PleaseSign

Overview

Speed up signature and data collection from your clients with e-signatures by PleaseSign. Provide your customers with a convenient, easy-to-use solution to sign documents electronically.

What is PleaseSign? 

Electronic signing software

What type of technology?

Cloud platform

Vendor

PleaseSign Pty Ltd

Country of origin

Australia

Similar tech products

DocuSign

SigniFlow

Adobe Sign

HelloSign

PandaDoc

Concord

Non-tech alternatives

Wet-ink signing of hard copy documents

More information

Pleasesign.com.au

Which practitioners would find this technology useful?

Any practitioners requiring documents and forms to be signed/verified electronically

How does it work?

PleaseSign is a simple platform where users can facilitate the electronic signing of documents in an easy four step process.

First, the user can upload the relevant documents from their computer or relevant cloud storage service.

Second, the user selects recipients (both those signing and receiving a view only copy, such as a solicitor for a counter-party) and adds their contact details, in particular their personal email address.  The signing order can be set so that certain parties only receive the PleaseSign invite once other parties have signed.

Third, the user, in setting up the document, can then drag and drop required fields onto the PleaseSign document. Fields can be designated as required fields that must be completed before the document can be finished. Once this has been done, the document can be reviewed and personalised messages sent to the recipients. This includes private messages which the user might wish to send only to selected individuals.

Fourth, the parties open the document via a hyperlink in their email invite from PleaseSign and then complete the verification and signing process via their computer or mobile phone.

PleaseSign has a document tracking feature showing the status of the document for each recipient, including the time and date when the document is opened, agreed upon and completed.  Accompanying this is an audit trail recording all activity in relation to the document being signed.  The completed document comes with a certificate of authenticity that is time stamped and a large amount of meta-data evidencing the details of how and when the document was electonically signed.

Benefits

  • Prior lawyer review: a user can send lawyers a view only copy first to confirm that the document is the execution version agreed upon and prior to the parties commencing execution. Until the lawyer approves by “finishing” the document (but not signing), the document will not be circulated to the parties signing
  • Security: Passwords, pins and 6 digit codes generated with twofactor authentication are utilised to verify and authenticate recipients. PleaseSign enables such functionality to be switched on and off very easily and depending on the importance of the document and verifying identity of the signign party.
  • Address Book: all document recipients are automatically populated into PleaseSign’s address book, speeding up the process of adding parties in future.
  • Multiple “In Person” Signing – a user can host session in person whereby the parties all electronically sign in person from the one location and via the same device. This is particularly useful for witnessing processes where the witness can be in the physical presence of the signing party, but electronic signing is still prefered (such as because only one of the counter-parties requires a witness).
  • Support: PleaseSign providees 24/7 Australian based support via phone or email.
  • Branding page: firms can customise their Please Sign email template with firm colours and logo.
  • SMS: documents can be sent for signing via an SMS link, as well as email.

Risks

Cyberisk, as with any cloud offering, is present as regards confidential and sensitive data moving beyond a firm’s internal systems.  PleaseSign data is held in AWS servers run out of Sydney.  PleaseSign is in the process of obtaining formal cybersecurity accredation.  All data has end-to-end encryption and cannot be accessed other than via the hyperlink invite.

Downsides

PleaseSign’s metadata/audit log does not curently track the geo-location of signing parties, although that is a functionality that might be added in time. This could present issues in relation to will signing, where recent changes to legislation in Victoria allow for electronic signing, but require demonstration that the will was still executed and witnessed in Victoria.

As with most similar systems, PleaseSign automatcailly circulates signed pdf copies to all recipients/signers via email upon the document being fully signed. This does not allow for an exchange of contract as a contractual step separately to the parties signing.  Whilst this is frequently fine, it does not reflect some situations with wet ink documents where one should not automatically follow the other.  For example, where a contract is fully signed but held in escrow by a solicitor pending a certain pre-exhange step needing to occur.  Similarly, with a document like a will or a Power of Attorney, the lawyer cannot control retaining and circulatng the fully signed the document themselves.  This might be particularly risky in situations where everyone receives the signed copy (and which are, technically, all the “original” electronic document) but that is not appropriate.  For example, the witnesses and the attorney of an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Peter Moran is a principal at Peer Legal and founder of the Steward Guide, an online technology guide for lawyers (www.stewardguide.com.au).

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