Can e-signatures deliver a personal touch in a remote business world?

With the rapid shift to digital everything, many businesses are looking for ways to connect with their customers on a more human level. A combination of video conferencing and digital signature technology may be one answer to the problem.

“In this last couple of years, we’ve truly gone to more of an anywhere economy,” said Sameer Hajarnis, e-signature practice leader with OneSpan, at a recent ITWC briefing.  “People are wanting to do transactions from the comfort of their homes. But as you move into complex transactions, there’s a need for human help.”

Human interactions are more important than ever, said Hajarnis. People have been house-bound and are working long hours, he noted. “This is actually a time when businesses need to engage with their customers and customers want that engagement.”

Participate in: “Recreating the power of face-to-face interactions in a digital-first world”

A platform that allows for a virtual meeting to walk through a contract, along with a secure digital signature process, is a way to add the human touch to remote transactions, Hajarnis said.

More than video conferencing

The OneSpan Sign Virtual Room recreates the power of a face-to-face meeting to close a deal with e-signatures, explained Hajarnis. “The virtual room is an add-on function to bring human interaction to the signing experience,” he said.

The solution is easy for everyone to use because it’s cloud and browser based. There is no need for users to download any video applications, said Hajarnis.

A key component of the service is that it offers bank-grade digital security encryption and identity proofing capabilities to capture legally binding e-signatures in real time. “A person’s identity can be authenticated in several ways before they enter the room,” said Hajarnis. “The ability to ask the customer questions and to see them face-to-face brings the authentication to a much higher level.”

This combination of technology allows the participants to walk through the documents together, addressing any questions and making annotations, as needed. The service captures every action during the virtual session in an audit trail to provide reliable proof for compliance or legal purposes. The screen share and video feed can also be recorded.

“I definitely believe it’s a much better way to close deals and all participants will benefit,” Hajarnis said. “It’s more convenient and the experience is better.”

Where to begin

Many businesses have started using the service for high value or complex transactions where there’s a need to provide human assistance, Hajarnis said. However, he believes this is just scratching the surface on how businesses can take advantage of it.  “Ask which part of the business would benefit from getting in front of customers,” he said.  “Or if you have a digital process today, but low adoption, find out why. Do they need more guidance? This is centred around the customer’s experience.”

The subscription service is also well-suited for small and medium-sized businesses because it’s based on usage, Hajarnis added.

Ultimately, it’s a chance to improve customer engagement, he said. “People still want to shake hands with people in business, but in the world that we live in today, it’s not possible to do that. This is the next best thing.”

Participate in: “Recreating the power of face-to-face interactions in a digital-first world”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker has over 20 years of experience in IT-related fields in the public and private sectors, as a lawyer and strategic advisor. She is a former broadcast journalist, currently working as a consultant, freelance writer and editor.

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