E-Signature Integration - A Key Selection Criteria

Duo Liang, March 27, 2022

Many businesses, government agencies, insurers, and financial institutions have invested in digitizing their operational processes, but when the process requires parties to sign documents, the process reverts back to paper, which disrupts the end-to-end digital workflow and allows all the inefficiencies and costs to seep back in. This creates errors, re-work, signer abandonment, slow response times, and a poor customer experience. Electronic signature integration into core systems (e.g., customer onboarding, loan origination, policy admin, contract management, HR, and others), eliminates unnecessary steps in signing processes, increases efficiency, and enables people to sign anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Integration Options

Here are the top features and functionality to consider when evaluating e-signature integration options and capabilities for your mobile apps and homegrown, legacy, and third-party systems:

Core systems:

  • Does the vendor provide open API/SDKs?
  • Does the vendor provide developer guides (i.e., up-to-date documentation, best practices, sample code, etc.)? Good documentation and support will help you understand the API/SDK quickly and get up and running faster.
  • Does the vendor offer an unlimited sandbox environment where developers can build prototypes and test their code, free of charge?
  • Is their sandbox a full-featured app or a subset of the main application?
  • Does the vendor support developers with an open developer community that includes peer-to-peer forums, blogs, videos, and the opportunity to engage with developer evangelists and experts?
  • Can the solution be implemented as shared service to grow with your needs over time? Does it enable multiple departments and lines of business to pull in and scale the use of e-signatures across the company?

Third-party applications:

  • Does the vendor offer pre-built connectors for business applications like Salesforce, SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, etc.?
  • Do they offer deployment and user guides to help you get up and running quickly?

Mobile apps:

  • Does the vendor offer mobile SDKs to make it easier to add e-signing capabilities to your mobile app? Do they provide mobile e-signature to esign on your mobile device?
  • Do they provide sample apps and code, and an out-of-the-box UI to facilitate the development process?

As you evaluate these areas, look at the vendor’s track record for supporting customers during the integration. You want to have a sense of confidence they will be there for you every step of the way. During customer reference interviews, ask about the vendor’s support:

  • Through the early stages (identifying primary use cases, mapping out before/after workflows, defining requirements);
  • While building a prototype or customized demo;
  • During the go-live phase

Don’t Overlook Support for Any Premise

"Any premise" refers to a single SaaS e-signature platform that can be deployed:

  • on a public cloud (multi-tenant solution)
  • on a private cloud (single tenant solution)
  • behind your company’s firewall
  • or a combination of the above

You may need to deploy your application on-premises or in the cloud depending on your business needs and what internal IT policies dictate. An e-signature solution that supports any premise enables you to use multiple deployment environments across your operations, lines of business, and departments – depending on your requirements in terms of security, data storage and privacy. For example, a bank may deploy an instance of OneSpan Sign that sits behind the firewall processing large volumes of customer transactions. At the same time, the bank may also need to support niche B2B processes such as signing contracts with suppliers. To provide staff immediate access to e-signatures for these types of niche, low volume processes, the bank can use the e-signature service (public cloud). Having this level of flexibility in deployment can be very practical.

The Bottom Line

When building paperless signature workflows to streamline the signing experience, look for an e-signature solution that can grow with your needs. It should support all of these integration features both in the short and long-term. An e-signature solution such as OneSpan Sign contributes to your e-signature integration and e-signature process by:

  • Connecting with your core systems and apps in way that provides a seamless user experience.
  • Automating your workflows to enforce business rules, eliminate errors, increase efficiency, and strengthen compliance.
  • Providing the flexibility to choose the best environment for each use case.

Analyst Report

To learn more about e-signature integration and other selection criteria that will make you successful with e-signatures, read this new guide from Technology Evaluation Centers: Key Evaluation Criteria for E-Signature Software—Making the Right Choice for Cost-Saving Efficiency and Superior Service. This is part of an 8-part Buyer's Guide blog series exploring topics in e-signature including digital signature, how to automate processes, audit trails, and other FAQs. Other posts include:

Left hand holding a tablet displaying a table of information while the right hand swipes

Readiness Checklist: How to Get Started with E‑Signatures

Learn the various implementation options as well as the top technical requirements to deploying electronic signatures in your organization.

Learn More

Duo Liang is a Technical Evangelist and Partner Integrations Developer at OneSpan where he creates and maintains integration guides and code shares, helps customers and partners integrate OneSpan products into their applications, and builds integrations within third party platforms.