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Digital Signature Software 2021: Ultimate Guide

Learn why Digital Signature is important for businesses in their digital transformation and how to choose the right Digital Signature software

Last updated: Feb 23, 2021

Digital Signature Software 2021: Ultimate Guide

What is a Digital Signature?

A Digital Signature is a unique type of e-signature which complies with the strict legal regulations and provides the highest level of assurance of a signer’s identity. One can call them ‘electronic fingerprints’, and they rely on certain types of encryption to ensure authentication and also guarantee that the contents of a message have not been altered in transit.

Digital Signatures offer inherent security assurance and help overcome issues in document tampering and fraud in digital communications. Digital Signatures operate using cryptography technology to ensure authentication.

Digital signature has an encrypted digital certificate which guarantees that the contents of the document have not been altered in transit using public and private keys paid instead of passwords or licenses. It is used to validate the document to ascertain its authenticity and ensures that it is not forged. It is also used to secure the document. A digital signature ensures a high degree of security.

According to the Digital Signature Market Research Report which is part of the Global Industry Analysis & Growth Forecast to 2030, the global signature market which is currently pegged at $1,534.8 million in 2019 is slated to grow to $23,949.7 million by 2030 witnessing a CAGR of 28.6% during the forecast period (2020-2030).

What is Digital Signature Software?

A Digital Signature Software facilitates the digital signing process by helping businesses securely sign, send, and manage documents.

Digital Signature Software enables signature capturing using cryptography applications which aid in the overall collaboration, security, and productivity within a company.

Digital Signature Software offers businesses the power of enhanced security by ensuring the unique validity of authorized signatories and detecting against unauthorized alterations and tampering.

Benefits of Digital Signature Software

A few of the key benefits of using Digital Signature Software are as follows:

Minimize Expenses

Going paperless with the help of using a Digital Signature Software is a great way to avoid expenses involved in printing, paper, record maintenance, and courier services. Apart from such direct savings, there are indirect savings such as time saved in making copies, ensuring document protection, and rekeying information. An AIIM report observed that close to 25% of Digital Signature users made good their ROI in less than three months and around 81% benefited within a year.

Improve Customer Relationships

With tech-savvy customers looking to close deals quickly Digital Signature Software helps enable this speed. Customers can now sign documents online without going through the hassle of downloading anything and get the benefit of sending that document from the comfort of any internet-ready device.

Close Deals Faster

Digital Signature Software improves the turnaround time in closing a deal and also helps in the execution of contracts by allowing multiple signers to sign on the same document. The software routes the contract to each signer mentioned in the workflow. This means that businesses can get cracking on their deals sooner, and many enterprises using digital signature software report acceleration in their sales cycle.

Track Status

Digital Signature Software offers businesses the ability to track the status of every document using an online dashboard. Many of the top Digital Signature Softwares in the market today also send email reminders to the signers in case they do not sign by the specified time, thereby streamlining the process from start to finish.

Enhance Document Accuracy

It’s not unusual for customers to miss signing a page or forgetting to fill out vital information. Digital Signature Software negates this by creating mandatory fields in the contract which ensures that contracts are correctly filled, signed, and completed reducing time delays and issues arising due to incorrectly completed documentation.

Reliable Document Security

With Digital Signature Software, enable strong document security and management. Every signature is protected with a tamper detection seal and the software will even send out alerts if they have been altered post-signing.

Which industries use Digital Signature Software?

Industries that use Digital Signature Software largely include Legal, architecture, engineering, construction, healthcare, life sciences, financial and insurance services. It also sees a lot of adoption in the accounting and tax industries, IT and cybersecurity, marketing industry, government sector, and the higher education sector as well.

Who are the users of Digital Signature Software?

As its simple features make for efficient collaboration among team members and external stakeholders, Digital Signature Software is largely used by personnel in Finance, Human Resources, IT, sales and marketing, and legal teams across industries.

Why Digital Signature is Important?

A few of the main challenges of a business that are solved by Digital Signature Software include:

Delays in Contract Process

Earlier when companies were still relying on physical signatures, every contract had to be signed, shipped, faxed, scanned, or filed. This made the process lengthy and time-consuming and a costly process. Both parties had to wait for multiple steps to be completed before a contract was put in place.

High Transaction Cost

Digital Signature Software helps save money which companies would traditionally spend in terms of labor, material costs, and efficiency. While these costs may seem minimal, they tend to add up significantly in the monthly overheads of an enterprise.

Slowing Negotiations

Earlier when it came to negotiations, businesses could not accelerate the process as each step had to be authenticated with multiple signatories and repetitive signing. During this process, contracts could not be easily accessed by parties, so critical issues would not be flagged and tracked until the final execution. This would be further complicated when companies were in geographically diverse locations slowing business discussions and negotiations down tremendously. Digital Signature software helps speed up collaborative efforts on contracts.

Security Concerns

Companies that used physical contracts also had to worry about tampering and security. The management process was laborious as the paper trail had to be kept track of, otherwise, it could be a potential security threat to the mutual parties. Digital Signature Software reduces this effort and security concerns tremendously by automatically detecting even minor altering and recording more data points.

Key Features of Digital Signature Software

Signing Workflows

This feature is especially useful when multiple users are slated to sign a contract or a document in a particular order. It allows users to define a signing order when sending out a document to multiple recipients.

Track Document Progress

This lets a user know who has signed a document and who is yet to sign, and also who has accessed the document or requested changes.

Notifications and Reminders

A unique feature of a Digital Signature Software is that it lets the user have the choice to inform signers and requesters about the status of the signature process. This is especially helpful to companies and institutions during negotiations and deals brokering.

Bulk Sending

Most Digital Signature Software provides users with the ability to send documents to multiple recipients at once and thereby saving time, cost, labor, and paper.

Audit Trails

Comprehensive audit trails and reports let the user track all the steps of the signature process. This useful feature allows businesses to know and be able to prove who signed a document and when they signed it.

Regulatory Compliance

Digital Signature software provides regulatory features that enable businesses to adhere to all the current laws while ensuring high levels of data privacy.


Rebranding allows companies to customize the software, legal disclosure, and email templates based on the company’s brand requirements.

Mobile Apps

Some Digital Signature Software comes with a mobile app version. This feature provides additional flexibility to field agents by enabling them to collect document signatures while on the go.

AI in Digital Signature Software

The advent of AI in Digital Signature Software technology has proven that digital signatures will soon become the norm and that it is the future.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain has today become the last word when it comes to digital security. It is a system for linking multiple groups of records into a chain that is encrypted and has several layers of protection shielding it from tampering. By using hash - a unique number that depicts data, it can check multiple copies of documents with different signatures with the aid of blockchain technology and always find the original copy to assess its validity.

AI Automation

AI-based Digital Signature Software removes the need for manual intervention while adding a digital signature to documents. The powerful AI-based software can understand variations in documents and automatically locates where a signature has to be placed. AI-powered chatbots can now also ensure that several business processes like customer onboarding, remote employee contract signing, internal document flow for leave requests, expense requests, certificate, and timesheets can be done via a conversational interface. Using AI, chatbots can verify and apply a digital signature that is specific to the internal flow, or role to the document automatically.

Big Data Authentication

Using Big Data it has now become possible to increase the authentication of the digital signature with the use of new data mining tools. The technology aids the Digital Signature Software in processing and verifying innumerable transactions daily and to detect fraud in seconds.

Buyer’s Guide: Guide to Choose Right Digital Signature Software

Some of the important aspects to consider while choosing a Digital Signature Software is:

Point Product or Integrated Solution

Buyers are recommended to consider peer reviews and expert opinions that are extensively available on Cuspera before making buying decisions. Cuspera’s AI based engine guides you through the requirement process to help you choose the right software.

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Digital Signature Software can be a standalone software where it comes with more robust features like multi-device support and bulk sending. There are also integrated solutions wherein Marketing Automation, Contract Management, Proposal Management and even CRM will have some kind of basic e-signature support.

Cloud or On-Premise

Cloud or SaaS-based products are popular and are cost-effective also. However, there are several organizations which have stringent requirements around data privacy, and also by law would have requirements to keep the data within the boundary. Such businesses adopt on-premise deployment.

Application Support

A good and reliable Digital Signature Software enables the signing of documents created with commonly used applications. This provides users with the same flexibility to secure their documents as they had to when signing a paper document.

Multiple Signatures

As many enterprises have large volumes of different types of documents, there are sometimes sections that need to be reviewed and approved by one signatory and another section needs approval by a different person. The right Digital Signature Software needs to support multiple signatures effectively to enable sectional signing and editing.

Sealing Documents

A Digital Signature Software must allow one to seal a document to make it ‘tamper-proof’. This feature safeguards a document from fraud and forgery by using a one-time fingerprint unique to the signer and the document, which cannot be reused and reassigned.


A digital signature must meet the basic requirements of authenticity, integrity, privacy, and non-refutability, and most importantly be able to stand up in court as well. This can be done only when the software has complied with legal regulations of any country and also with any industry guidelines that may be in its purview.

Ease of Use

Signing on a document with a digital signature must be as easy and less time consuming than the traditional paper route. It should not take more than seconds and users should be able to use the software seamlessly to secure their document and not have to learn any new technology to be able to utilize it fully.


While standards-based Digital Signature Software allows companies to become totally paperless, it should be able to considerably bring down the traditional costs associated with paperwork including archiving, faxing, storing, copying, and transporting a document. Apart from registration and renewal fees for digital certificates and cost for smart cards etc., the Digital Signature Software should not have hidden costs or require heavy investment in IT support and development or too many additional staff to run the software.

Challenges in Adopting Digital Signature Software

Let’s look at some of the challenges faced by companies in the adoption of a Digital Signature Software:


Many companies do not trust digital signatures and their legality. Several legal requirements are binding upon companies that use Digital Signatures and it is imperative that the companies are aware of these and adapt it accordingly. This view and ignorance of laws surrounding it affect the adoption of Digital signatures in business transactions.


While many companies are looking at streamlining their operations and reducing storage cost, there are still businesses which are reluctant to switch to digital signatures owing to the fact that the RoI in the adoption of Digital Signatures is easily not definable - this is so especially if the organization structure and business processes are not complex. As cost is the foremost consideration in a business adopting technology, it becomes an impediment to its adoption and use.


Digital Signature can not be implemented in a standalone fashion, it brings value only when other related processes have gone through digital transformation.

At times, the lack of administrative adoption of technology can be a hindrance to the implementation of a Digital Signature Software. Businesses routinely have to encounter many stakeholders like governments and banks that may still insist on receiving and processing paper documents. So while it is legal, digital signatures may not be administratively adopted which may hinder implementation and internal usage.


Four important aspects to assess the reliability of a Digital Signature include identity, integrity, authenticity, and longevity. The right Digital Signature Software needs to be evaluated for all these aspects against the business need for it to be successfully implemented and adopted.

ROI of Digital Signature Software

According to a report by the Global Community of Information Professionals, among electronic signature business users, 81% experience an ROI in a single 12-month budget cycle, while 25% in three months or earlier.

Boost Sales Conversion

A lot of time can be spent by teams in companies to collect signatures, do follow-ups with clients, and rely only on paper to obtain signatures. This would mean that the time spent on these efforts significantly reduces the company’s time spent in creating or reaching out to potential customers. A more streamlined process that includes adapting to Digital Signature Software will boost the current conversion rate of any business.

Reduce Processing Errors

According to the State of Business Process Management report, businesses that go paperless cut their processing errors by an average of 90%. This means that companies experience tremendous cost savings in duplication of efforts when switching to Digital Signature software.

Save Time

With digital signature software, customer service and sales professionals can cut down their administrative work spent on chasing signatures and locating mislaid documents and channel their efforts to revenue-generating activities.

Archiving & Documenting

For any business, archiving and organizing of office documents is an important activity which takes both a lot of time, labour, and space. Using a Digital Signature Software ensures that organizations can preserve documents for over fifty years and save on the expensive storage space requirements in an office. Digital Signature Software also offers a variety of reliable digital document management platforms that companies can avail of.

105 Digital Signature Software