Why Electronic Signature Capture Is More Important Than Ever
We’ve witnessed the world change in 2020, trying to adapt to the conditions introduced by the Coronavirus pandemic. People have had to obey strict no-contact rules which meant that companies needed to find new ways to complete simple processes, like signature capture.
With the ongoing pandemic, safe package delivery practices are increasingly essential to mindful operational strategies, and client and worker care. E-signatures and contactless package delivery are now tied to the hip. And the fact is, there is a chance things will remain this way even COVID-19 has passed.
What Is Contactless Delivery & How Does It Work?
Contactless delivery refers to the exchange of packages or orders from the business to the customer, without any direct physical contact. The delivery partner or representative employee and customer receiving the order should avoid direct contact. For instance, when a customer signature is needed, methods and processes available to delivery people to mitigate physical contact.
The purpose of contactless delivery is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the individuals involved in the exchange, as per the COVID-19 safety guidelines. Social distancing measures stipulate contact including hugging, shaking, touching hands, or standing too close together as behavior that increases the transmission of the virus.
Companies have implemented ‘no touch’ policies in varying ways, adapting their contactless delivery choices to the conditions of their business. For example, UberEats introduced an option for drivers to leave the food delivery at the customer’s door. The delivery person knocks at the door, places the food in front of the door, and steps away to allow the customer to retrieve their food.
Each company has its own contactless delivery processes.
What Is An Electronic Signature?
Now let’s move on to electronic signatures, and signature capture.
In a pre-pandemic world, most people were likely completely unbothered about the method of signature capture used. Nevertheless, electronic signature capture has been on the scene for a long while already, and most people have probably used an e-signature numerous times.
Between 2012 and 2017, the electronic signature transactions grew from 89 to 754 million. And this practice has increased dramatically in the past year to allow for contactless and paperless deliveries. So, what is an electronic signature really?
Essentially, it is a type of digital data that gives people the ability to confirm their agreement to binding documents without hand printing their signature. However, just as contactless delivery comes with a range of methods, so too do businesses use multiple ways of validating information electronically.
Your input method counts as an electronic signature if:
It authenticates information
It is a way to sign
It records and authenticates signatories
It proves delivery or intent
Thus, e-signatures can include unique PINs or codes, scanning technology, biometric passwords, and more.
Interesting Stats On Electronic Signatures
Electronic signing systems decrease company expenses by 85%.
The use of hand-printed signatures adds approximately a whole day’s work to 65% of companies’ workloads.
Approximate e-signature implementation time: 9 months for large organizations, 5.5 months for medium-sized organizations, and 2.3 months for small companies.
Statista: Electronic signature capture grew by 665 million between 2012 and 2017.
Human error or processing errors can be decreased by around 90% with electronic signature capture and other paperless methods.
The Benefits Of Electronic Signatures And Contactless Delivery
Signing Online Saves Time
Documenting signing tends to involve a whole lot of bureaucracy and a ton of waiting. Printing, sending, reviewing, and anxiously awaiting a signature and response are some of the time delays electronic signatures avoid. With e-signatures, this process becomes shorter and signatures can be executed in a matter of minutes, especially if all parties have the document beforehand.
Furthermore, electronic signature capture and paperless documentation make archive and document recovery speedier. Instead of rifling through rows and rows of file cabinets, you can simply type in the document name you want to find. It’s convenient and it saves time.
Convenient For Customers
E-signatures are also convenient for customers, particularly amidst the remote environment of the Coronavirus pandemic. With digital transactions and documentation, customers have all the information they need at their fingertips if they want to make a complaint or log a return, for example.
Plus, the efficiency of your organization is paramount when it comes to customer satisfaction and bettering the customer experience. Electronic signature capture saves time for clients and customers, optimizing the process and increasing the convenience of transacting with your business.
Improves Productivity And Workflow
Not only does this maximize your time, but it also facilitates productivity. Paper records can damage and get lost easily- e-signatures reduce missing documents by 66%. Plus, the process of printing and delivering bulky files from one employee to another is its own job. Using digital documents streamlines your workflow as employees can access and sign files easily.
This also makes for quicker decision-making processes as you eliminate delays and bottlenecks in the sign-off process. Electronic signature capture is instant and reduces response time by 80%. Another pro is that individuals can sign from any location, avoiding the hubbub around getting someone into the office long enough to get their signed approval.
Not having to print pages and pages of documents is a thumbs up for administrative costs to your organization. Furthermore, less paper usage promotes eco-friendly values and cost-conscious thinking. Cutting environmental and financial costs and integrating more tech into your operations encourages a more sustainable business design that will keep your business on par with the world.
E-signatures can offer better security than pen and paper signatures. While forgery is common with regular signatures, your company can supplement a simple electronic signature with other authorization forms like password, or biometric verification.
According to Stanford University, e-Signature platforms now integrate biometric verification into all written signatures by measuring writing pressure, rhythm, and other factors. 45% of global businesses have implemented two-step verification processes like this to authenticate signatures.
With trustworthy organizational cybersecurity software, you can get the best benefits of this virtual tool, with a bonus of added security.
The possibilities of enhanced security and two-step verification with electronic signatures validate them as much as, if not more than physical signatures. Under the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), electronic signatures hold the same legal standing as their ink counterparts.
Globally, e-signatures are accepted. Many countries and governmental bodies have regulations on signatures and electronic signatures. However, for the most part, it is equally as binding as any other signature. In fact, some may argue that they are safer than normal signatures.
With the right e-signature software, your business can limit authorized parties that have the power to alter documents, heightening legal compliance and combating document tampering.
4 Ways Your Business Can Introduce Electronic Signature Capture For Contactless Delivery
Now that you understand the power of electronic signatures and what they can do for your contact-free delivery, let’s explore fantastic ways that your business can introduce them today and encourage smooth contactless delivery.
Of course, the first way you can do this is by using delivery software that enables electronic signing. Track-POD’s software includes electronic signing as a feature that delivery drivers can conveniently access via a mobile application. You can also integrate electronic signature solutions with third-party systems like Human Resources apps, ERPs, CRMs, and workflow governance solutions.
Visual Electronic Signatures
If your use of signatures is about having proof of product delivery, there’s a fun way to achieve this that is totally contactless. Encourage your delivery employees or partners to take an image of the customer with the package in hand on-site when they make their delivery.
They can then attach this image to relevant documents to prove the customer received their package. The advantage of this method is that you also get free time records to prove the delivery time, too.
The Internet of Things (IoT) & Cloud Computing
The Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing connect multiple devices to one another in the digital sphere. Businesses can take advantage of this by sharing and signing documents on cloud services like Google Drive or Apple Cloud. This is a wonderful choice for accessibility. A great option is to invest in custom cloud software with stringent security protection to ensure the safety of your data.
With this technique, individuals can sign from any location, and the document can record updates instantly across connected devices.
Most smart devices today have the option to verify identity through biometric identification like fingerprint scans, facial or iris scans, and voice matching. These signature forms have the added benefit of guaranteeing you can identify the person who signed for packages.
Delivery businesses can use this to their advantage. Record fingerprint signatures and embed the data into your documents, to avoid forgery.
A one-time PIN (OTP) is a password that is valid for a limited time period or a single session. Generally, an organization will send it to a user to verify their identity as Google does often to ensure security if a user logs in from a new device. Your delivery company can send customers a personalized PIN that the delivery person can request in exchange for the package.
As the customer receives the pin on their phone or personal platforms like email, entering the PIN verifies their identity and qualifies as proof of receipt.
How To Set Up A Contactless Delivery System In Eight Steps
Decide on the best contactless delivery method for your business and integrate it into your customer touchpoints. Consider different factors when making this decision including:
The drivers available to make the delivery
The vehicles available to make the delivery
Your delivery areas
The common building types you deliver to
Third-party cashless payment methods
Safer packaging options
Train and educate your staff on your delivery method and the digital tools that enable it. Give them an understanding of how the customer experiences the changes too so that they can provide the best customer service and answer customers’ questions.
Educate and inform your customers about your contactless options via marketing channels.
Support your chosen method with social distancing and health safety measures. For example, regularly clean and sanitize your offices or warehouses. Encourage workers to sanitize regularly, including before and after delivery, and supply and mandate the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment like masks.
You should also ensure regular sanitizing of delivery equipment like tablets for electronic signature capture, including before and after delivery. Delivery vehicles must also get regular and routine cleaning and sanitizing.
Introduce health check-ups for your employees, monitor COVID-19 symptoms, and introduce a COVID tracking system.
Research safer packaging options for your orders.
Optimize your online delivery program to record and update all relevant information. Use delivery software that centralizes your data and makes it accessible to relevant people.
Your program should also encourage digital payment over cash or other physical payment forms to avoid contact. Giving the best in your delivery ensures that there are fewer returns, and thus less contact and physical interactions between your employees and the customer.
Consider using route-tracking or route-optimization software to monitor your drivers’ trips. This ensures they do not make unnecessary stops on the way to their destination, putting themselves and the customer at risk of transmission.
The Bottom Line
Making use of electronic signature capture in your business functions not only benefits your customers, but it enhances the internal operations of your organization. In a time when businesses are strained and facing numerous difficulties, electronic signature capture can simplify workflow processes and promote a more sustainable business model.
Switching to e-signatures bolsters your contactless functioning and digital systems, giving your business promise to survive the current climate and keep up with the times.
Lastly, but most importantly, with digital signature capture, you can safeguard the health and well-being of your employees and clients, ensuring the longevity of your business for years to come.