I recently wanted to make a change to my business bank account. It was a detail my bank could have checked online with publicly available information from the England & Wales company registry in seconds. But no.
In order to register this tiny change to my bank account, I needed to fill in a form online, print it out, sign it and then send it in by post or drop it off at a branch. And that was only the first step of the process – getting ‘telephone banking’ set up – even though when I was told I needed to do this I was on the phone, having passed through enough security hoops to prove my identity.
In short, 'life admin’ is still broken in our modern world of technology-driven convenience.
Today’s news that Dropbox is acquiring HelloSign got me thinking how much easier signing documents could be. Some companies use software from providers like DocuSign, Adobe, or HelloSign to make signing documents easy and relatively secure. And yet they’re hardly mainstream services that everyone knows.
And why isn’t this tech already built into Microsoft Office, G Suite, and every decent PDF viewing app? At best, these apps rely on users installing third-party plugins to handle signatures. At worst, they let you paste in a picture of your signature, which isn’t very secure at all, and shouldn’t really be trusted as proof of anything by the other party.
Dropbox says it will continue working with all major electronic signature apps, meaning a tight, simple integration that lets you sign documents using Dropbox natively with no fuss doesn’t seem to be on the horizon.
These days, I’m so over paper that I generally only use a pen to write birthday and Christmas cards and to sign occasional documents. When those documents are online, surely we should be beyond printing and scanning or physically mailing documents now?