Amid inflation, recession fears, and a weak economic outlook, businesses today are facing a multitude of challenges. To cope with these pressures, many companies have adopted cost reduction as a core strategy alongside improving customer experience and digitization in recent times.
But despite the significant progress they have made towards becoming more efficient and cost-effective, many of them continue to overlook one critical aspect: their use of traditional signatures and paper-based processes is costing them money. And it’s a lot more than they think.
Studies estimate that it costs, on average, $350 to create a ‘typical’ document. Yet, 90 to 97 percent of enterprises have difficulty quantifying how much they are spending on producing documents each year.
Often written off as a “business as usual” expense or operating cost, paperwork tends to fly under the radar of most companies. However, the adoption of electronic signatures (e-signatures) presents a significant opportunity for businesses to not only streamline their paper-based processes but also reduce costs associated with traditional paperwork.
And given the hard as well as soft cost-savings that e-signatures and digital agreements can provide, it is time for businesses to take a closer look at their current signing practices.
Given below are the cost-saving opportunities that businesses can unlock by switching to e-signatures:
📝 Eliminate Paper and Printing Costs
A piece of paper is inexpensive.
But considering how much paper the average employee uses—an estimated 10,000 sheets a year—and the fact that offices in America go through 12.1 trillion pieces of paper annually, it doesn’t take long for this expenditure to add up.
Moreover, it is reported that the costs of using paper in the office can run 13 to 31 times the cost of purchasing the paper in the first place because printing, scanning, and sending these documents is a costly affair.
For instance, the average employee’s printing habits alone can cost a company up to $725 per year per employee. And printing may cost up to three percent of annual revenue, emerging as the third highest expense after payroll and rent, according to recent data.
Although a company may have digital workflows in place, documents need to be printed out for signing. So, only adopting e-signatures can help companies truly cut down on the staggering costs associated with printing and paper usage while enabling them to fully go digital.
🗄️ Simplify Document Storage and Retrieval
With banks, insurers, and healthcare providers still largely relying on paper records to keep track of their transactions—some for years at a time, document storage is an expensive and time-consuming process.
The paperwork often needs to be archived, sorted, and retrieved, with the average filing expenses costing around $20 per document.
Similarly, the average four-drawer cabinet costs about $25,000 to fill and $2,000 per year to maintain. And every 12 filing cabinets require an additional employee to maintain, easily driving up costs.
The cost is even higher when it comes to banks due to the additional security that is required to protect confidential information.
In comparison, electronic records of these transactions are easier to store and can be quickly accessed, saving money and time. These digital documents can also be seamlessly shared with the relevant stakeholders and customers for signing when a company adopts e-signatures.
This allows for faster communication and collaboration.
🌐 Remote Collaboration and Accessibility
Did you know that going paperless with e-signatures can help you save up to 24,000km on your commute?
Yes, no more running back and forth between offices to collect signatures, wasting money on fuel, or waiting hours in traffic jams. You also don’t have to pay postage costs or other mailing fees.
Instead, you can use the time and money saved for more productive tasks like researching new ways to improve and expand your business globally. That’s right; all your global transactions can now be effortlessly managed, with you in complete control of the entire process.
You don’t have to worry about slow posts, the added cost of business travel, or the possibility of your documents being lost in transit, no matter where in the world your recipients are located!
By leveraging e-signatures, you can send your documents directly from your computer or mobile device and receive the signed version almost immediately.
But above all, you can feel confident that your documents will not be intercepted or tampered with.
🧑💻 Boost Employee Productivity & Reduce Administrative Overhead
According to The Coopers & Lybrand study, 7.5 percent of all documents are lost forever, and it costs $120 in labor to find a misfiled document.
Each lost document costs $350 to $700, with employees spending around 4 weeks every year trying to find lost documents. Not only does this impact employee productivity, but it also increases the cost of doing business.
Similarly, fixing manual errors, recreating lost documents, decision loops, re-keying and copying information, and other administrative labor can cost businesses thousands of dollars annually.
Most of these costs can be avoided with e-signatures because they allow companies to manage their documents electronically.
They bring transparency and governance to document management, resulting in time savings for administrative tasks and increased productivity among employees.
Employee time that would be spent on paperwork can also now be devoted to more productive tasks, such as increasing revenue, with e-signatures.
This is where most businesses realize that not all e-signature solutions are the same. Many e-signature solutions on the market today offer little more than the ability to electronically sign documents.
So, if you’re looking for an e-signature solution that will do more and offer up to 4x the security of other solutions, then SelfieSign is one of the best options out there.
With built-in real-time video recording, SelfieSign captures four biometric traits—image, video, voice, and signature during the signing process. By adding this extra layer of security and trust to every document signed, the platform effectively reduces the risk of fraud and disputes.
It also offers video recordings of each signer in every e-document signed on top of audit trails to guarantee the validity and authenticity of every e-signature.
That’s to say, SelfieSign’s patented SVS (Selfie Video Signature) file is embedded with the signing process video recording, electronic signature, location, timestamp, and hash code, ensuring non-repudiation and immutability of the document signed.
Now, let's get back to the benefits...
✅ Mitigate Risk and Ensure Compliance
Since 2020, there have been a number of regulatory changes, especially when it comes to corporate reporting, and some of these changes have been made permanent.
Implementing e-signature solutions like SelfieSign allows businesses to maintain comprehensive audit trails and video evidence of consent and agreement between the parties involved in a transaction.
This helps businesses mitigate legal risks with a court-admissible record of the signing process, actions taken, and other relevant information. It also enables them to minimize the legal costs associated with contract disputes, compliance audits, and litigation.
Similarly, compliance is also made easier and cheaper with better traceability and centralized governance when using e-signatures.
🌳 Drive ESG Efforts
As climate change worsens, recent regulatory developments are forcing businesses to take action on ESG and achieve their net-zero goals.
While it may not be immediately apparent, e-signatures can play a crucial role in advancing ESG goals and avoiding penalties.
For instance, after adopting SelfieSign, a hospital in Taiwan was able to save as much as 700,764 kg of A4 paper and reduce its carbon footprint by 26,711 tons per year by going paperless
The reduction in paper usage also saved 28,049 tons of energy, 78,360 gallons of water, as well as 928 pounds of waste which is usually the result of paper production.
Demonstrating a strong commitment to ESG practices can, therefore, enhance a company’s reputation and attract socially responsible investors.
🌟 Enrich Customer Experience
Customers are demanding more from companies today. They want things to be faster, easier, and more convenient—at their preferred time and on their preferred device.
So, creating an efficient, seamless digital experience is essential to a company’s success.
SelfieSign’s simple, user-friendly interface allows businesses to deliver a frictionless customer experience for both their customers and employees.
It further eliminates barriers and simplifies the signing process for businesses, making it easier to reach a larger customer base and expand sales channels for better growth and profitability.
The company’s customers include large banks, hospitals, and other organizations that need to securely collect signatures from their customers.
For example, it cut down account opening time by up to 1/3 and reduced manual work by up to 90% for an investment bank, making it easier for them to improve customer satisfaction.
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