The SMB’s compass to digitalization  

4 min

Updated on Sept 14, 2022

Published on Jul 6, 2022

Here’s why you should switch to the online signature

Switch to the e-signature
Luc Pallavidino

Luc Pallavidino

CEO & Co-founder @Yousign

Illustration: Julien Cather


Digital transformation is no longer an obscure concept developed solely by speakers at conferences and trade shows. It is now anchored in the reality of companies but often remains unfinished. It is therefore time to finalise and optimise your digital transition! Let's focus on the key points of this transition: dematerialisation and online signature.

Every single company has now started a process of dematerialisation of their tools and working methods. These processes are more or less complete and more or less complex depending on their structure, size, sector of activity but also on the willingness of executives and managers to switch to digital.

If most of your contracts and documents are nowadays dematerialised, it is quite obvious to see that printing remains the norm when it comes to validating and signing them. You are starting your digital transformation or even worse, you think you have finished it, but you still sign your documents with your pen? In this case, why go through the trouble of setting up a whole dematerialisation process including changes in tools and work methods to finally end up having to deal with traditional signing methods?

Throw away your pens, and burn your signature books! It’s high time you switched to the electronic signature! 

The digital signature for the security of your contracts

First of all, the online signature or electronic signature is legally valid if it meets the criteria set by the European eIDAS regulation and is issued by a certification authority such as Yousign.

By choosing an electronic signature solution offered by an eIDAS-certified service provider, you are opting for a solution with real legal value in the sense that it will allow you to append an electronic certificate to the signed document in order to establish the integrity of the signed document and to authenticate the signatories!

Yousign then builds an evidence file gathering all these elements and archives it for 10 years at Arkhineo, a third-party archiver.

There are three levels of digital signature associated with levels of security and identification of the signatories. Depending on your needs, the risks associated  and the legal constraints related to certain documents, you will have to choose between simple, advanced or qualified electronic signatures. We have made a small summary of these differences here.

Apart from legal constraints, your choice will depend on the balance you find between ease of use and security. Today, the vast majority of electronic signatures are so-called simple signatures, already secure enough for most transactions.

If the online signature is made using a certified solution, it guarantees the security of your contracts and allows you to keep in a safe place the elements attesting to the consent and identity of the signatories. An electronic certificate is nowadays much more secure than a contract stored in a folder, an archive box,or in a warehouse.

The electronic signature for greater efficiency

The main objective of digital transition processes is to use digital tools to gain efficiency in our working methods. The electronic signature is, of course, no exception. Word processing has allowed you to get rid of your typewriter, CRM to throw away your "customer card box". Emails, ERP, logistics systems, all these new tools have enabled you to automate purely administrative and often time-consuming tasks but also to optimise them!

The digital transformation is a global process that allows above all to connect all these previously isolated and fragmented processes and tools to create a logical and efficient data and information processing system.

The electronic signature is obviously part of this system. Why interrupt such an efficient process to print a document, insert it in a signature device and parade it around the office chasing your signatory?

The online signature will make it possible to simultaneously send the documents to be signed to all the signatories by email. They will be able to read them on their computer, telephone or tablet and then sign them in a few seconds using a security code sent by SMS. All the people concerned will be notified of the documents signed and will be able to continue the process, considerably improving the reactivity of your services.

We invite you to take a look at the example of Viessmann, which has considerably improved its efficiency and customer relations by deploying electronic signatures to its mobile sales representatives.

Yousign's application will thus allow you to set up workflows and to include not only the signatories but also the people who have to validate the documents.

An electronic signature API will allow you to further automate this process by integrating it directly into your internal tools (CRM, ERP, website). You will be able to automatically generate PDF documents from templates by filling in fields on your platform. Once this is done, the document can be signed online without changing tools.

The financial impact of the online signature

Switching to electronic signatures will obviously have beneficial consequences in terms of cost reduction, reducing material costs, on the one hand, and optimising the number of people involved on administrative tasks on the other.

The productivity gains, although difficult to quantify, are real. Your employees will be able to drastically reduce the time spent on administrative formalities (round trips to the post office, reminders …)  to devote themselves to their core business and to more rewarding missions for the company. For example, a sales representative will no longer have to contact customers to sign contracts or estimates. The entire decision-making chain, informed in real time, will be able to accelerate the implementation of contracts.

From a more material point of view, the online signature will also reduce the costs associated with the use of paper, much less printing which in turn makes cartridges last longer, postage of mail and, of course, archiving, which can quickly become a considerable expense. The company PMU uses Yousign for its contracting processes with its various points of sale. PMU estimated it has saved a whopping 18,000 euros worth of supplies since the implementation of Yousign.

The benefits are twofold. You spend less, on the one hand, and can increase your income on the other by optimising your work processes and rebalancing the distribution of tasks between your different employees.

The ecological impact of the digital signature

Ecology is a major societal issue and companies, just like citizens, will have to integrate this notion into their daily activities. It has become a key issue both politically and economically. Your concrete commitments in this respect will therefore have an impact on your company's image but also more generally on its development.

At the current rate, 2,400 trees are cut down every minute in the world. The digital transition, in particular through the reduction of our paper consumption, should make it possible to reduce this rate.

Beyond the purely material aspect of the contract, it is the entire carbon footprint associated with its processing that can be reduced thanks to the electronic signature. You could reduce the number of documents you print, the amount of mail you send, the number of round trips to the signatories you make. Administrative processes and contracting are among the elements that can require a significant use of resources and thus have a lasting impact on the environment. The online signature is therefore a solution that reduces this impact. It fits coherently into a process of reducing the company's carbon footprint.


The electronic signature is the logical continuation of your digital transition. Better yet, it is certainly one of the simplest steps to deploy within your structure. A simple software, PDF documents and an SMS code will allow you to digitise all your contracting processes. As we have seen, the benefits are multiple in terms of security, productivity, costs, ecology, but also in terms of the company's image and customer relations. So get started!

A Yousign expert in digital transition will be able to help you in the deployment of the electronic signature within your structure. The objective is to guide you step by step in defining your needs, to list the processes to be simplified and to help you set up the most suitable electronic signature solution.

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