The key to getting documents signed quickly

Making it easy to sign. It’s a simple answer, right? And yet how many times have businesses taken the time to create, edit, approve, and send out important documentation and then waited for seemingly ages to receive the signed version back from the signee?

Even in a world where companies are working towards digital transformation to stay competitive and improve efficiency, there are still time lags where many might prefer they not exist. After all, we live in a world with immediate delivery and responses through solutions like email, SMS, and even social media platforms. So why is it sometimes different for some documents?

Of course, sometimes it needs to be read through by a certain individual, specialist, or legal representative - but arguably in that situation it won’t be the first time the person is seeing the document. They would theoretically need to read through to check for any adjustments that were made to previously sent draft versions, for example. This would then make the actual signature collection significantly faster.

Secure digital document processes

In most cases involving business documents, the final version wouldn’t just be sent out with expectations of no feedback or questions (see our article on digital workflow etiquette for some tips). It’s more typical for a draft version to be created and shared with the involved parties to make any necessary changes before signing.

But this can be a lengthy and risky process if dealing with paper-based documents. Printing and then either mailing or even emailing over a document with sensitive information puts it potentially in the hands of someone who should not have access.

With the right solution, documents can be shared electronically with those needed to approve new changes or versions, as well as with other participating parties - all in a secure online setting that limits who is able to access the document.

By accelerating the back-and-forth part of creating and making changes to a document, it by default should also facilitate a faster signing procedure when it comes to the final version.

Collecting signatures electronically

Once the content of the document is finalized, it can be sent securely in a cloud-based online portal where the recipient(s) will get an email that they can access and electronically sign the document.

The right solution gives a company the tools to offer and accept electronic signatures with identity verification measures. This ensures that any signature gathered digitally is done by the specified person, with extra authentication procedures included.

At first glance, digital signatures might seem less secure than in person or “wet” signatures. However, this misconception is quickly dispelled when we take into account the added safety measures such as two- or multi-factor authentication (2FA and MFA, respectively).

These are among the simplest ways to verify identity in an online setting, and can easily be implemented with the right software when it comes to handling documents.

In many cases, standard electronic signatures (SES) are acceptable - these are certainly a level up from a basic PDF signature option, as they require an added step in order to verify the identity of the signee. Another step up from this, you’ll find advanced signatures, which add yet another level of identity verification.

However, in cases of highly regulated documentation, qualified electronic signatures (QES) are required. You can read more about the differences in the various types of signatures on our page: Electronic signatures explained.

No matter the type of signature needed for your document, there are simple digital solutions available that are ready-to-use, that help streamline the process of managing the document and getting signatures.

How to make it easy to sign documents

So back to the original answer to our question of how to get your documents signed more quickly: making it easier to sign. Seems simple, straightforward. But what does it actually entail beyond providing the signee(s) with the document in a timely manner and then hoping for a quick return?

Digital workflows with built-in signatures make this process easier than ever before - there’s no need to print, sign, and scan the document to email it back. But there’s also no need to upload a signature to your computer and scoot it around, resizing it on a PDF - while these signatures are convenient, there’s no level of security or identity verification.

Software like Taktikal makes it easy to manage documents securely, compliant with necessary regulations such as KYC/AML, and confirms the identity of the signee, all while making it fast and simple for them to add their signature.

Straightforward API integrations also make it easy for the data to then be delivered automatically to a backend system for management and storage.

Simplifying the signature and document handling process from both sides in a digital environment can speed up the time to get signatures significantly. These solutions also work on any device, so signatures can easily be added from a smartphone or tablet, making it much easier to get those documents completed faster.