Connect with us

Business

Signed, sealed, delivered: Why it’s time to embrace the future of e-signatures

Published

on

Mindtree Makes Strategic Commitment to SAP® Leonardo With New Package of Offerings Designed to Accelerate Adoption

Despite the fact that digital signatures have been around for some time, a perceived haziness around the legality of signing documents in this way has so far hindered widespread adoption.

This lack of clarity in the law has discouraged some organisations from implementing electronic documents, especially smaller businesses that don’t have access to the same level of legal expertise as their larger competitors.

However, following the Law Commission’s recent ruling that e-signatures can now be treated as equivalent to written ones, the supremacy of the traditional handwritten signature could finally be coming to an end.

This announcement means any and all documents can now be legally signed by typing a name or even simply clicking an “I accept” button. From business contracts, to credit agreements and land sales, any legal ambiguity around electronic signatures has effectively been removed, providing a much-needed boost to the process of how consumers and businesses work with one another.

So, as adoption continues to grow, what exactly are the key advantages of e-signatures and why should organisations in all industries be ready to embrace an electronic future?

Business benefits

In a nutshell, the use of electronic signatures allows business processes to be fully digitalised, thereby eliminating the need for documents such as contracts to be signed, transported and filed in paper format.

Instead, these documents can be sent to the relevant parties via email, or distributed securely through cloud-based file-sharing services.

For businesses, this can drastically reduce operational costs – by enabling them to save money on paper, postage, mailing supplies etc. – as well as saving a significant amount of time. E-signatures streamline and accelerate the entire contract process, providing a much faster turnaround time for everyone involved.

They are also much more convenient. No matter their size or industry, businesses today operate in a geographically dispersed world, with customers, partners and suppliers frequently located in multiple different countries. Electronic signatures are therefore a much more convenient method of authentication than the paper-based alternative.

Then we come to the issue of security. This has traditionally been a major barrier to the adoption of electronic signatures, with businesses worried about an increased risk of fraud or breach of confidentiality. However, with identity and authentication issues taking centre stage, they are actually safer and more secure than traditional paper documents.

Modern e-signing platforms incorporate a range of features designed to minimise the risk of fraud. For example, they typically collect signatories’ IP addresses and GPS coordinates, making the resulting document much more enforceable than a document that has been sent by post.

If this isn’t enough, there are further ways of optimising e-signature technology to ensure customers in transactions are who they say they are. These could include using a multifactor authenticator bound to their identity, a webcam or video links for documents that require witnessed signatures, or a platform that the signatory and witness are able to sign in to from different locations, thereby boosting the potential of electronic signatures even further.

Michael Magrath

Michael Magrath

Enabling the future of business

The afore mentioned productivity and efficiency benefits of e-signatures are well known among industry stakeholders,providing a huge amount of value to forward-thinking organisations.

The issue is that a reluctance to replace paper processes has often got in the way of widespread business adoption. What’s more, the conversation is often side-tracked by a focus on the technologies underpinning digital signatures, or treated as something for the IT department to grapple with.

To overcome this hesitancy, businesses have to look at the bigger picture and be prepared to transition from conventional methods to a modern way of working.

E-signatures don’t only bring speed and simplicity to the process of signing contracts, they also bring transparency, a greater level of security and an improved user experience. That’s why they will play a vital role in the future of business – as long as organisations are brave enough to take the plunge and move away from slow, paper-based processes.

Ultimately, e-signatures are the future and simply can’t be ignored by any organisation looking to stay ahead of its competitors in what is becoming an increasingly paperless world. Any doubts around their legality have been removed by the Law Commission’s recent ruling.

Michael Magrath, director, global regulations & standards at OneSpan is responsible for aligning OneSpan’s solution roadmap with standards and regulatory requirements globally.

Business

Australia’s Macquarie raises guidance after U.S. winter freeze

Published

on

Australia's Macquarie raises guidance after U.S. winter freeze 1

By Paulina Duran and Jonathan Barrett

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Macquarie Group lifted its profit guidance on Monday, sending shares to 12-month highs, as its large North American energy business profits from the winter storms sweeping across Texas and other states.

Macquarie said it expects its fiscal 2021 profit to jump by as much as 10%, after warning just two weeks ago that earnings would be “slightly down”.

The energy business unit, designed to move large quantities of gas to meet unexpected demand, has single-handedly increased the overall profit forecast of the investment bank by about A$400 million, analysts said.

“Extreme winter weather conditions in North America have significantly increased short-term client demand for Macquarie’s capabilities in maintaining critical physical supply across the commodity complex,” the company said in a statement.

Macquarie is the second biggest gas marketer in North America, behind oil major BP. It purchases natural gas and moves it along pipelines and grids, typically from an area where usage is low to high-demand markets.

The deadly winter storm that crippled infrastructure and left millions of Texans without power meant electricity generators had to compete for natural gas supplies, pushing up prices sharply in the deregulated market.

The urgent supply situation has provided Macquarie with an unexpected windfall

“Macquarie appears to be capitalising well on volatility and financial market dislocation,” Bank of America Securities analysts said in a note, as it increased its earnings forecasts for the Sydney-headquartered company.

Macquarie’s performance hurt last year by the pandemic, with subdued deal-making and deteriorating economic conditions leading to a rise in impairment charges.

But a strong initial public offering of its majority-owned data analytics software business, Nuix, late last year and a fillip in the energy business have helped push its share price back to pre-pandemic levels.

The company, which also operates Australia’s largest asset manager and investment banking business, is set for extra boost from a rebound in local M&A activity this year.

Macquarie’s shares were 4.31% higher at A$148.39 early on Monday, the highest level in a year, outperforming a broader market that was flat. The share price eased slightly in afternoon trading.

Earlier this month, the Sydney-based financial conglomerate had forecast full-year earnings for the group to be “slightly” lower than in fiscal 2020.

Macquarie’s Commodities and Global Markets division contributes close to 40% of its group earnings. Analysts had previously raised concerns that the pandemic could erode profits from the division if high energy-use industries shuttered.

(Reporting by Paulina Duran and Jonathan Barrett; Additional reporting by Shriya Ramakrishnan; Editing by Peter Cooney, Jane Wardell & Shri Navaratnam)

Continue Reading

Business

Baidu-Geely EV venture names Mobike co-founder as chief

Published

on

Baidu-Geely EV venture names Mobike co-founder as chief 2

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Baidu Inc and automaker Geely hired Mobike co-founder and former chief technology officer Xia Yiping as chief executive of their new electric vehicle venture, the search engine giant said on Monday.

Baidu last month had announced it would set up a company with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to leverage its intelligent driving capabilities and Geely’s car manufacturing expertise.

“Xia has extensive management experience in the field of smart cars and mobility services,” Baidu said in a statement. “We welcome Xia Yiping to join Baidu’s auto company and look forward to his contribution to Baidu and the automobile industry.”

Reuters reported Xia’s appointment last week, citing people familiar with the matter.

Xia served as Mobike’s chief technology officer until the company was acquired by food delivery giant Meituan in 2018. Prior to Mobike, he worked at Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang, Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Continue Reading

Business

UK firms report strongest hiring intentions in a year – CIPD

Published

on

UK firms report strongest hiring intentions in a year - CIPD 3

LONDON (Reuters) – British businesses have the strongest hiring intentions in a year and fewer are planning to make redundancies as the economic outlook has brightened over the past three months, a human resources industry body said on Monday.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said 56% of businesses planned to increase staff numbers in the coming months, up from 53% in late 2020 but below the 66% planning to hire staff a year ago before the pandemic.

The proportion of firms planning redundancies dropped sharply to 20% from 30% in the last quarter.

However the CIPD said unemployment was likely to rise sharply if finance minister Rishi Sunak does not extend jobs support for businesses at his March 3 budget.

“It is far too soon to rule out further significant private sector redundancies later in the year if the government does not extend the furlough scheme to the end of June or if the economy suffers any additional unexpected shocks,” said Gerwyn Davies, a senior labour market advisor to the CIPD.

A costly furlough programme that is supporting around one in five private-sector employees during the current lockdown is due to end on April 30.

The British Chambers of Commerce warned last week that one in four of its members planned to make job cuts if the support ended while they were still feeling the impact of the pandemic.

The CIPD said hiring plans were strongest in healthcare, finance, education and IT, and weakest in the hospitality sector which is bearing the brunt of the current lockdown.

The survey, run jointly with recruiters Adecco, covered 2,000 employers between Jan. 5 and Jan. 30.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

OPEC, U.S. oil firms expect subdued shale rebound even as crude prices rise 4 OPEC, U.S. oil firms expect subdued shale rebound even as crude prices rise 5
Top Stories47 mins ago

OPEC, U.S. oil firms expect subdued shale rebound even as crude prices rise

By Alex Lawler and Jennifer Hiller LONDON/HOUSTON (Reuters) – OPEC and U.S. oil companies see a limited rebound in shale...

Australia's Macquarie raises guidance after U.S. winter freeze 6 Australia's Macquarie raises guidance after U.S. winter freeze 7
Business2 hours ago

Australia’s Macquarie raises guidance after U.S. winter freeze

By Paulina Duran and Jonathan Barrett SYDNEY (Reuters) – Macquarie Group lifted its profit guidance on Monday, sending shares to...

Baidu-Geely EV venture names Mobike co-founder as chief 8 Baidu-Geely EV venture names Mobike co-founder as chief 9
Business2 hours ago

Baidu-Geely EV venture names Mobike co-founder as chief

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Baidu Inc and automaker Geely hired Mobike co-founder and former chief technology officer Xia Yiping as...

SoftBank Vision Fund set for new portfolio champion with Coupang IPO 10 SoftBank Vision Fund set for new portfolio champion with Coupang IPO 11
Banking3 hours ago

SoftBank Vision Fund set for new portfolio champion with Coupang IPO

By Sam Nussey and Joyce Lee TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) – SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund is poised to have a new...

Five things to look out for in HSBC strategy update 12 Five things to look out for in HSBC strategy update 13
Banking3 hours ago

Five things to look out for in HSBC strategy update

By Alun John HONG KONG (Reuters) – HSBC Holdings PLC will update its “transformation” plan announced a year ago on...

Boeing recommends airlines suspend use of some 777s after United incident 14 Boeing recommends airlines suspend use of some 777s after United incident 15
Top Stories3 hours ago

Boeing recommends airlines suspend use of some 777s after United incident

By Jamie Freed and David Shepardson (Reuters) – Boeing Co said it recommended suspending the use of 777 jets with...

Shares turn cautious as bond yields, commodities surge 16 Shares turn cautious as bond yields, commodities surge 17
Trading3 hours ago

Shares turn cautious as bond yields, commodities surge

By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares turned mixed on Monday as expectations for faster economic growth and inflation...

Oil gains as U.S. production slowly returns after freeze 18 Oil gains as U.S. production slowly returns after freeze 19
Top Stories3 hours ago

Oil gains as U.S. production slowly returns after freeze

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output that was cut by...

Global dividend payouts forecast to revive in 2021 20 Global dividend payouts forecast to revive in 2021 21
Finance3 hours ago

Global dividend payouts forecast to revive in 2021

By Joice Alves LONDON (Reuters) – Global dividend payments could rebound by as much as 5% this year, a new...

UK firms report strongest hiring intentions in a year - CIPD 23 UK firms report strongest hiring intentions in a year - CIPD 24
Business3 hours ago

UK firms report strongest hiring intentions in a year – CIPD

LONDON (Reuters) – British businesses have the strongest hiring intentions in a year and fewer are planning to make redundancies...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now