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25+ Essential e-Signature Statistics: 2019 Analysis of Trends, Data and Market Share

Category: B2B News

Electronic signatures have been helping enterprises improve and speed up their operations for almost three decades now. Today, e-signature software offers a wide array of benefits more than just the convenience of electronic signing itself. Gone are the days of completing paperwork only in hard copy, more so when the deadlines are too tight. By automating document workflows across departments such as logistics, sales, HR, etc., e-signatures can provide substantial efficiencies in helping businesses of any size eliminate paperwork bottlenecks. Along with document management solutions, e-signature software is digitizing documents, which is far more efficient compared to the conventional pen-and-paper method.

We’ve prepared these key electronic signature statistics, along with industry trends, technology benefits, deployment, and other important e-signature considerations to help keep you abreast of what’s hot and what’s not in this major software niche.

esignature statistics

1. Market Growth Statistics

The electronic signature software market is one of the fastest-growing markets across the world. In recent years, the global e-signature market is driven by growth drivers like expanding online documentation processes, supportive laws for the e-signature market, workflow efficiency, supply chain improvements, and growing demand for security. Here are some key e-signature market statistics that demonstrate its phenomenal growth: 

  • E-signature transactions have ballooned from USD89 million to USD 754 million in just a matter of five years. (Statista)
  • By 2020, the electronic signature market size is predicted to further expand by 39 percent. (P&S Intelligence)
  • From 2017 to 2023, the worldwide e-signature market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 34.7 percent. (BusinessInsider)
  • If the adoption trends continue, the e-signature global market will reach USD 9.07 billion by 2023. (P&S Intelligence)
  • Industry competition is only moderate as most major vendors are more focused on R&D to improve their products’ security features and on forging strategic alliances—which can further consolidate the worldwide electronic signature market share—to boost their product functionalities and customer base expansion. (BusinessInsider)

esignature transactions

A major factor behind these impressive electronic signature statistics is the technology’s increasing adoption through SaaS, mainly for transactions that are less complicated and lower in value. Aside from being easy to implement, this SaaS-based adoption growth is driven by the booming cloud deployment of e-signature solutions. Most SaaS-deployed e-signing tools are used in HR, sales, and legal departments of businesses that frequently require signatures of third-party partners.

2. Statistics on Cost Savings & Workflow Efficiencies

An e-signature app seems trivial, but it is a major element in the overall global digital evolution, one that helps millions of businesses experience huge benefits in their operations. Although large enterprises have spearheaded the adoption of the technology, SMBs have recently joined the e-signature revolution and are beginning to enjoy what e-signing tools bring to their operations.

  • According to the Electronic Signature & Records Association, businesses experience an 83% performance improvement in getting approvals, along with 86% savings in document costs. (ESRA)
  • Businesses using e-signature tools are able to cut down document handling costs by as much as 85 percent. (DocuSign)
  • By significantly cutting how your business consume paper, adopting e-signatures ensures your business’ growth and help in saving the environment. (CustomerThink)
  • Among financial institutions, electronic signature reduce scanning errors by 92 percent, and prevent files from missing by 66 percent. (OneSpan)
  • Businesses achieve 70 to 80 percent efficiency improvements after removing manual processes to adopt digital technologies like electronic signature solutions. (Forbes)
  • American businesses spend more than USD120 billion annually for paper documents, although the majority of these paper-based forms will be outdated in three months. (UpState)
  • Businesses that go paperless cut their processing errors by an average of 90 percent. (BPTrends)
  • Among electronic signature business users, 81 percent experience an ROI in a single 12-month budget cycle, while 25 percent in three months or earlier. (AIIM)
  • Those who prefer electronic documentation over paper forms say they intend to cut paper clutter and help save the environment by using less paper documents. (Consumer Action)
  • US businesses waste USD 8 billion every year for handling paper documents (Corp! Magazine), while 65% of companies using pen and paper report collecting physical signatures add an entire day to their work process. (AIIM)

esignature benefits

E-signature tools stand for a robust technological and innovative response to address the broad inefficiencies in handling physical (or “wet”) signatures. Most elaborate and resource-intensive transactions of SMBs—which typically involve a series of cumbersome administrative tasks like printing, scanning, etc.—greatly benefit from e-signature technology. Aside from reducing human error in financial transactions, electronically-signed documents guarantee that the agreed processes must be followed even if ad-hoc transactions fail. By automating workflows, e-signatures also accelerate payment and common transaction procedures.

3. Legal & Security Statistics

Since 1999, electronic signature has been legally recognized in the US and Canada, while the rest of the world gradually followed suit. Legality and security have always been among the primary concern on the use of electronic signature in business. Here are some important industry facts that had been instrumental in making this modern signature format what it is today: the emerging preferred mode for legally-binding documents.

  • The 1996 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on Electronic Commerce is considered as the landmark international law, now adopted by over 60 countries worldwide. (UNCITRAL)
  • In 2000, the US government implemented the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) Act, which made electronic signatures at par legally as handwritten ones. (FDIC)
  • In the EU, electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services (eIDAS) was established in 2014 as a comprehensive law setting the standards for electronic signatures, digital identification, user security, and other related electronic transactions. (EU Parliament)
  • Most states across the world adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) to govern and secure their use of electronic signatures. (DocuSign)
  • 81 percent of business users that consider electronic signatures as the most essential in the legal and security aspects of their daily operations come from banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and government. (AIIM).

esignature regulations

Today’s top e-signature software solutions vendors provide high-grade security measures, such as audit trail, password protected e-signing, and SOC 2 Type II certification to ensure your documents are handled and stored securely 24/7. Aside from knowing these key security and statutory facts, it’s helpful to clarify that electronic signatures vs. digital signatures are technically and legally distinct, the latter being cryptographic means to implement e-signatures and other e-commerce uses.

4. Deployment Trends

SinceDiffie and Hellman first described the e-signature concept in 1976, e-signature tools have transformed the entire corporate world. More and more businesses are using electronic signatures to achieve robust efficiencies, cost savings, security against fraud, achieve enhanced document integrity, and increased transparency. Here are some of the key current and upcoming digital signature trends:

  • E-signature solutions are now integrating biometric authentication methods into every written signature, like handwriting pressure and rhythm. (ComputerWorldUK)
  • Two-factor authentication for electronic signatures is now used in 45 percent of organizations worldwide. (AIIM)
  • Cloud based e-signature solutions are projected to be the largest deployment segment because they reduce the operational cost of e-signature implementation. (European Commission)
  • Integration with popular third-party apps like HR, ERP, accounting, and workflow management solutions. (ProcessMaker)
  • Getting forms signed within seconds by sending documents for e-signatures via SMS text message. (SignNow)

biometric authentication

Most of the major vendors are actively focusing on e-signature market study and development to enhance their products. They are also focusing on product launch and partnerships to enhance the product feature and expand their consumer base across the globe.

Take advantage of these statistics when buying e-Signature software

To sum up the above electronic signature market analysis, here are some key takeaways that will matter the most to your business:

  • The electronic signature software market is one of the fastest-growing markets across the world due to its primary growth drivers: increasing digitalization of global business and the convenience of cloud-based SaaS e-signature platforms.
  • Although small in size, electronic signatures are effecting gigantic changes that help businesses of any size to significantly improve their operations.
  • Most solutions are now offering compliance features for regulations like the ESIGN Act, UETA, and eIDAS to help ensure the legality of e-signatures across geographical areas, including SSL encryption and detailed audit trails for added security.
  • Some of the current innovative trends in e-signature deployment include biometric authentication, two-step verification, increased integration with popular apps, SMS-based e-signing, etc.

This collection of e-signature statistics and trends primarily reflects the positive developments of this software category. Indeed, electronic signature solutions, along with related technologies like business process management software, are growing leaps and bounds because of the vast benefits they provide to businesses. Compared to the traditional pen-and-paper approach, they are easier to use, offer considerable cost and resource savings, more secure than using wet signatures, allow for remote authentication, and enable much faster turnaround. And in the long run, they do help a lot in saving the environment for future generations.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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