As DocuSign may be new to your users, some document recipients (signers) may naturally ask questions or raise objections to this new way of conducting business. This post provides those who are sending documents via DocuSign with information to help answer the five most common questions that Signers ask:

1. What is DocuSign?

DocuSign was the first company in the world to offer easy to use, Cloud-based e-signing that is both secure and cost effective. Since starting out in 2003, it remains the world’s leading e-signature provider.

Today, more than 300,000 businesses and organisations worldwide trust DocuSign to support valid electronic records and legally binding electronic signatures, with about 1 million documents being signed daily and someone in the world DocuSigning every 0.4 seconds.

2. How does DocuSign work?

It’s simple and intuitive to sign with DocuSign. It is always free and you do not need to subscribe to anything. These are the steps your Signers need to follow:

  • Signers will receive an email with a button that says “Review” which you click on from any internet-enabled device like a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.
  • If it’s the first time they are signing a contract with DocuSign in this way, they will be asked to consent to doing business electronically.
  • They then click on “Continue” and navigation tabs will guide your Signer to where they need to perform an action on the document.
  • To apply a signature, they will can either draw a signature, if on a hand-held device or else ‘adopt a signature’ that will be the electronic representation of their legal intent to commit to the contract.
  • Once they have completed all the signing actions, click “Finish”.

You will see an “Other Options” button which may include other actions you can take such as: “Finish Later”, “Assign to Someone Else” (if you do not have delegated authority), the option to “Print and Sign” or “Decline”, where you will be asked for a reason. We do not encourage you to use a “Print and Sign” option if you see it, as it defeats the purpose of undertaking this process electronically (i.e. it does not save you time and paper).

For more information about how it works, watch this 1-minute video and for detailed steps and screen-prints on “how to sign”, click here.

3. Is it legal and legally binding?

DocuSign e-Signatures are legally binding for nearly every business or personal transaction in almost every country in the world:

  • DocuSign e-Signatures are legally binding for nearly every business or personal transaction in almost every country in the world. DocuSign eSignatures comply with UK law, the European Union Regulation No 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS Regulation), as well as international laws and statutes.
  • When combined with an audit trail, tamper-sealing, strong authentication and bank grade security, a DocuSign Signature is arguably more enforceable than a wet-ink signature because of the court admissible evidence it contains.
  • Finally, DocuSign has a successful history of providing Signers with all the evidence they need to defend their documents against repudiation. In addition, DocuSign is willing to attest to the validity of documents signed with their technology, warranting compliance with the local regulations —the only Digital Transaction Management company to do so.

To understand the laws pertaining to e-signature within a specific country look at the Global Legality Guide.

4. But an “Adopted” DocuSign signature isn’t my actual Signature?

If you own or are a member of a DocuSign Account, you can upload a scanned image of a handwritten signature to your profile. If you sign on a mobile device you can draw your signature on the touch screen.

  • Alternatively, on a computer you can “adopt a signature” from a panel of 20 system generated signatures for the purposes of signing. The fact that it is not necessarily an image of your own personal handwritten signature is immaterial.
  • A signature is a legal concept used to demonstrate “legal intent” to bind oneself to a document’s contents.
  • Provided there is proof that an individual (1) consented upfront to contracting electronically and (2) performed a deliberate action to show their legal intent (such as adopting and appending an image of a signature), then it will be deemed legally binding.
  • DocuSign’s authentication methods (such as SMS codes) and tamper-proof electronic audit trails (the Certificate of Completion) provides this proof that a court would seek in the event of repudiation.

Remember, wet ink doesn’t always win! Unless physically signed in front of a witness or notary, handwritten signatures typically are harder to prove in a court of law because they are hard to validate and can be easily faked. It is estimated that over 50% of wet-signature celebrity-autographed memorabilia are a thought to be legitimately signed and for the Beatles, it is thought to be as low as 6%.

5. Is DocuSign safe and secure?

DocuSign follows industry-leading best practices for your securing your data and transactions. Each electronic signature is unique, documentable, encrypted, and tamper-evident. DocuSign ensures the confidentiality of all transactions and maintains a comprehensive audit trail of signing events.

DocuSign’s bank-grade security and operations delivers:

  • Unmatched compliance with security standards
  • Full document encryption to ensure the privacy of your data
  • Highly secure access based on robust authentication options
  • The strongest level of enforceability and non-repudiation of your transactions

For more information about the security features of DocuSign please click here.