DocuSign has launched a new Web-based electronic signature service and formed an alliance with ZipForm, which provides electronic forms software packages to the real estate industry.

The partnership integrates DocuSign Express, which uses a patented repository-based architecture to simplify document flow, guarantee security and assure tight audit controls.

DocuSign Express complies with requirements of the federal ESIGN legislation (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce act) enacted in 2000, which mandates that online signing provide the same legal effect as paper-based signatures.

Users send for electronic signature from within ZipForm and print into a DocuSign Express Instant Envelope using a process similar to a standard print driver. They then place “Stick-eTabs” wherever the recipient’s signature or initials are needed. When the document is sent, the contents are encrypted and stored in a secure repository on a central server.

Recipients are then invited via e-mail to authenticate, review and sign the documents using a unique “Electronic Signature Stamp” created just for them. Once everyone has completed signing, all parties have the option to print a master copy for their records, download a signed copy for local storage, or archive the executed document for secure long-term storage.

“The requirement for handwritten original signatures is often the biggest delay in an otherwise electronic transaction,” Kristen Noakes-Fry, a research director at Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. said.

“E-signatures make possible long-distance transactions, in which parties are in different time zones or on different continents, and will greatly reduce the amount of travel for in-person meetings, the number of telephone calls, the cost of courier service and the number of days and salaried hours needed to complete transactions,” she added.

DocuSign soon will announce a series of other alliances with companies serving the mortgage, banking, leasing and other key industry segments, according to CEO Court Lorenzini.

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Send tips, feedback or a letter to the editor to Jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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