Speak up… and Sign
The electronic signature process has provided a method of digital consent since the dawn of the ESIGN ACT in 2000. The turn of the millennium brought a slew of technological advances—flat screens, bluetooth, smartphones, snapchat—and infinite eSignature potential, like the ability to send documents for signature via SMS messaging, on the go and within CRM integrations.
Yet, these sleek new eSign methods don’t necessarily meet the needs of all use cases. In fact, for some enterprises, like telephone service companies and contract renewal providers, limiting eSigning to online platforms doesn’t make logical business sense. This is why AssureSign provides the ability to capture verbal signatures.
What is a Verbal Signature
An electronic signature is defined by the ESIGN act as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” Verbal signatures fall into the “sound” and “process” facets of an eSignature’s legal definition. If you’re familiar with third party verification (TPV), you’re even more familiar with verbal signatures than you may assume! TPV is typically utilized for soliciting short affirmations and confirmations, and has been popular among myriad industries for years.
An AssureSign verbal signature, whether in the form of a longer verbal contract or a shorter TPV, can be captured through a telephone or cellphone call via an automated interactive voice response (IVR) system or live agent.In fact, signers can be automatically given the opportunity to speak with a live representative to complete the signature process.
While verbal signatures have not historically been limited to our product assortment, AssureSign is currently the only eSign vendor on the market that offers a verbal signature solution.
How Does it Work
Once purchasing our verbal signature capabilities, a business can then select questions and prompts a signer will hear and respond to. These questions—available in English and/or Spanish—will always be directly indicative of the services or product a signer is consenting or affirming to. Additionally, every call is recorded and stored in an AssureSign portal that solely houses verbal signatures. Our “Insight” portal houses all data needed to constitute the legality and validity of the verbal process.
After being stored in the Insight portal, the recording is broken up into pieces—usually a question and its response constitutes one “piece”—where it can later be screened and verified by a team of auditors. These auditors ensure all information provided is relevant and valid and screen out overtly invalid or irrelevant responses, such as a postdated birthday or 3 digit SSN.
Users can also use the Insight portal for seamless documentation and reporting. The portal has various reports that contain pertinent data, including verification dates, phone numbers, customer names, and digital copies of original recordings.
Is It Legal?
The short answer? Absolutely.
Again, by law an eSignature is defined as an electronic sound, symbol or process. As signers navigate the signing process, they are first verified, then asked a series of questions or prompts. These questions and prompts elicit responses from a signer, which indicate his or her consent or affirmation. A signer’s response is captured immediately following the associated question, providing a “logical association.” A signer’s responses coupled with identity verification yield the signer’s overall verbal consent
Once this process is complete, the verbal signature is considered as equally valid and legal as an eSIgnature captured by digital means.
Verbal Signature Use Cases
Many businesses prone to customer disputes have switched from capturing electronic signatures digitally to verbally. It’s extremely difficult to dispute an agreement when the affirmation or consent is captured in a signer’s voice, thus resulting in far less customer disputes.
Additionally, telephone companies and phone based service organizations often utilize verbal signatures as a method of capturing consent from their customers. Due to the nature of their business, it is often far simpler to solicit, capture, and store an verbal signature via a telephone or cell phone than a separate online or electronic process.