The new era of Digital signatures

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic rise in digitalisation in almost every sector of business and Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa is helping to smooth the transition from the old to the new.

“Even before the pandemic, the paper-based, manual sending, printing, scanning, or ink-signing of physical documents had become cumbersome and expensive,” says JP Lourens, Solutions Manager of Kyocera Document Solutions. “In light of our current circumstances, digital signing and approval solutions offer the perfect alternative.”

In South Africa, electronic signatures are approved under the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA). Although there are some exceptions, most business-related documents can be signed digitally. Any company operating in the country can use e-signatures as a signing method, and they have the same legal binding status as wet ink applied or handwritten signatures.

Electronic document signing technology, which applies to online agreements, as well as paper documents, offers many benefits, including speed of document turnaround time, increased productivity, reduced costs, and risk, plus accessibility from anywhere. With no printing of paperwork, it is also environmentally friendly as cloud-based systems provide a totally secure out-of-band mechanism with a full audit trail.

“We provide our customers with an easy solution to get documents signed off electronically, ensuring that they are recognised as an authentic and legally binding agreement,” says Lourens.

The process is simple. The document owner uploads the file to a custom-built secure platform and identifies who needs to sign it, and in which order. The secure cloud-based service comes with the added convenience of allowing a user to access these documents anywhere and use any platform or device. Kyocera’s workflow management system then follows the sequence of the signing order, notifying each user along the way. Once everyone on the approval list has signed and authorised the document, it is circulated for review and then stored.

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