Business today is more dynamic and global than ever before. Whether you’re a small shop business owner, an independent contractor working out of Starbucks or a Fortune 500 company, chances are very high that you’ll be doing business remotely.

More and more colleague and business connections are formed with individuals and companies that are further away from our local space. And while fax machines are great for instant communications, they’re also becoming quickly outdated for a number of reasons including time, cost and paper pile ups and waste. I was also involved in a now outdated method of sending files as PDFs and requesting they be signed and scanned back. This is a good idea, but it’s not as efficient as a digital signature. And sure you can travel to meet your client or associate, get a document signed…but why even bother traveling 15 minutes when you can get your document electronically signed?

I was recently involved in a project that took place between five different locations and three different parties. It would have been sheer madness for everyone to coordinate their schedules to meet – not to mention the high cost of travel and lost business time. I shunned the option of faxing simply because I know larger companies easily lose faxed documents, and I often can’t make out heads or tails of most of the faxed documents that used to come my way. Rather than deal with such a disastrous waste of time, we all communicated documents and got the necessary signatures through EchoSign.

Serving over 35,000 customers and 3 million users, EchoSign claims to be the #1 Online Electronic Solution. I personally don’t believe it when anyone claims to be the number one at anything; rather I judge their value based on actual experience. The experience was refreshingly simply. In a few steps, a document was delivered, a notice was sent out via email and cc’d to myself for viewing; the document was then electronically signed by the recipient and sent back along with a notice to all involved parties of the delivery.

How Do You Create an Electronic Signature?

You can use your mouse or tablet to ‘write out’ your name, or you can type in your name (which works great for on-the-go mobile signing). The application even has language options for you to choose from and you get to view your document as if it were sitting right in front of you.

Is an E-Signature Legally Binding?

On October 1, 2000, Bill Clinton signed the Federal E-SIGN act into effect. The act authorizes electronic signatures in a commercial transaction and treats them with the same validity as a written signature.

You have seen forms of such electronic acceptance anytime you click “I agree” on a website. Your checking of the box is seen as a legally binding acceptance of the terms and conditions. It’s only natural then that a more sophisticated system of digital signatures was to evolve as your needs became more complex.

Is EchoSign Easy to Use?

Totally. I’m not a techie. Sure I can learn anything you toss my way, but I don’t have time to fuss with complicated programs. EchoSign users don’t need to rely on IT people and hope that their computer voodoo will make the program work.

Anyone can use this digital signature application. The steps are easy to follow. You just click “send,” then fill out a webmail form, attach the document and press send. Done. The delivery and tracking is managed by EchoSign, including an option to secure faxed signatures if needed and the courtesy to send reminders to sign. All documents are converted to PDF and securely stored online.

If you have five or fewer transactions per month, the software is free to use. Beyond that, prices start at a very affordable (and just under) $15/month.