Signatures are the binding identifier that indicates that a contract has been looked at and signed off on by all the parties that need to approve it. In most cases, a wet signature is required to bind a contract. Some contracts will require that everyone sign them in person and will not allow a digital signature.
You might wonder what a wet signature is. Wet signatures used to be the standard for verifying that a document had been adequately reviewed and approved. However, processes are changing today, and wet signatures are becoming a remnant of the past. With the advent of technology and digital signing software, It's hard to imagine requiring everyone involved in a contract to get together these days in person to sign it.
What Does 'Wet' Mean?
Wet signatures are physical signatures. They are referred to as wet to identify them from stamped signatures. In the past, signing by hand was done for every kind of binding contract, and stamps were only used for internal processes that needed to be signed off on. Wet signatures must be completed in person, or they must be done using the mail. Contract documents can be lost in the mail or misplaced altogether when the mail is used.
Wet signatures are always completed by hand. This means that people will need to arrive in person to sign documents when wet signatures are required. Digital signatures are replacing wet signatures for obvious reasons because they are much easier to collect, and they can be delivered electronically for all kinds of documents.
The Downsides of Wet Signatures
Wet signatures have a significant Achilles heel, which is that all the parties that need to sign a document must be present in-person to take care of binding it. Wet signatures are also plagued by issues related to transferring signatures to all the right places in a contract. It can be hard to gather all the signatures needed when you go through documents by hand and sign each spot on the paperwork.
Wet signatures can also be time-consuming to collect because you might have as many as 50 to 100 pages to sign for contracts like mortgages. This can lead to hours of the signature collection to get through one set of documents. There is also the issue of ink signatures smudging or becoming illegible if papers are stacked too soon after being signed.
What Are the Differences Between a Wet Signature and a Digital Signature?
Wet signatures used to be the required method for signing documents of all kinds. This is the way documents were signed to prevent theft, fraud, and other issues related to legally binding contracts. With the advent of digital signatures, collecting someone's legal signature is much easier. When someone digitally signs documents, in most cases, they will sign once, and the signature will be applied to all of the documents that need it.
This is a big-time saving compared to wet signatures, and it is also a benefit for security reasons. The consistency of the signatures on the documents is an excellent indicator that they were signed correctly when you are using a digital process. Digitally signing documents also means less likely to be lost during operations. Digital copies can be signed without printing and scanned back into computer systems.
Digital signatures allow people to sign securely without signing the actual paper documents. This ensures that people can sign right away to buy a home, a car, or get a credit card without travelling to the location where the contract is being housed. This process is expedient and necessary for smooth business operations in a globally-connected world.
Digital signatures also cannot be smudged or damaged. This is a huge benefit when legal questions arise or when copies of the contract must be sent to other businesses or lawyers. You will find a few downsides to the use of electronic signatures and many, many upsides.
Why Should You Choose Digital Signatures?
A few legal limitations require wet signatures for contracts these days. For most kinds of legal documents, a wet signature is acceptable. When you upgrade to a digital signature process in your office, you will free yourself from the struggles related to damp and smudgy signatures, getting people into your office in person, and issues with legibility and missing signature locations.
The age-old conundrum of digital signature versus wet signatures has an obvious answer. There is no reality wherein digital signatures do not improve processes and save much time. Other than the rare item that must be wet-signed for government purposes, most companies are moving from a signature by hand model to a digital signature model. The software that will allow you to access this technological benefit is no longer expensive. You will easily add it to your list of approved operating applications.
Tessaract: The Optimal Digital Signature Solution For Your Needs
If you are ready to convert to digital signature processes, we can help! There are so many reasons why this upgrade will benefit your business. From saving time to collecting reliable information to bind contracts, digital signatures are far superior to wet signing documents the old-fashioned way. If you have gotten tired of the struggles of getting wet signed documents collected, scanned, and then submitted to different parties, digital signatures are the answer. Furthermore, Tessaract has also published guides on how to prepare a document for digitally signing on Tessaract, and how to digitally sign a document using Singpass.
Tessaract can offer you the tools, the experience, and the confidence to ensure that your business is collecting signatures properly, and even through Singpass. You can ask to see a free demo or call us to talk about our signature collection products. Stop handling documents the old way and improve your document management processes.
Contact us today to talk to us about how we can make digital signatures a reality for your business needs!