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Electronic signature: the 7 advantages that will make you adopt it

Published on August 26, 2021
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Electronic signature: the 7 advantages - ORSYS

Saving time, reliability, security... the electronic signature offers more than one advantage, compared to its paper equivalent. However, it was not until the COVID-19 pandemic and remote working that it was massively adopted by companies and entered into their daily lives. Yannick Delsahut*, trainer, specialist in digital transition, explains its advantages to us.

Electronic signature is not a new process. This technology makes it possible to identify and authenticate the signatory of a digital document and to ensure that the content has not been altered or modified. Which documents are affected? While there are solutions for binary formats (images, videos), the PDF format remains the most used. What is its legal value?

The law of March 13, 2000 grants him the same legal value as the handwritten signature on paper. The massive use of teleworking and digitized documents has encouraged its growth and highlighted its many advantages.

1. Saving time for signatories

Processing paper documents takes a significant amount of time, often several weeks: the contractual document to be signed is first sent by post or e-mail to the client who must then print it, then give it to the correct manager to sign and you will still have to wait until the document is returned by mail or e-mail.

Thanks to electronic signature, this time goes from several weeks to a few hours. The joint use of the dematerialization of documents and electronic signature streamlines the processes of validation and taking effect of contracts. Definitely a win-win advantage for your business, your service providers and your customers.

An all the more important advantage since in a commercial process, the time between sending a contract and its signature is a period during which the customer can hesitate, renegotiate the terms, or even withdraw.

Another advantage: the dematerialized document is time-stamped with the date and time of signature, information not available on a paper contract.

2. Increased security of signed documents

Le European eIDas regulation (Eelectronic IDentification, HASauthentication and trust Services) of July 23, 2014 defines three types of electronic signatures, classified according to an increasing level of security :

  • simple electronic signature. It is used for routine acts with low legal and financial consequences. Ex.: employment contract, membership contract, lease contract, etc. Elements allowing the signatory to be identified can be used (e-mail, code sent by SMS, etc.).
  • advanced electronic signature. It requires a digital certificate associated with the signatory making it possible to formally identify the author. The identity of the signatory is verified by their identity document. This signature is used in particular to validate legal and financial documents: credit contracts, life insurance contracts, real estate sales agreements, etc.
  • qualified electronic signature. It is the most secure signature. Rarely used, because it is very restrictive, it requires the intervention of a certification authority controlled in France by ANSSI (National Information Systems Security Agency). It requires a physical or virtual meeting with the certification authority, the delivery of a certified token (USB cryptographic key or smart card) and secure storage of the token. It is used for signing documents by legal professionals: notaries, lawyers, court clerks, public authorities, etc.

You should carefully check with your advisors or your signature operator the type of solution to use depending on the nature and level of risk of the document.

3. A financial advantage, fewer costs

No more costs linked to the handwritten signature: printing (paper, ink, electricity, etc.), postal costs, mail processing (sending, receiving), reminder, archiving classification, etc. Manual processing of the signature costs much more than that of the electronic signature, if we reduce it to the hourly rate of the employee.

Please note, however, that an electronic signature has a unit cost (often called an envelope) which varies depending on the signature operator chosen. It is worth carefully checking the features linked to the price. For example, a simple signature service without SMS verification will be cheaper, but you will have fewer elements to provide proof of the person's identity.

4. An ecological advantage thanks to zero paper

Removing paper from the entire contract management process reduces the environmental footprint, and therefore the carbon footprint, of your business. The electronic signature avoids paper printing, photocopies and the use of envelopes. This represents a huge saving on paper, especially since contracts generally contain dozens of pages, including annexes, and are often printed in several copies.

When we know that the production of a sheet of A4 paper alone consumes five liters of water... Not counting electricity, ink, the cost of using the devices, etc. We understand better why the electronic signature and its corollary the dematerialization of documents are increasingly attractive to companies who do not hesitate to integrate them into their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) policy.

5. Saving space and time thanks to dematerialization

Electronic signing of documents allows the document to be directly classified in a digital archive. No more storing papers in cabinets that are never opened. Not only does dematerialization ensure the integrity of the document, but it also eliminates the risk of losing it while allowing only authorized people to manage its access. The use of Electronic Document Management (EDM) also speeds up the search for a contract and allows the employee to access the digital document from any location, meeting the growing need for mobile work.


If you opt to save the signed document in an archiving solution with probative value (case of PluggySign), you are guaranteed retention for a given period, and thus comply with the legal retention obligation.

6. An advantage in business processes

The electronic signature can be integrated directly into a business process to finalize processing through customer confirmation. The company will thus be able to add electronic signature to its main business processes, knowing that other services can also use tools like PluggySign to carry out mass processing and have numerous recipients sign online.

7. A benefit for the entire company

Electronic signatures don’t just benefit business processes. All services can use it. Firstly, HR who sign a whole variety of documents: amendments, employment contracts, general conditions, activity reports, summaries of professional interviews, etc.

The DPO (Data Protection Officer) can request within the framework of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) to have all subcontractors sign on the scope of regulatory actions or employees on specific scopes.

The legal department will also be interested, particularly to secure agreements. It manages a large portfolio of documents: amendments, contracts, confidentiality clauses (NDA), contractual commitments for salespeople, etc.

With its advantages, the electronic signature has every chance of continuing its progress in companies. It constitutes an opportunity to digitize all your contracts, quotes, purchase orders, etc. and to initiate the digitalization of your processes. Our training will explain how to set it up and integrate it into a more global digital transition approach for your company.

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Our expert

Yannick DELSAHUT

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Founder of the company Goldstark and Silverstark SAS InsureTech & FinTech, he supports […]

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