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57 Essential e-Signature Statistics: 2021 Market Share Analysis & Data

A new version of this article, featuring the latest data and statistics, is available. Check out our report on e-Signature Software Statistics for 2022.

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 is 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.

key esignature statistics

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: 

  • In 2020, the global digital signature market size reached $2.8 billion. It is projected to grow to $14.1 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 31.0%. (MarketsandMarkets, 2020)
  • The Asia Pacific region is the fastest-growing market of e-signature. (Prescient & Strategic Intelligence, 2020)
  • North America was the largest market of e-signature valued at $440 million in 2019. (Fortune Business Insights, 2020)
  • By country, the United States held the largest market with $6,117.3 market value in 2019, followed by Germany with $2,091.8. (Prescient & Strategic Intelligence, 2020)
  • e-Signature transactions have ballooned from 89 million to 754 million in just five years. (Revitas, 2015)
  • 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. (Markets Insider, 2017)

Global Digital Signature Market Size, Projection

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. (LunarPen, 2020)
  • 37 minutes vs. 5 days – traditional and e-signature time difference in obtaining signed documents. (LunarPen, 2020)
  • 80% – average reductions in turnaround time using e-signature. (LunarPen, 2020)
  • 80% – average error reduction (LunarPen, 2020)
  • 85% – productivity improvement (LunarPen, 2020)
  • $20 – average savings per document (LunarPen, 2020)
  • 500% – customer loyalty increase (DocuSign, 2021)
  • 8 minutes – time to open bank accounts (Forrester, 2017)
  • 22,000 hours – saved annually (Forrester, 2017)
  • 60% – services enabled by Salesforce in 15 minutes by implementing e-signature (LunarPen, 2020)
  • 90% – services enabled by Salesforce within a day by implementing e-signature (LunarPen, 2020)
  • $19.35 – Salesforce’s average saving per document after implementing e-signature (DocuSign, 2021)
  • According to the Electronic Signature & Records Association, businesses experience an 83% performance improvement in getting approvals, along with 86% savings in document costs. (ESRA, 2017)
  • Businesses that use e-signature tools are able to cut down document handling costs by as much as 85%. (MSB, 2019)
  • By significantly cutting how your business consumes paper, adopting e-signature ensures your business’ growth and help in saving the environment. (Customer Think, 2019)
  • Among financial institutions, eSignature reduces scanning errors by 92%. (OneSpan)
  • The implementation of e-signature in financial institutions can also prevent file loss by 66%. (LunarPen, 2020)
  • Businesses achieve 70% to 80% efficiency improvements after removing manual processes to adopt digital technologies like e-signature solutions. (Forbes, 2016)
  • Global Consulting firm jumped from -11 to +43 Net Promoter Score after implementing e-signature. (DocuSign, 2021)
  • Global Consulting Firm is able to save 1 hour in filling out paperwork with e-signature. (DocuSign, 2021)
  • 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. (Upstate Medical University, 2016)
  • Businesses that go paperless reduce their processing errors by an average of 90%. (LunarPen, 2020)
  • Among electronic signature business users, 81% experience an ROI in a 12-month budget cycle; meanwhile, 25% an ROI within three months or earlier. (Cuspera, 2020)
  • 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.  (Consumer Action, 2019)
  • US businesses waste $8 billion every year for handling paper documents. (Corp Magazine, 2015)
  • 65% of US-based companies that use pen and paper reports collecting physical signatures add an entire day to their work process. (MSB, 2021)
  • An e-signature software solution can save as much as 2.5 billion trees in less than 20 years. (DocuSign, 2020)
  • To further enhance security, the two-factor authentication method has been implemented by 45% of organizations globally to verify e-signatures. (LunarPen, 2020)
  • The time spent by customers or clients in viewing and signing documents can be reduced by 40% (PandaDoc, 2020)

User Case: United Healthcare

  • 2 days – provider contract executed instead of the typical 32.5 days (DocuSign, 2021)
  • 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 (DocuSign, 2021)
  • $1 million – admin savings in one year, equivalent to the annual salary of 31 admins (DocuSign, 2021)

e-Signature Benefits for Financial Institutions

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Source: OneSpan/BMO Insights

Designed by
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.

Most Popular e-Signature Software

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. SignNow. Our SignNow review details its capabilities, including its scalability for all business sizes, industries, and devices.
  5. 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. (UNCITRAL, 1998)
  • 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. (FDIC, 2014)
  • 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. (European Commission, 2021)
  • Most countries around the world adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) to govern and secure their use of electronic signatures. (Baker McKenzie, 2020)
  • 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.  (Cygnature, 2019)

esignature regulations

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-signature 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:

  • More than 65% of Forrester inquiries on e-signature are from enterprises that have opted for software-as-a-service (SaaS). (Forrester, 2017)
  • Implementations of e-signature can take an average of 9 months for large enterprises, 5.5 months for medium-sized businesses, and 2.3 months for small businesses. (Forrester, 2017)
  • 30% of all agreements are opened from a mobile web browser. (Forrester, 2017)
  • e-Signature solutions are now integrating biometric authentication methods into every written signature, like handwriting pressure and rhythm. (Stanford University, 1976)
  • e-Signature solutions integrate with popular third-party apps like HR, ERP, accounting, and workflow management solutions.
  • Forms will be digitally signed within seconds through SMS text messaging. (SignNow, 2017)
  • 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. (Aberdeen, 2015)

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.

 

References:

  1. Agrawal, A. (2019 January 18). 9 Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea for Your Business to Start Using E-signatures in 2019. Customer Think
  2. Cuspera (2021, February 23). Digital Signature Software 2021: Ultimate Guide. Cuspera
  3. Cygnature (2019, November 8). How Logistics Industry Can Leverage with e-Signatures? Cygnature
  4. Diffie, W. & Hellman, M. (1976, November). New Directions in Cryptography. IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 22 (6), 644-654. Stanford University
  5. DocuSign (2020, January). Let’s agree to protect the world’s forests. DocuSign
  6. DocuSign (2021, March 24). The eSignature solution trusted by hundreds of millions of users. DocuSign
  7. European Commission (2021, March 4). Trust services and electronic identification. European Commission
  8. FDIC (2014, January). The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act). FDIC
  9. Felix, B. (2020, February 13). electronic signature statistics. Lunarpen
  10. Forbes (2016, January). Accelerate Your Sales Performance: Believe It, E-Signatures Can Transform Your Business. Forbes
  11. Fortune Business Insights (2020, October). Digital Signature Market Size, Share & COVID-19 Analysis, By Component (Software, Hardware, and Services), By Deployment (Cloud and On-Premise), By Enterprise Size (Large Enterprises and Small & Medium Enterprises), By Industry (BFSI, IT and Telecommunications, Government, Healthcare & Life Science, Education, Retail, Real Estate, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027. Fortune Business Insights
  12. Lamachenka, A. (2020, June 24). The ultimate guide to electronic signatures. PandaDoc
  13. Le Clair, C., Cullen, A., King, M., & Bartlett, S. (2017, October 27). The State Of E-Signature Implementation. Forrester
  14. Markets Insider (2017, October 10). Global E-Signature Market Size, Share, Development, Growth and Demand Forecast to 2023 – Industry Insights By Type, By Deployment, By Use-Case. Markets Insider
  15. MarketsandMarkets (2020, September). Digital Signature Market by Component (Solutions and Services), Solution (Software and Hardware), Deployment Mode, Organization Size, Vertical (BFSI, Government, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Legal, Real Estate), and Region – Global Forecast to 2026. MarketsandMarkets
  16. MSB (2019, September 24). 10 Surprising Stats about eSignatures. MSB
  17. MSB (2021, February 16). 10 Surprising Stats about eSignatures. MSB
  18. OneSpan. BMO: Digital Transformation in Personal Banking. OneSpan
  19. Ostrow, P. (2015, April 15). Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Integrating e-Signature into the B2B Sales Cycle. Aberdeen
  20. Owens, L. (2017, February 9). The path to mass adoption of electronic signatures. ESRA
  21. Peterson, M. (2015, November 15). 82 Percent of Companies Still Spending Billions on Paper. Corp Magazine
  22. Prescient & Strategic Intelligence (2020, May). E-Signature Market Research Report: By Component (Software, Hardware, Service), Deployment Type (Cloud, On-Premises), Type (Public Key Infrastructure, Username and Pin, Signature Pad at POS, Clickwrap, Voices Signature), Use Case (Unmediated, Mediated, Third-Party, Internal), Vertical (BFSI, Government, IT & Telecom, Healthcare, Legal) – Global Industry Analysis and Growth Forecast to 2030. Prescient & Strategic Intelligence
  23. Revitas (2015, June ). e-Signature growth and transaction projection from 2012 to 2017. Revitas
  24. SignNow (2017, August 7). Send Someone a Document to Sign With a Quick Text Message on Mobile. SignNow
  25. Susswein, R. (2019, January 15). Paper or digital? (Winter 2018-2019). Consumer Action
  26. Tibberts, M. & Williams, F. (2020, March 30). The Law of E-Signatures in the United States and Canada. Baker McKenzie
  27. UNCITRAL (1998). UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996) with additional article 5 bis as adopted in 1998. UNCITRAL
  28. Upstate Medical University (2016). Paper, Paper, Paper, Paper, Paper, Paper, Paper, PAPER…
    TOO MUCH PAPER! Upstate Medical University
Allan Jay

By Allan Jay

Allan Jay is FinancesOnline’s resident B2B expert with over a decade of experience in the SaaS space. He has worked with vendors primarily as a consultant in the UX analysis and design stages, lending to his reviews a strong user-centric angle. A management professional by training, he adds the business perspective to software development. He likes validating a product against workflows and business goals, two metrics, he believes, by which software is ultimately measured.

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