Currently, eSignature software is being used by millions of different businesses to collect signatures digitally and store them securely. It’s certainly an improvement over old-school methods of collecting signatures, offering more convenience to all parties and improving some metrics of security.
But what’s the future of this type of software? How will this improve in the coming years?
The Basics of eSignature Software
Let’s start with the basics of eSignature software, in case you aren’t familiar. This type of software is designed to collect digital signatures from everyone relevant to a particular contract. These contracts could be formal, like if you’re signing a contract to buy a house, or somewhat more informal, such as signing an acknowledgement of the terms and conditions of a certain brand.
In any case, this software is intended to make the signing process faster and more convenient for everyone. You can collect signatures much quicker and much more reliably, resulting in higher rates of compliance, happier customers, and overall, a more secure exchange.
Because of this, nearly all eSignature software companies are going to be motivated to make improvements in this direction. They’re going to create software and improve existing software to improve security anime clients happier.
So how, specifically, are these changes going to manifest?
Signatures and Contracts in More Places
For starters, will likely see signatures and contracts in more places. Right now, most eSignature software is used in a business context, allowing salespeople to collect signatures from clients and allowing companies to verify acknowledgments from their customers.
In the future, we might see more acknowledgements and contracts being written and used in more informal situations. For example, you might have to sign a mini contract before entering a certain business or when buying certain types of products at the store.
Greater Public Acceptance
We will also see greater public acceptance of digital signatures in general. We’re already seeing the emergence of this trend, thanks in part to the explosion of working from home. When digital signatures were first introduced, people were skeptical of their security and utility, but over the years, they have become a kind of new normal. Most people, especially young people who grew up with the technology, now treat digital signatures as being on par with ink signatures; in a matter of years, digital signatures could be held with even higher regard by the vast majority.
We’re also going to see the rise of thousands of new competitors in the digital signature industry. This industry is expected to explode in growth in the next decade, paving the way for entrepreneurs and innovative minds to come up with novel solutions for this ubiquitous problem.
This, in turn, is going to have a cascade of different effects in the industry. We’re going to see the emergence of niche tools designed to solve very specific problems with very specific strengths and weaknesses attached to them. The presence of extra competition is also going to motivate existing digital signature companies to experiment and innovate more to stay relevant to their target audience.
Biometrics aren’t perfect, but many technologists and futurists believe they’re going to be the future of personal identification. Instead of clicking a button or drawing your signature with the mouse, you can simply look into a camera and trigger its facial recognition to prove that you’re you and that you’re signing this document. You could also provide a fingerprint, or even a retinal scan.
As biometric technology becomes more secure and more reliable, it’s also becoming cheaper and more accessible. This combination of effects is going to make it a staple for digital signature companies for years to come.
AI and Machine Learning
We’re seeing machine learning and artificial intelligence incorporated into nearly every industry, and the digital signature world is going to be no exception. Better AI is going to help improve the average user’s experience on an ongoing basis and provide more robust security measures to prevent fraud and ensure reliability.
Additional Layers of Security
Security is the top concern for most eSignature providers; it’s the reason why customers trust them. So we shouldn’t be surprised, when in the near future, we see new and inventive ways to improve security in these apps. Multi factor authentication, pattern and habit recognition, stronger encryption, and high-tech anti-fraud measures are just the beginning; some of the world’s most creative minds are already working on solutions we can’t yet imagine.
The Trouble With Predictions
Of course, predicting anything in the technological world is tough. New regulations, tech roadblocks, and shifts in consumer preferences can all shake things up. One thing is for sure: eSignatures are here to stay and are going to evolve significantly over the course of the next several years.