7 Key Evaluation Criteria for Selecting the Best E-Signature Software

Dilani Silva, December 14, 2018

As organizations invest dollars to build up their digital transformation initiatives, many are prioritizing e-signatures as a first step in their digital journey. Faced with the pressure to move away from paper-based processes, organizations are turning to e-signatures, a small yet critical component, to help achieve end-to-end digitization, enhance customer experience, and maximize workflow efficiency. 


E-Signature solutions have gained in popularity over the past couple of years, with many vendors popping up in the marketplace. With so many options, how do you stack up all the vendors to determine which solution is best for you? If you’re also considering e-signatures in your digital transformation initiatives, it’s important to select the best e-signature solution that will meet your organization’s needs – today and tomorrow.


Here are seven things to consider when selecting the best e-signature software:


1. Flexibility

Does the e-signature solution provide enough flexibility to support your organization’s growing needs? Often organizations will deploy e-signatures to one department, but will eventually expand the use of e-signatures across the organization. Consider the following when evaluating e-signature flexibility:

  • Multiple deployment options: Does the solution enable your company to deploy e-signatures in a public or private cloud, or on-premises, behind your organization’s firewall?

  • Multiple ways to consume: Does the solution offer the option to automate the signing process by integrating e-signatures to your applications? Does it allow you to use e-signatures in a non-integrated or user-initiated way?

  • Multiple authentication methods: Does the solution support multiple authentication methods to validate your signer’s identity? Does it support a combination of multiple authentication methods?

  • Multiple devices:  Does the solution provide an optimal experience across different devices such as laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones?

  • Global support: Does the solution support your e-signature needs on a global scale? Does it support multiple languages? Does the vendor have worldwide cloud locations for data residency?

  •  Multiple channels: Does the solution enable you to optimize user experience via multiple channels such as the Web, retail, call center or out in the field?


2. White-labeling

Does the e-signature solution enable your organization to maintain its brand throughout the e-signature process? A fully customized e-signing process helps build customer trust in the digital transaction and leads to achieving high adoption rates.


3. Ease of use

Is the e-signature solution simple to use for all users? Is it accessible and easy to use for everyone that sends and signs a document, and for IT professionals to develop and administer?


4. Audit trails

Does the e-signature solution capture and provide basic information about what took place during the signing process? Does it provide a static audit trail that tracks who signed, what documents, date and time stamp of signing, location, how, in what order, and who authorized it? Does the e-signature solution offer a visual audit trail that enables you to record and replay every step of the signing process – what signers saw and every action they took from start to finish? Where is the audit trail stored – in the vendor’s cloud or within the document?


5. Integration

Does the e-signature solution offer APIs and fully supported SDKs, enabling the development staff to rapidly deploy integrated solutions? Do they offer pre-built connectors for popular business applications, sample code, and support for the development team? Do they charge additional costs for development environments?


6. Automation

Does the e-signature solution integrate with your organization’s upstream and downstream systems to enable straight-through processing? Are you able to enforce business rules throughout the signing workflow? Is the solution robust enough to allow for optional processing steps such as flexible data capture, document insertion, and multiple signature options? Can the solution support complex automated document workflows?


7. Identification & Authentication

Does the e-signature solution offer various authentication methods to validate known and unknown customers? Does the solution allow you to leverage a mix of existing and new technologies that mitigate risk of fraud and repudiation?


In addition to the criteria above, it’s also important to select a vendor that has experience in your industry and deep knowledge of your industry’s unique needs. Do your due diligence by researching the vendor’s reputation and success among its existing clients – you want to partner with a vendor who is truly invested in the success of your e-signature project.


To learn more about the key evaluation criteria for selecting the best e-signature solution, read this guide from Technology Evaluation Centers: Key Evaluation Criteria for E-Signature Software—Making the Right Choice for Cost-Saving Efficiency and Superior Service.  

Key Evaluation Criteria for E-Signature Software

Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) outlines 7 e-signature selection criteria and their importance to your digitization strategy.


Dilani Silva is a Product Marketing Manager at OneSpan. In her role, she manages and executes the go-to-market strategy, positioning, messaging and sales enablement for OneSpan’s e-signature solution, OneSpan Sign.