Australia’s e-signature market is expected to grow five-fold in the next three years, according to an industry-first study by Adobe.
The research, which was developed in partnership with Forrester, highlights that the adoption of electronic signature technology will be necessary if companies are to meet customer demands in a digital world.
Currently, Australian law allows nearly all documents to be signed using simple electronic signatures with minimal requirements and clear enforceability based on the Electronic Transactions Act legislation.
Despite customer demands for increased convenience and efficiency, a staggering 68 per cent of Aussie businesses do not have an e-signature solution in place, the study found.
As customer experience and operational improvement drive demand for digital end-to-end customer processes, Forrester principal analyst Tim Sheedy said e-signatures are poised for “hyper-growth” as empowered customers require urgency.
He said e-signature technology implementation offered companies an opportunity to re-engineer an entire process rather than simply digitising a process.
Adding to the debate, Adobe’s document services vice president, Mark Grilli, said a cloud-based document solution saves time, transforming how businesses compete.
According to Grilli, 80 per cent of documents still rely on paper, which results in a bad experience internally.
Furthermore, he said 36 per cent of paper-based documents are missing signatures, initials and dates – consequently delaying sales cycles.
Grilli cited RBS’ newly implemented, digitally streamlined process in their lending business, which resulted in customers returning signed mortgage documents in four hours rather than 14 days.
The flow-on effect of e-signature implementation at RBS eliminated one million customer inquiry calls as the firm moved to a more automated document process, Grilli said.
The RBS experience demonstrates e-signature adoption removes friction in transactional processes that enable paper-based processes to transform into complete digital workflows.
The study largely attributes local business reluctance to adopt e-signatures to their preference for cloud-based document solutions to have Australian host storage location.
In response, Adobe announced today it has established a local data centre in a bid to accelerate e-signature and paperless document adoption by Aussie businesses.