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E-signatures gain traction in SA

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Successful companies have a long history of leveraging technology to replace slow, complicated, manual processes to drive efficiency, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
Liz De Freitas, account manager at AdvanceNet says, in spite of this drive, many unfortunately still use antiquated ways to collect and use information during transactions, particularly when signatures are required.
De Freitas says that under South African law, a written signature is not necessarily required for a valid contract. Contracts are generally valid if legally competent parties reach an agreement, whether they agree verbally, electronically or on paper.
“While companies have automated processes leading up to and following the actual signature, many still needlessly rely on pen and paper to transact business. This slows business, delays results, and creates a negative customer experience,” she says.
“To meet the demands of today’s more educated consumers and businesses, organisations need to create great customer experiences across every channel. A system like DocuSign makes it easy to securely collect information, automate workflows and legally sign any document electronically.”
In South Africa, the banking sector has been an early adopter of the technology and Cash Converters is now the first company in the franchise sector to move to an electronic e-signature with DocuSign.
Peter Forshaw, director of Cash Converters, says with increasing pressure to reduce risks and improve efficiencies this is the logical way forward.
“It provides us with the highest level of robust authentication, encryption and tamper-seal certificates required in our business. As well as providing a document flow and management system allowing us to efficiently sign agreements with our franchisees.”
Forshaw says, having tested the system for three months, they are now signing all new franchise agreement completely electronically and are busy converting their entire document suit to electronic signing.
“We believe one of the strongest advantages of DocuSign is that it absolutely proves compliance with the CPA with regards to getting the Disclosure Document to the prospective franchise in the required time before signature of the franchise agreement. It also eliminates the requirement to store hard copies of the documents with an off-site document storage company. This is an exciting innovation we believe Cash Converters will definitely benefit from,” he adds.