Signatures written by hand are becoming a thing of the past. More and more people are signing documents and contracts using electronic signatures. An electronic signature—or e-signature—is a signature added to an electronic document and indicates an agreement or official record. Signing with an electronic signature might sound complicated, but it is effortless! Document creators and signees are using online e-signature solutions to sign contracts. Countersigning documents using an online solution offers many benefits, including:
- Faster contract signing and document completion
- Improved workflow
- Access files from any device
- Sign from anywhere, on virtually any device
- Automated notices and alerts
What is a countersignature?
A countersignature is a signature added to a document or contract after the first signee. The countersignature can validate documents in the following two ways:
- Indicate an agreement with the terms and conditions of a contract.
- Authenticate the first person’s signature, like with a notarization.
Countersignatures are often required to do business. Once all parties have signed the contract, the agreement is considered binding. The signatures and countersignatures mean that all parties agree to the terms of the contract and will uphold the terms and conditions.
Do I have to install software to add e-signatures?
E-signature solutions are secure and typically web-based, meaning you don’t have to download any software. Usually, the person who needs the countersignature will prepare the document in the e-signature solution and create the fields where the client needs to sign. They can require a name, signature, date, company name, initials, checkboxes, or other areas to be completed for the document to be valid.
If multiple people need to countersign the document, the document creator can set up fields for all people involved and even define a signing order if the process needs to honor a specific hierarchy.
Are e-signatures solutions safe to countersign documents?
Countersigning documents using e-signatures is safe. Online solutions offer special encryption to ensure the security of information across the internet. Using e-signatures enables the entire transaction process to take place in the cloud, without requiring a pen and paper.
- Secure authentication
- Cloud-based document storage
- Two-factor identification
- Advanced SSL encryption technology
- Court-admissible audit trails
How do I get multiple people to countersign at once?
The sender can define multi-party signatures and share the document or contract with everyone who needs to sign simultaneously. In a few steps the document is ready to be countersigned by multiple signees:
- List the names and email addresses of all signees.
- Define if the signees can sign the contract simultaneously, or if the document needs to follow a specific signing order.
- On the digital document, add the input fields for every signee. This may include the signature, name, initials, checkbox, or any other free text.
- Send the document. Depending on the signing order (as defined in step 2), the link to the document will be distributed to everyone at once or will be sent in a sequence.
Online solutions feature a document history. The contract sender can verify who has opened and signed, ensuring that there are no roadblocks.
With e-signatures everyone can countersign in an instance
Ensure the safety of all of the people who are signing and executing documents by going paperless. There is no need for in-person meetings, printing, scanning, mailing, or faxing. Signatures can be completed remotely, meaning that no one has to risk exposure during these times of COVID-19. With an online e-signature solution, it is faster, easier, and more secure to get multiple countersignatures, practice social distancing, and execute contracts online. Businesses and customers rely on this technology to overcome the distance and get the signing process resolved faster.