Capturing signatures for forms, documents, and deliveries is a process that has been revolutionized by technology over the past 15 years. Just as email made the fax machine obsolete, smartphones and cloud-based software tools are quickly replacing or supplementing email as go-to tools for digital signature capture.
For any business that requires signatures on a regular basis, developing efficient and secure processes for signature capture can not only save money, but increase productivity and revenue. Below, we've outlined eight of the top digital signature applications that can transform the way you work.
These apps can leverage the natural features of smartphones (such as touchscreens) for hand-drawn signatures. Using the phone's camera, these apps can also be used to scan and capture barcode, take and upload images.
AppSheet allows app creators to bypass the traditional challenges incurred by vendor lock-in to build custom applications and adopt a flexible platform which can meet the changing needs of an organization. To date, organizations like Solvay, Costco, and Husqvarna have chosen AppSheet to handle many of their most critical internal operations and approval processes.
Pricing: Free for simple, individual use apps with plans increasing to $5-$10/mo per user for access to build, deploy, and share apps on the full application development platform.
Lots of AppSheet sample apps have the signature capture feature. The following Audits App is just an example.
HelloSign brings a different angle to the world of digital signatures as a leading player, particularly in the web integration space. HelloSign counts companies like Instacart, Climb Credit, Tech for Campaigns, and Lyft as customers who rely on HelloSign to accelerate contractor applications, speed loan approval time, and automate NDA signatures.
Pricing: Ranges from $13-$40/mo per user for basic plans.
Adobe is a popular and trusted player in the digital/mobile signature space. Adobe's Fill-and-Sign application is optimized to work well with PDFs and documents that can be captured as a PDF. Users only have to take a snap of the document using their phone cameras, crop and sharpen the image, and sign it instantly.
Another great thing about Adobe Fill and Sign is its ease of integration with 3rd-party tools as well as its compliance with global e-signature rules. Adobe Fill and Sign is a bit pricier than some other options, mainly serving business users. Still, rest assured knowing there’s a 14-day trial period waiting for any interested users.
While Fill and Sign works great for users who are accustomed to PDF-centered workflows, users seeking to bypass or work in parallel to PDF-driven documents may be better served looking for more holistic options.
Pricing: Ranges from $12-$30/mo with significant variability depending on monthly or annual pricing and other Adobe-package related bundles.
SignNow boasts a number of unique features. Users can pre-fill a document with text, copy existing fields to a new documents, and generate templates that can be used multiple times.
For individuals and small businesses, SignNow rarely disappoints. And starting at $8/month, SignNow undercuts many of its competitors based on value alone.
Pricing: Ranges from $8-$15/mo per user.
With over 200,000 downloads and a 2018 IPO, DocuSign is an industry heavyweight known for its intuitive, easy-to-use user interface and a wide array of features that make it easy to integrate with a host of third party tools. Another unique feature of DocuSign is its digital transaction management system where documents can be easily signed, sent, and managed.
Perhaps DocuSign's greatest drawback is that its premium reputation comes with premium pricing. Even the cheapest plans which can only handle 5 signatures per month start off at $10/mo per user.
For organizations that need every bell and whistle associated with digital signatures, DocuSign may be worth consideration, but for many, if not most organizations, other cost-effective alternatives may be worth primary consideration.
Pricing: $10-$40/user per month.
SignEasy offers another minimalist take on the digital signature space. With a suite of iOS, Android, and web-based tools, SignEasy makes document signage possible in a range of on-the-go and fixed environments.
This e-signature app employs drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy for users to sign documents and customize documents on their phones. SignEasy also offers options like adding checkboxes and images to a document.
As with other vendors, the price points can be challenging for a small business or businesses expecting substantial user volume.
Pricing: Ranges from $10-$60/user per month.
They count larger companies such as IBM, US Bank, and Wells Fargo as customers and position themselves as leaders in the platform security space. Their integrations also favor enterprise tools such as Salesforce, Box, Dynamics CRM, and Sharepoint.
Pricing: Starts at $20/user per month.
Beyond digital signature capture, PandaDoc's document management toolbox includes tools for automated workflows, drag-and-drop signing, and audit histories. By integrating with your existing CRM, payment, and file storage apps (e.g. HubSpot, Zoho, Salesforce, and Basecamp), PandaDoc seeks to create a unified platform to handle your document needs.
As with other software providers, PandaDoc's higher-than-average pricing may be a consideration for people seeking a cost-effective solution.
Pricing: Starts at $49/user/mo
A Final Note
As workflows continue to move from paper and pen to the cloud, businesses in every sphere will need to adapt to a world where digital signatures are not simply a luxury but an expectation for B2B and B2C companies.
To account for this, it's important for operations and IT leaders to consider not only the present requirements for digital signature capture, but also the changing needs that may arise when choosing which applications or application platforms to adopt.
Rather than seeking to find a specialized digital signature for every challenge, it may be worth considering building a suite of customized, easily modifiable applications using a secure and no-code platform.