Paperwork: we all hate doing it, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. There's no doubt that you've spent time signing documents for employment, financial transactions, or to waive liability. WaiverSign wants to make that last category easier for both businesses and customers by eliminating paperwork.
SEE: Leveraging the power of digital signatures (TechRepublic)
Have you ever signed a document electronically? It feels a bit odd—almost like it shouldn't be legal, but it is. In fact, it has been for around 16 years, since the E-Sign Act of 2000. There are companies that handle much of the encryption and legality of these documents, but not many of them are as focused as WaiverSign.
If your business requires the signing of liability waivers, release forms, or equipment rental paperwork you're in the exact niche that WaiverSign is targeting.
Why go electric?
Transitioning from a paper-based system to electronic documents can seem like an insurmountable task. There are concerns about security, the need for more equipment, and the possibility of alienating customers who aren't comfortable with technology.
WaiverSign says it has eight reasons why its electronic signature platform is advantageous over using physical forms:
- It's easy to set up
- Information is integrated with third-party systems
- You can save money
- Group management is easier
- It allows for more client information gathering
- It's secure
- Waivers are easily retrieved
- It eliminates the need for storage space
SEE: Three free apps for securely signing documents with your iPhone (TechRepublic)
Most of those reasons seem obvious, and they apply to most every electronic system that replaces a physical one. But are the benefits enough to justify the expense of subscribing to WaiverSign's system? Let's look at the cost breakdown to help you decide.
The most basic package allows for one user and one waiver template and costs $25 per month. That's not the only cost, though—there's a processing fee per waiver. Your first 20,000 waivers will cost you $0.10, amounting to $2,000 in total costs. After that the fee drops to $0.05 for the next 80,000, then down to $0.03.
WaiverSign processes waivers as PDFs but can also add all of the information it gathers into third-party databases. This is good news if you use those forms to gather customer data, but it's not without a price. Each waiver that's entered into a separate database is another $0.02.
Plenty of companies that use paper forms key them into a database, which almost makes that extra two cents a mandatory fee. A couple of pennies per form might not seem like much, but it can really add up over time.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Electronic document signing has a variety of uses. Any company that requires the signing of paper forms could find a reason to transition to the digital world. Imagine getting rid of all those file cabinets.
- Offsite storage of records, like what WaiverSign offers, eliminates concerns about losing customer records in the case of a disaster. Getting those records offsite gives you one less thing to worry about.
- Unless you're a medical practice there's no reason to force yourself into a digital transition. If you run a small business, especially one that needs multiple form templates, you could easily find yourself paying more than it's worth.
- 10 iOS apps for creating, editing, and managing documents (TechRepublic)
- Adobe Sign, First Take: More options, more integration, less paper (ZDNet)
- Yes: Healthcare can balance mobility and BYOD with HIPAA compliance (TechRepublic)
- Google builds list of untrusted digital certificate suppliers (ZDNet)
- E-signatures safer than the real thing, experts say (NBC News)
Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.