DocuSign for You: Customize Your Experience in 4 Excellent Ways

Keith Krach
August 26, 2016

Digital Transaction Management platform and eSignature technology provider DocuSign is a useful tool for anyone, from the staff of large-scale enterprises to individuals who use it to complete personal, everyday transactions. Clients from 188 countries trust DocuSign to assist them in variety of useful ways, and the platform allows them to customize their experience to meet a range of personal and professional needs. Here, we’ll show you a few of your customizable options.

1. Guided vs. Free-Form Signing

While DocuSign senders can always set signature tags to designate specific areas where documents need to be signed, they also have the option of allowing signers to choose where and how they give their signature via the platform’s free-form signing option.

The typical DocuSign experience involves senders using guided signing to place tags throughout a document. The recipient of the document then signs or inputs additional information into the predetermined fields. The document is finalized by clicking on a “Confirm Signing” button, which will only appear after all set fields within the document have been accurately completed.

Conversely, free-form signing allows document recipients to customize a document to their own specifications, adding fields as needed to designate a contract or agreement with signature options that best fit the situation. When signers add fields themselves, they are able to choose from a range of signature options that include initials, eSignature, and full name.

2. Business Use vs. Personal Use

Many users invest in DocuSign to incorporate the technology into their business operations, but they can also use it to accomplish tasks in their personal lives. In a business setting, DocuSign's eSignature technology and Digital Transaction Management platform can be used to streamline workflow, enhancing the speed at which a company conducts business. Additionally, the reduced use of paper-based processes as a primary means of accomplishing tasks can lessen the amount of money that a firm spends on office supplies like paper, ink, printer maintenance, and postage.

The reduced cost of office supplies may not appeal significantly to personal users, but the ease and convenience of conducting transactions on any device, anywhere, surely does. In a personal capacity, DocuSign can be used to make time-consuming tasks more efficient, including filing taxes, signing permission slips for school-age children, or even applying for insurance. In addition, collaborative tasks like assigning items for guests to bring to a party can be made easier when you use DocuSign to send out a list of needed items and have signers initial a document near the items they plan to bring with them.

3. Standard eSignature vs. Digital Signature

Though the terms are often used interchangeably, electronic signatures and digital signatures are not the same thing. The phrase electronic signature can refer to any type of electronic symbol that represents the intent of an individual to endow a digital document with a signature. A digital signature, on the other hand, refers to a type of electronic signature that adheres to a set of stringent qualifications and offers the signer enhanced security to meet different geographical, technical, or legal requirements under specific circumstances.

DocuSign offers its users both standard eSignature options as well as the ability to conduct transactions using digital signature technology. The digital signature option provided by DocuSign follows protocol established by Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to protect client data. This allows international transactions facilitated with DocuSign to adhere to the legal standards of multiple countries by utilizing comprehensive, standards-based methods to obtain signatures and prevent fraudulent transactions.

4. Standard Envelope vs. Recipient Authentication

DocuSign takes security seriously, from the physical security measures it employs to protect its data centers, to the world-class xDTM Standard, version 1.0 that it follows to protect the privacy of clients. Though some clients do not rely on the feature, DocuSign offers several helpful recipient authentication options for users who require an enhanced degree of security when conducting transactions.

Recipient authentication is optional, but it must be enabled by the sender prior to the sending of a document. In order to verify the identity of a recipient, the sender can equip the DocuSign envelope with prompts for verification through one of five methods. The first option is a prompt for an access code, which must be chosen and communicated between two or more parties outside of the DocuSign experience. The second and third options are phone call and SMS authentication. Both methods require the document recipient to use a phone linked to a specific personal phone number that receives a code via phone call or SMS.

The last available authentication methods involve knowledge-based (KBA) identity verification. Through the first option, an “ID check,” the recipient of a document answers comprehensive personal questions based on public data, including information such as previous addresses and locations where a signer has owned property. A fraud prevention service verifies the data in real-time. The last method is verification through social ID, in which a signer must prove his or her identity through access to a social identity provider like Facebook, Google, or LiveID.

Keith Krach

Keith Krach is Chairman of DocuSign, The Global Standard for Digital Transaction Management.