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Are wet signatures becoming a thing of the past?

15th June 2017

At Nicholas Humphreys Estate and Letting Agency, more and more of our branches are turning towards Docusign (electronic signatures) to make it easier for us and our clients to complete business agreements.
Our clients no longer need to come and visit us to sign agreements, or print, scan and send back agreements back to us (then having to send the originals back separately!)

A signature is an extremely personal thing, a way that your name represents you on paper however even banks have turned their back on signatures and instead rely on pin codes, passcodes and information to pay for items, services and online transactions. 
Physically, signing is no longer always the way we show a commitment to a transaction or contract.

PIN numbers is the largest change in the world of signatures, we use these everyday even now "touching" our card or phone onto the reader, showing that ownership of items is sometimes enough. Many letters and documents are sent out daily with images as signatures, either scanned in or otherwise. Whilst this is representational of what our signatures look like physically, as they are scanned in they are no longer a wet signature and could be easy to produce from anyone who has come into contact with the signature or able to access the file. Clicking "OK" or "agree" on our orders online is a quick way of entering into a contract to purchase items or agree to documents online, even when shopping on Amazon, Ebay or Tesco! No manual signing required, no different to an electronic signature.

The Electronic Communications Act came into our legal system in 2000 and businesses have been moving across to this more efficient way of signing ever since. 
We hope the above looks into this in a little more depth, the change from physical signatures to electronic signatures and how we use these in our day to day lives.

Whilst from a validity point of view, there isn't a difference between traditional and electronic signatures - from practicality and efficiency it is a huge difference!

We always have our clients at the heart of what we do so if you would like to discuss the use of electronic signatures for your documents further please let us know - contact your local branch here.

The above does not constitute legal advise.