An electronic signature allows a person filling out an online form to sign it just as they would on paper.
What Is an Electronic Signature?
Like a conventional signature, an e-signature is a way to establish that a person intends to sign a form or document, i.e. provide an agreement. It does not in itself provide any means to verify or guarantee the identity of the signer.
In the United States, the E-Sign act passed into law in 2000 defines electronic signatures and makes them legally binding.
Although electronic signatures are not legally required to replicate graphical signatures on paper, FormSmarts supports graphical electronic signatures because they allow a user to sign a form in the most easy and intuitive way, and the e-signature on the form appears as it would on a paper.
Benefits: Time & Cost Savings and Paperwork Reduction
Both the person signing a form online and its recipient benefit from e-signatures and the paperwork reduction they allow — not to mention the environmental benefit:
- The signer benefits from no longer having to print the form, put it in a envelope, stamp it and mail it to the form recipient.
- The form recipient benefits form being able to considerably streamline application processing. No more pending applications awaiting receipt of a signed paper document. Signed form responses can be viewed online and downloaded in PDF format as soon as they've been submitted. Signatures are even visible in FormSmarts email notifications 1.
How Does a Person Sign a Form?
Our number one goal when designing FormSmarts electronic signatures was usability. To cover for the wide range of capabilities offered by browsers and computing devices, FormSmarts provides three different ways for a person to sign a form:
- On touchscreen devices, the user signs on the screen, exactly as they would write their signature on a paper document.
- Drawing a signature with the mouse on devices without a touchscreen (typically desktop computers) is awkward (less so with a trackpad), so FormSmarts allows the user to write their signature on paper then capture it with the computer's camera. If the computer doesn’t have a camera or the browser doesn’t support this 2, the user can sign with the mouse or trackpad instead.
- Users with an obsolete browser write their name in a text box. The name entered must match the one entered elsewhere on the form.
Try an E-Signature DemoPlease try our electronic signature demo.
- For security purposes, the signature in the email is no longer displayed after 3 days.
- As of October 2015, only Google Chrome and Firefox allow us access to the device's camera. As of January 2016, Chrome no longer provides access the camera unless the page onto which a form is embedded was loaded with an encrypted connection (HTTPS). FormSmarts customers whose site does not support HTTPS can in any case allow form users to access a form with its HTTPS FormSmarts.com URL.