What is a Wet Signature

Posted by RPost on August 3rd, 2022

Why Wet Signatures Are the Past and eSignatures Are the Future

Wet signatures have been the norm for centuries. However, as the world goes digital, relying solely on “wet signatures” can cost businesses delays and increased costs. If you’re spending too much time waiting for completed contracts or signed documents, it’s time to switch to electronic signatures or eSignatures.

The eSignatures market is growing exponentially driven by rising customer expectations for digital interaction and increased awareness of legal acceptance of eSignatures. Research projects the global digital signature market size to grow to .1 billion by 2026, from .8 billion in 2020.

Many reasons are behind this overwhelming market annual growth of over 30%. Arguably, one of the main factors is digital natives entering the market, which has raised the bar for baseline expectations when it comes to user digital experiences. In 2022, Millennials and Gen Z make up around 50% of the market consumer landscape, and it is hard to imagine that the generations that grew up on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, Alexa, and Siri will find it acceptable to print documents (or even own a printer), sign dozens of pages, scan them one by one, zip them and send via email.

As once niche technologies increasingly become mainstream, more industries are in turn digitizing their processes to increase productivity and cater to their staff and clients’ expectations. Not only can consumers now open bank accounts, sign loan agreements, or take out insurance with a few simple clicks, but government agencies have also provided more e-signature support for important documents. Needless to say, the outbreak of COVID-19 has only accelerated this already growing trend and abruptly brought the future of work to the present.

What Are Wet Signatures?

For the uninitiated, let’s talk about what exactly “wet signatures” are first. Every time you put pen to paper to sign a document, you’re using a wet signature. The term comes from the phrase “waiting for the ink” to dry on the paper. That’s how signatures were taken centuries earlier.

But they don’t necessarily have to be a signed name. Wet signatures can include a person’s initials, an “X” mark, a stamped symbol, an inked thumbprint, or some other physical form of signature. Some cultures would also use symbols or seals to “seal” the deals!

Why Are Wet Signatures Losing Their Popularity?

There are several reasons why businesses are switching from wet signatures to eSignatures.

  • Long lead times: Obtaining wet signatures can take days or weeks because of all the printing, mailing, scanning, and posting of documents.
  • Higher costs: There are several direct costs involved in collecting signatures, including paper, ink, and postage.
  • Increased risks: Failing to secure paper documents can lead to loss or misuse of confidential information.
  • Eco-friendly: Being digital, they are more eco-friendly compared to wet signatures.
  • Security: Paper documents can get lost; eSignatures with encryption capabilities are more secure.
  • Centralized documents: eSignatures considerably reduce the time spent in retrieving a document by offering integrations with different platforms, making it a simple click and search.

For more information: https://rsign.com/learn/what-is-wet-signature

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Joined: July 26th, 2022
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