Electronic Signature Adoption in Australia’s New Digital Economy

Posted by Jon Perera, Vice President of EchoSign

What country has the highest smartphone penetration worldwide, has high demand for workers with digital marketing skills and is the fastest growing market for e-signature adoption compared to the United States and the United Kingdom?

In addition to being known for fantastic beaches and friendly koalas, Australia is gearing up for innovation in the global digital economy. In recent months, I visited Canberra and Sydney for a meeting with customers and government officials to talk about e-signature use in Australia. I found a huge interest from both business and government sector clients in how e-signature solutions can enable cost savings and environmental benefits.

Earlier this year, Adobe released new research showing that Australia was lagging behind the US and the UK in the adoption of e-signature solutions, however, use of this technology is growing much faster than in these other countries.

In January 2014 Adobe surveyed over 100 of our customers in Australia to understand adoption levels of electronic signatures and how business and governments can extend usage. Key results included:

  • 100% of respondents agree that e-signature solutions increase business efficiency
  • 76% of respondents believe governments should do more to promote the use of electronic signatures

Many respondents believed that more needs to be done to drive awareness of the legality of e-signatures in Australia, which are a safer solution than wet signatures and can create a digital audit trail.  Along with cost savings, electronic signatures can also help business and governments to streamline workflows and increase efficiency as contracts can be signed on any device, at any time. There are also significant environmental benefits from paper reduction.

The United States is the leading adopter of e-signatures with approximately 11% adoption by business. The UK is in second place with approximately 3.5% adoption by business, while Australia has approximately 2% adoption rates. While these rates are lower in Australia, we are seeing very high growth rates and I expect e-signatures to become more prevalent over the next three years.

The government of Australia is also taking a proactive approach to drive new technology adoption with the federal government’s plan for E-Government and the Digital Economy and state initiatives such as the NSW ICT Strategy in New South Wales. I look forward to continuing to work with these leaders in business innovation and new technology adoption in Australia.

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