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What is electronic signature? Here are answers to four key questions

Traditional signing processes for wet signatures can seem never-ending. Ensuring all the correct documents are printed, distributing the documents, tracking down the signatories, scanning and sending documents, verifying the legality of the wet-signature, and storing for safekeeping … we know, it’s exhausting. All these steps to get a simple signature can be extremely time-consuming which can be detrimental for those time-sensitive agreements.  

Fortunately, with electronic signature technology, the signature process is made easy, secure, legal, cost-effective, and most importantly — fast. The power Citrix RightSignature, Citrix’s native e-signature solution, can provide your organization is essential.  

Let’s dig into four key questions around electronic signature: 

  • What is e-signature?
  • Why use e-signature?
  • How do you create an e-signature? 
  • How do you maximize the value of e-signature?

What is e-signature?

An electronic signature is a digitally formatted signature used to replace pen-and-paper signature agreements. RightSignature electronic signatures give you the power to obtain legally binding signatures on documents entirely online — more quickly and securely than executing paper documents. Through e-signature software, you can send requests for and receive signatures quickly and replace traditional, dated paper processes.  

In June of 2002, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act established the legitimacy of signing contracts and documents online, streamlining business operations and eliminating paper burdens for consumers. The ESIGN ACT confirmed that electronic signatures have the same legal standing as pen-and-paper signatures, and a contract or record of transactions may not be denied legal effect or ruled unenforceable simply because it is in electronic form. 

Why use e-signature?

While there are many benefits of an e-signature solution, these four highlight why you should integrate electronic signature technology into your business.  

Reduce costs  

With the use of e-signature, there is less paper waste being used in your organization. E-signatures are sent digitally and instantly — you spend nothing on postage for snail mail, paper, or ink. In fact, roughly 70 percent of total waste in offices is paper waste.

Step up security  

Paper signature agreements, which often include sensitive information, can create security issues or get in the wrong hands. Every RightSignature document is secured with a full audit log, biometric data capture, and 256-bit encryption. That means your data is secured at the same level of data protection and redundancy as an online bank.  

Speed up processes 

Requesting and receiving pen-to-paper signatures can be a timely process from start to finish. Electronic signature requests can be sent quickly and be signed in a matter of minutes. This fact alone makes your signature agreement not only faster but more efficient. With a powerful e-signature solution like Citrix RightSignature, you can cut your admin time by up to 93 percent. 

Absolute legality and compliance 

Not only are electronic signatures legal, but they also possess the same legal validity and enforceability as pen-and-paper documents. Every document sent through RightSignature includes a detailed audit trail, complete with time stamps, identity authentication, and other critical information. RightSignature provides a legal foundation to give you the evidence to legally prove signatures in court, leaving your agreements completely protected. 

After signing, RightSignature secures your executed document with a complex hash algorithm to ensure the permanent record is tamper-proof. Electronic signatures with RightSignature also help your organization maintain compliance in regulated industries such as accounting, finance, and more.  

"There is a significant movement toward signing legal documents electronically. You can sign legally binding contracts online and even from your phone. With RightSignature you can upload contracts and have them signed in a faster, cheaper, and more secure way than paper documents." - GP Solo Magazine, a leading legal magazine published bimonthly by the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division of the American Bar Association (ABA).

How do you create an electronic signature with RightSignature?

Creating an e-signature process in Citrix RightSignature is simple: it’s paperwork without the paper—or the work. 

Easy to create

The creation of electronic signature documents is simplified in RightSignature. Send files for signature requests in common document formats you already have, including PDF, DOC, DOCX, and image files. Need to gather information with the e-signature? RightSignature gives you the flexibility to add text fields, date boxes, checkboxes, and more. 

E-signatures are not only easy to create in RightSignature, they’re also fast. Set up your document in just one click with one-of-a-kind automatic field detection, reducing the time to send requests and increasing your experience. Send the same form over and over for signature requests? RightSignature offers reusable templates for commonly used documents sent for e-signature requests. Templates allow users to skip the document creation process and quickly send documents for signature.

Easy to send 

RightSignature can deliver documents for every situation: over email, with a secure link that can be mass distributed, or simply embedded on your website. This enables your organization to tailor how they share documents to be signed according to the situation – contracts or NDAs to specific recipients, HR’s yearly employee handbook update to all employees, or applications that are publicly available and meant to be completed by anyone with access. 

Some documents, like contracts or NDAs, are most often sent one at a time to specific recipients. Other documents, like an HR department sending a yearly employee handbook update, are sent all at once to a large group of people. And applications, for example, are often publicly available and are meant to be completed by anyone with access. E-signatures with RightSignature include features that enable your business to get documents signed online the way your business needs.  

Easy to sign 

Documents sent through RightSignature give signees step-by-step guided signing, reducing complexity. Our intuitive navigation flag and live progress bar help reduce errors and omissions and improve the experience of the signatory. In addition to improving the signing experience, RightSignature supports custom branding. Show clients your logo and colors, which increases authenticity for your business and improves the user experience. See the picture below to view how professional, custom branding helps your organization put its best face forward.   

Through Citrix’s e-signature solution, the sender has several options to request secure, legally binding signatures: handwritten signatures, text to signature, click to agree. All three options have the same validity and simplicity for the signer.  

Sign from anywhere 

RightSignature gives your business the flexibility to receive signatures from any place or device. Either from a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and more — no downloads required, no plugins, and definitely no hassle. Document recipients don’t need to create an account to sign documents online with RightSignature. Your business can send RightSignature documents to anyone, whether the recipient has a RightSignature account or not. There is also no limit to the number of recipients to whom you send documents.  

How do you maximize the value of e-signature?

While an e-signature solution holds immense power for your business by itself, that power is multiplied when integrated and coupled with other solutions. 

Citrix RightSignature’s extensible, REST-based API empowers developers to customize document workflows and integrate electronic signatures into their own applications. With this API ability, you can integrate online document signing into your web applications or existing business processes. Automate signature requests, embed RightSignature documents in your website, and much more. 

In addition to the powerful e-signature API, Citrix RightSignature integrates natively and seamlessly with Citrix ShareFile, a leading secure cloud-based file sharing solution. These two solutions offer a comprehensive document workflow for your business that enables business-class file sharing and real-time collaboration. Together, Citrix ShareFile with RightSignature your organization is empowered by the ability to send, sign, and store all in one place.  

“ShareFile gave us security that met client requirements. User experience is everything. Integrating with ShareFile has made things very simple for the end user.”— Tim Luke, Founder and CEO, Basepin, a high quality Digital Data and BIM services and software company that serves the construction industry.

Try it out for yourself! 

Sign up for a free trial to discover how Citrix RightSignature can accelerate your agreement processes while giving your business back valued time and money. 

Signup for ShareFile Now.