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 software solutions, e-Signature software are digitizing documents, which is far more efficient compared to the conventional pen-and-paper method.
We’ve prepared these key electronic signature statistics to present 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.
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 $89 million to $754 million in just five years. 
- By 2020, the electronic signature market size will grow by 39 percent. 
- From 2017 to 2023, the worldwide e-Signature market will expand at a CAGR of 34.7 percent. 
- If the adoption rates continue, the e-Signature global market will reach $9.07 billion by 2023. 
- 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. 
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. It helps millions of businesses experience huge benefits in their operations. Although large enterprises have spearheaded the technology adoption, SMBs are not far behind. They have recently joined the e-Signature revolution to streamline workflows.
- 55%–78.62% – total savings of businesses migrating to e-Signature apps from paper, taking into account material, administration, shipping and subscription costs 
- 37 minutes vs. 5 days – traditional and e-Signature time difference in obtaining signed documents 
- 80% – average reductions in turnaround time using e-Signature 
- 80% – average error reduction 
- 85% – productivity improvement 
- $20 – average savings per document 
- 500% – customer loyalty increase 
- 8 minutes – time to open bank accounts 
- 22,000 hours – saved annually 
- 60% – services enabled by Salesforce in 15 minutes by implementing e-Signature 
- 90% – services enabled by Salesforce within a day by implementing e-Signature 
- $19.35 – Salesforce’s average saving per document after implementing e-Signature 
- According to the Electronic Signature & Records Association, businesses experience an 83% performance improvement in getting approvals, along with 86% savings in document costs. 
- Businesses using e-Signature tools are able to cut down document handling costs by as much as 85%.
- By significantly cutting how your business consumes paper, adopting e-Signature ensures your business’ growth and help in saving the environment. 
- Among financial institutions, eSignature reduces scanning errors by 92% and prevents files from missing by 66%. 
- Businesses achieve 70% to 80% efficiency improvements after removing manual processes to adopt digital technologies like eSignature solutions. 
- From -11 to +43 Net Promoter Score gain by Global Consulting firm after implementing e-Signature 
- 1 hour – time saved from filling out paperwork form by Global Consulting Firm 
- American businesses spend more than $120 billion annually for paper documents, although the majority of these paper-based forms will be outdated in three months. 
- Businesses that go paperless cut their processing errors by an average of 90%. 
- Among electronic signature business users, 81% experience an ROI in a single 12-month budget cycle, while 25% in three months or earlier. 
- Those who prefer electronic documentation over paper forms say they intend to cut paper clutter and help save the environment by using fewer paper documents. 
- US businesses waste $8 billion every year for handling paper documents , while 65% of companies using pen and paper reports collecting physical signatures add an entire day to their work process. 
User Case: United Healthcare
- 2 days – provider contract executed instead of the typical 32.5 days 
- 3.5 million – pages saved in one year from implementing e-Signature. This volume of paper would have exceeded the height of the Empire State building 
- $1 million – admin savings in one year, equivalent to the annual salary of 31 admins 
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 errors in financial transactions, electronically-signed documents guarantee that agreed processes are followed even if ad-hoc transactions fail. By automating workflows, e-Signatures also accelerate payment and common transaction procedures.
Source: OneSpan/BMO Insights Designed by
Most Popular E-Signature Software
- PandaDoc. PandaDoc is a document management solution that allows users to create, deliver, and share documents online with a built-in e-signature feature. Our PandaDoc review elaborates on its capabilities.
- Zoho Sign. This is a cloud-based solution that offers electronically signing and approving documents on the go, widely used in legal and HR matters. Learn how it works in our Zoho Sign review.
- SignRequest. SignRequest is a relatively affordable e-signature software that allows you to sign and approve electronic documents uploaded by multiple people. Let’s walk you through its features in our SignRequest review.
- SignNow. Our SignNow review details its capabilities, including its scalability for all business sizes, industries, and devices.
- DocuSign. DocuSign is an application that allows you to send and receive forms that need e-signatures and collaborate with other signees in real-time. Find out what else it can do in our DocuSign review.
3. Legal & Security Statistics
Since 1999, e-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 e-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. It has been adopted by over 60 countries worldwide. 
- In 2000, the US government implemented the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) Act. This made e-Signatures at par legally with handwritten ones. 
- In the EU, electronic IDentification, Authentication and Trust Services (eIDAS) was established in 2014. This comprehensive law sets the standards for e-Signatures, digital identification, user security, and other related electronic transactions. 
- Most countries around the world adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) to govern and secure their use of electronic signatures. 
- 81% of business users consider e-Signatures as the most essential in the legal and security aspects of their daily operations. These businesses and sectors include those from banking and finance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and government. 
Today’s top e-signature software solution 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 Statistics
Since Diffie and Hellman first described the e-Signature concept in 1976, e-sSgnature tools have transformed the entire corporate world. More and more businesses are using e-Signatures to achieve robust efficiencies, cost savings, security against fraud, enhanced document integrity, and increased transparency. Here are some of the key current and upcoming digital signature developments:
- 65+% – of Forrester inquiries on e-Signature are from enterprises that have opted for software-as-a-service (SaaS) 
- Implementations of e-Signature average nine months for large enterprises, 5.5 months for medium-sized and 2.3 months for small business 
- 30% – of all agreements are opened from a mobile web browser 
- E-signature solutions are now integrating biometric authentication methods into every written signature, like handwriting pressure and rhythm. 
- 45% of organizations worldwide now use two-factor authentication for e-Signatures. 
- Integrations with popular third-party apps like HR, ERP, accounting, and workflow management solutions.
- Forms will be digitally signed within seconds through SMS text messaging. 
- Five business developments are motivating the deployment and adoption of e-Signature technology. These include customer expectations for digital interactions and legal acceptance of e-Signatures. There is also the desire to remain competitive, focus more on compliance and security, and adapt to the increasing use of mobile devices. 
Source: Aberdeen B2B Sales Cycle Report
Most of the major vendors are actively focusing on e-Signature market study and development to enhance their products. Partnerships and innovations are introduced to enhance product features and expand the global customer base.
Take advantage of these statistics when buying e-Signature software
To sum up the above electronic signature market analysis, here are some key takeaways:
- The electronic signature software market is one of the fastest-growing markets across the world. Its primary growth drivers are the increasing digitalization of global business and the convenience of cloud-based SaaS e-signature platforms.
- Although small in size, e-Signatures are effecting gigantic changes that help businesses of any size significantly improve their operations.
- Most solutions are now offering compliance features for regulations like the ESIGN Act, UETA, and eIDAS. They ensure the legality of e-Signatures across geographical areas, including SSL encryption and audit trails for added security.
- Innovative developments in e-Signature deployment include biometric authentication, two-step verification, increased integration with popular apps, and SMS-based e-signing.
This collection of e-Signature statistics primarily reflects the positive developments in this software category. Indeed, electronic signature solutions, along with related technologies like business process management software, are growing. This is because of the vast benefits they provide to businesses. Compared to the traditional pen-and-paper approach, they are easier to use and offer considerable cost and resource savings. Furthermore, they are more secure than using wet signatures, allowing for remote authentication and a much faster turnaround. And in the long run, they do help a lot in saving the environment for future generations.
- ^E-Signature growth and transaction projection from 2012 to 2017
- ^E-Signature Market Overview
- ^Global E-Signature Market Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2023
- ^The electronic signature: how much money can businesses save with it?
- ^Ombud Open Research – eSignature Solutions
- ^The State Of E-Signature Implementation
- ^The path to mass adoption of electronic signatures
- ^9 Reasons Why It ’s a Good Idea for Your Business to Start Using E-signatures in 2019
- ^BMO: Digital Transformation in Personal Banking
- ^Accelerate Your Sales Performance: Believe It, E-Signatures Can Transform Your Business
- ^Think Green News
- ^The State of Business Process Management 2018
- ^Digital Signatures – making the business case
- ^Paper or digital?
- ^82 Percent of Companies Still Spending Billions on Paper
- ^UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce with Guide to Enactment 1996
- ^ESIGN Act
- ^REGULATION (EU) No 910/2014 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
- ^US electronic signature laws and history
- ^Electronic signature laws by state
- ^The difference between an Electronic Signature and a Digital Signature
- ^New Directions in Cryptography
- ^What the DocuSign IPO could mean for the e-signature market
- ^Send Someone a Document to Sign With a Quick Text Message on Mobile
- ^Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Integrating e-Signature into the B2B Sales Cycle