Signatures are at the heart of every business deal, but managing thousands of applications, contracts, and supporting documents is also one of the biggest headaches many independent sales organizations (ISOs) have to deal with on a regular basis. Electronic signature – or eSignature for short – is  a solution to that problem, enabling sales organizations of all types to say goodbye to paper altogether in favor of a faster, easier digital alternative. 


What is an eSignature?

Electronic signatures are legally binding, digital signatures that parties can affix to documents without ever printing out a page or picking up a pen. They come in a few different formats and can be both generic – using built-in, signature-like fonts – or exact digital copies of a signer’s real handwritten signature. Signing digitally is fast, efficient, and extremely cost-effective. And because eSignatures are totally secure and legally binding, they’re becoming more and more popular in all sales environments. 


How do Companies Obtain eSignatures?

Electronic signing is generally accessed through the systems used to read and edit PDF documents – the most common type of digital document used in sales, thanks to advanced security features and the ability to lock in text. The leader in eSignature is unquestionably Adobe, with their Acrobat Sign product. Acrobat Sign adds eSignature capability to Adobe’s own PDF and document tools, but businesses can also gain access to eSignature through third-party platforms that have partnered with Adobe to integrate the functionality. For instance, IRIS CRM users enjoy access to Adobe eSignature through the system’s built-in form creation and document management tools.  


Why is eSignature So Important for ISOs?

Merchant applications, information releases, financial disclosures, and contracts generate an enormous amount of paperwork. Unsurprisingly,  eSignature offers a number of important benefits to independent sales organizations, including easier record management, more convenient processes, faster and more accurate onboarding, and more. By adopting eSignature, ISOs can improve their process efficiency and reduce wasted time and resources, making it an easy choice for most companies. 

Paperless Record Management

One huge advantage of eSignature is that it eliminates the need for physical copies of applications and contracts altogether. Going entirely paperless means ISOs no longer have to worry about the logistics of organizing and storing large volumes of paper. In the new world of decentralized offices that has emerged in the wake of the global pandemic, going fully paperless makes it easy for employees anywhere to securely access a centralized database of an ISO’s documents without worrying about going into the office to pull a paper file. 

Improved Merchant Convenience

Paper is a hassle. Ordinarily, a merchant has to either be mailed or pick up a paper application package or print one off at home, fill everything out by hand, sign, and then rescan and email or deliver the package back to the ISO. With eSignature, a merchant can download the application package, fill everything out digitally, click to sign, and submit without worrying about printing, handling, or scanning a single page. ISOs can even build custom web-based application forms that merchants can fill in directly without having to download anything. Overall, the convenience boost and improvement in customer experience eSignature offers are significant.

Faster Onboarding

One of the most time-consuming aspects of onboarding new merchants is manually transferring data from a traditional MPA line-by-line into a payment processor’s boarding portal. With eSignature, ISOs can utilize automated boarding tools like IRIS CRM’s TurboApp to cut that time down significantly. Importing an eSigned digital MPA into TurboApp automatically parses the fields and transfers the data into the boarding system in a matter of seconds. As a result, boarding a new merchant can be done in as little as five minutes.

More Accurate Onboarding

In addition to being slow, the other big problem with manual data transfer is that it’s incredibly error-prone. Human error has the potential to cause a merchant’s application to be held up or even refused on the payment processor side. It can also cost an ISO money if an error is made during pricing entry. Using eSigned digital MPAs with a system like TurboApp eliminates almost all manual data transfer and, in turn, almost all of the potential for human error. 


IRIS CRM is the payments industry’s top customer resource management system. It offers ISOs and PayFacs a complete suite of tools designed to make every merchant-facing aspect of sales and service delivery faster and easier. To find out more about the system’s eSignature capabilities or how going digital and using TurboApp can revolutionize the boarding process, reach out to a member of the team or schedule a free guided demonstration of IRIS CRM today.