The Online Digital Signature Way

A Digital Signature Blog


Month List

November 1st, 2016

Ditching your paper and PDF forms for online forms is convenient for customers, great for your business and it has never been easier.

The advantages of online forms are numerous. In this post I'll bring together and summaries the benefits I've written about previously. The links here will take you to previous posts that have focused in more detail on that particular benefit.  So dig in!

Getting a complete form the first time around is the number one advantage of online forms. It means you aren't wasting time chasing up missing details. Secured Signing allows you to identify any form field as required, meaning the person will not be able to sign and submit the form, if that field is not completed. All our form tools including Form Filler, Smart Tag Forms and Form Direct give you the option to make a field required or mandatory.

Online forms also ensure the forms you receive are not only complete, but also correct. Field validation ensures data is in the correct format, like ensuring a phone number field only contains numbers and is exactly 10 digits. Lookup validation is an even more powerful tool to make sure the information in your form is correct.  Examples include looking up BSB data for banking details, or validating addresses. Any Form Direct solution we build for you, can utilise field validation for top quality data.

Online forms also allow you to stop wasting time and effort on data entry.  An integrated Form Direct solution will give you not only a signed form for your records but also update your core business software with the information it contains; no data entry required.  This saves time, wasted effort and removes the potential for keying errors to creep into your database.

More than half of the visitors to your website will be using a mobile device. For these people, downloading and filling out a PDF form simply doesn't work. An online form that can be filled directly in the web browser means everybody can fill and sign your form on any device.

Last month I mentioned you can now use Smart Tags to build forms that work with Secured Signing using the software you are familiar and comfortable with. It is such a simple and powerful way to build forms you can invite your customers to fill and sign online, using just a web browser.

You know your customers hate filling out forms so make it as quick and painless as possible for them. Giving them online forms they can complete on any device at anytime will also give you complete and correct forms the first time around and the option to completely avoid data entry.

You can have your first online forms being filled and signed later today. If you don't have a Secured Signing account, grab a free trial account and try out the Smart Tags and Form Filler options.  Get in touch to discuss a Form Direct solution tailored to your specific needs.

'Til next time

Cheers, John


General

September 30th, 2016

Smart Tag Form Fields give Secured Signing customers a simple yet flexible tool to build forms using familiar software such as MS Word and invite people to fill and sign them online.

The development team are constantly toiling away in the background on ways to make Secured Signing simpler to use and more powerful. This month we'll shine the light on the Form Fields they've added to Smart Tags that give you a simple way to design forms that are Secured Signing ready.

Smart Tags are a great automation feature of Secured Signing which we have had for a while now. Many customers have found them to be a powerful way to make it even quicker to invite people to sign their document online. Adding a Smart Tag to your template allows you to quickly and easily make documents that are Secured Signing ready. The Signature Smart Tag tells Secured Signing where a signature should be placed in your document and who should sign there. Using the Smart Tag button in My Documents you can upload as many Smart Tag documents as you like and send them all off in a single process. We also have a number of customers using Smart Tag merges to invite large groups of people to sign a personalised document with just a few clicks. 

If this is all new to you, please take the time to check out our Smart Tag demonstration videos - Smart Tags- Automate your eSign invitation from documents creation system and  Smart Tag Merge Fields - Smart Tag integration with MS Word.

The addition of Form Field Smart Tags allows you to make a fillable form that works with Secured Signing. It's simply a case of adding the relevant Form Field Smart Tag where you want the person filling the form to provide their information. You can place as many Form Fields in your form document as you need and specify whether they are required or optional. For example, adding the Smart Tag [!Field.Text.R] will place a text field in your document that is mandatory (required). If you replace the R with an O then it will be an optional text field. There are also a number of other attributes you can set including the height and width of the field.

The nice thing is you can build your form in whatever software you are familiar and comfortable with. When you are done, just export it to Word or PDF format and add it to Secured Signing.

When you send your Smart Tag Form to someone, they will see all the Form Field Smart Tags as fillable fields. They will need to complete all required fields before they are able to sign the completed form. It's a much better option than sending them a form by email they have to print, complete, sign and scan to send back to you.

The best way to get started with Smart Tag Forms is to grab the Smart Tag sample document and a copy of the Smart Tag Guide.

Feel free to get in contact for any questions you have with building Smart Tag Forms.

Til next time

Cheers, John


General

August 31st, 2016

Secured Signing customers across a range of industries have been able to wipe out the costs and time lost to manually recording compliance with their consumer protection obligations.  Implementing a tailored signing workflow allows them to demonstrate process based compliance.

Consumer protection is a good thing. When we are buying something it is great to know that there are rules to make sure we get a fair deal. One form of consumer protection is making sure the purchaser is aware of their rights. Someone buying something or signing up to an agreement may also have a cooling off period in which they can cancel the transaction without penalty.

For businesses, complying with these consumer protections can be costly and time consuming.  They key thing is being able to demonstrate that the customer was made aware of their rights, or provided the required documentation or that the transaction was not processed until after the cooling off period. The traditional approach has been to have checklists or acknowledgements that the customer needed to sign. For cooling off periods, a manual process to log dates and times and set reminders to proceed to the next step are required. All of these manual, often paper based processes waste staff time and create risk if they are not diligently followed.

Moving to what I call process based compliance can remove this costly overhead from your business. Some examples will help explain.

For customers in the financial services industry, Secured Signing have delivered tailored signing workflows that display all declarations required by their legislation. Before the customer can sign the document, they must first acknowledge these notifications. Having this process based compliance makes it easy for these companies to demonstrate that the customer simply cannot have signed the agreement without being advised of their rights.

Automated cooling off periods have been included in the online enrolment solutions Secured Signing has delivered for the education industry. On completing the application form, a letter of offer is automatically generated, immediately signed by the applicant and their details written directly to the student management system. The workflow then waits the mandated 48 hours before inviting the student to complete the loan application. The time stamp of the digital signature in the letter of offer will always be at least 48 hours earlier than the time stamp of the digital signature in the loan application form.

Both these examples demonstrate how having compliance requirements built into your signing workflow and enforced by Secured Signing, delivers a process based compliance that is automated, highly reliable and avoids wasting staff and customer time. With the increasing regulation applicable to all industries, the wasted effort and cost in traditional approaches to demonstrating compliance will continue to rise. Now is the time to make the change to online signing with compliance baked into the process.

Contact us to find out more about a process compliance solution specific to your needs.

Till next time

Cheers, John


General

August 1st, 2016

Giving your people a simple way to securely sign documents online is a key capability in equipping them to be mobile and agile. Online signing that delivers a personal, PKI based digital signature is the only way to ensure authenticity and reliability for your signed documents.

In the post industrial world we have the freedom to work wherever we want. At least this is the promise of mobile computing. It is a stark difference to the industrial world where steam engines gave rise to mechanisation. The power of steam reduced the physical load on workers, but the trade-off was you had to go to the machine to be able to work. And thus the factory was born along with the time suck that is commuting. For office workers, paper files, face to face meetings and expensive office equipment were the equivalent of the steam engine forcing people to go to work to be able to work.

Portable computers, the digitisation of our everyday work tasks and the ability to remotely access corporate information systems mean that many people can now do their work wherever they happen to be. Mobility promises flexibility and less time wasted commuting. Yet the vast majority of people are still travelling to increasingly crowded cities, to an office, to work from 9 to 5. There are still a number of reality checks when it comes to realising the promise of mobility.

For some people, the camaraderie and social interaction in their workplace are important. It is also fair to say that management approaches are often still rooted in the industrial context in which they were first devised. Many organisations still have procedures and tools that have not been revised to take full advantage of the computing tools available, mobility in particular.  

Executives may be able to check their email while off site at a meeting or conference, but they need to return to the office to sign any documents that require their approval. Field staff may be able to access corporate data remotely and record inspection details on screen, but they need to return to the office to print and sign an inspection report. Participants in a procurement evaluation may be able to instantaneously collaborate on a selection report, but the final copy will take days to work its way through the internal mail for each of their signatures.

Online signing allows your team to be truly mobile and agile. Personal assistants can invite executive staff to sign documents, wherever they are, to create a true electronic original. Field staff can finalise their work without the overhead of trips back to the office. Teams can finalise reports, bids and other documents without the delays inherent with paper.

Your choice of online signature provider determines the reliability and authenticity of your signed documents.  Secured Signing gives every signer a personal, PKI based digital signature. Their signatures cannot be forged or copied to another document.  Any change to the signed document will invalidate the signature. Online digital signing is as easy as physical signing but gives you the immediacy of an electronic original and the confidence of a signature that can be independently verified offline.

To see how simple it is to sign a document online with the security of a digital signature, try a Secured Signing freeway account. 

Til next time

Cheers, John


General

June 23, 2016,

There are many, many people who love the simplicity and speed of Secured Signing just as it is.  For quite a few of our business customers though, they are seeing even greater time saving and convenience by integrating Secured Signing to their core software system. This post explores the myriad of ways you can integrate Secured Signing to the software you use all day, every day.

The first and simplest option is using Smart Tags. If the documents you sign with Secured Signing are generated from your core system, why not take a few minutes and modify the template so those documents become Secured Signing ready. The Smart Tag documents your system generates can be added to Secured Signing in batches without any need to position signatures.  It’s a great time saver!

A Smart Tag is simply some text within the document that Secured Signing recognises as a marker for where a signature should appear and who needs to sign. Check out the Smart Tag demonstration videos in the How It works part of the website - http://www.securedsigning.com.au/support/demo-videos.

Another popular integration is completely avoiding the time suck and boredom of data entry by plugging Secured Signing’s Form Direct into your core business software. This also means your data is free of keying errors and updates are processed without delay.

If you’ve used Secured Signing Forms, you know they are great for enforcing mandatory items and making sure you have a complete form filled and signed the first time - all with no paper!  Form Direct provides additional capabilities like dynamic form elements that hide questions most people don’t need to answer, as well as data validation and lookup.

Did you know, that as well as a signed form, Secured Signing Form Direct can also return the data entered into the form. For some customers we supply the form data as a file they can use with an existing upload process in their software. For other customers, we write the data directly into their system to create and update records automatically - no data entry!

And finally, the pièce de résistance - the Secured Signing application programming interface or API!  Closely integrating your core software system with Secured Signing gives you access to the full range of online signing capabilities without leaving the system you use day in, day out for maximum convenience.

Check out the Connectors page to see if an existing integration is available for the software you use. If not, get in touch and we can start the conversation about your needs and the integration capabilities of your system.  If you are a developer looking to extend your system with secure PKI digital signatures, check out the resources on our Developer page - https://www.securedsigning.com/developer/api-documentation

Till next time,

Cheers

John



General