In a survey out today (18 May) from Adobe Document Cloud, which has been heavily promoting its Adobe Sign eSignature capability, 86% of the UK general public said that signing documents by hand is hugely important in giving consent.
The survey of 2002 members of the UK public found that 38% feel eSignatures can be easily copied, while 36% said they don’t feel they are secure. Over a quarter (26%) said they would not trust eSignatures because people don’t check them properly.
In a sign that attitudes are shifting (slowly), around a third of people surveyed said that using eSignatures is less time consuming; over a quarter said it would help them approve things on the move; and 28% said eSignatures could be good for signing contracts and other official work documents.
In July 2016, in a major milestone for the adoption of eSignatures in the legal industry, a joint working party of more than 20 City law firms, co-chaired by Linklaters, endorsed the use of digital signatures in a business context in a Law Society practice note. Since then law firms including Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Olswang have rolled out DocuSign. Firms known to have rolled out Adobe Sign include Perkins Coie.
But while big business leads the way on eSignature adoption, the wider cultural attachment to signing documents by hand isn’t going anywhere quickly.