According to a research report “Digital Signature Market by Component (Solutions and Services), Solution (Software and Hardware), Deployment Mode, Organization Size, Vertical (BFSI, Government and Defense, Legal, Real Estate) and Region – Global Forecast to 2027″ published by MarketsandMarkets, the global digital signature market is projected to grow from an estimated USD 5.5 billion in 2022 to USD 25.2 billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 35.6% from 2022 to 2027. Growing transition from the use of paper-based transactions to digitally signed workflows and strict regulations and data privacy compliances implemented are some of the factors driving the market growth.
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Factors Promoting Growth of Digital Signatures
A critical factor propelling the demand for digital signatures is the need to eradicate fraud and signature forgery. The advent of e-signatures has led to a spate of cybercrimes. Post-COVID-19, the use of e-signatures has surged by over 50%. With the growing use of e-signature services, e-signature frauds and phishing attacks, which compromise a user’s personal and financial information, have risen. Recognized brands such as DocuSign are a constant target of voluminous phishing attacks designed to mimic emails. In 2021, DocuSign, a cloud-based e-signature provider, uncovered a phishing operation wherein attackers sent out fake envelopes from “@docusign.com.br” (an illegitimate domain name). Data from Atlas VPN found that DocuSign accounted for nearly 12% of branded phishing email campaigns in 2021. In July 2020, researchers from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany, discovered attacks on electronic signature systems used in PDF documents. Such cybercrime instances have elevated the need for digital signatures.
Government regulations and initiatives are other vital factors encouraging digital signature adoption. In many regions, including parts of North America, the European Union (EU), and Asia Pacific, digital signatures are legally binding and hold the same value as traditional signatures. Different regulations govern secure digital authentication and the use of electronic and digital signatures—such as the ESIGN Act (US), PIPEDA (Canada), eIDAS (EU), Electronic Transactions Act (Australia), and ZertES (Switzerland). In India, the government’s Digital India campaign focuses on enhancing the digital infrastructure and transforming India into a paperless economy. Many businesses in India are now proactively adopting digital signatures to proceed with their transactions. For example, emSigner, eMudhra’s (eMudhra, an Indian cyber security company) paperless solution with strong digital signing and workflow management capabilities, is widely used by education, real estate, banking, and insurance industry verticals in India. In the Middle East, governments have eliminated paper-based transactions—as part of their digitalization goals.
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COVID-19 has also proved to be a catalyst for businesses looking for effective ways to sign digital documents. The adoption of digital signatures saw an unprecedented spike in March 2020, when the demand for remote work amid the pandemic was also at its highest. Digital signature solutions have aided organizations in maximizing work efficiency while working remotely. Digital signatures have gained prominence with businesses transitioning to the cloud and employees settling into remote offices. The digital signature market saw a boost of 60–65% YoY growth at a global scale in 2020. In a post-pandemic landscape, the digital signature market is subjected to continue to exhibit a positive growth rate. The key players in the digital signature market have also invested in organic and inorganic strategies to remain competitive. For instance, in April 2021, OneSpan launched its OneSpan Sign Virtual Room solution that helps financial institutions and their customers review and sign complex financial documents securely.
Industries Leveraging Benefits of Digital Signatures
The expanding number of online transactions and contracts in the face of the pandemic has intensified the need for digital signatures. E-signature forgery and tampering can be stumbling blocks, especially as large businesses become increasingly dependent on them. Digital signatures have inbuilt security and authentication features, increasing demand—especially among verticals such as banks, government, legal services, and healthcare to protect digital documents from fraudsters. Government agencies and banking institutions have realized the hassle of paper-based transactions and are proactively harnessing digital signature solutions to bring more security and transparency. The banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI) industry is a crucial adopter of digital signatures to protect their data from fraud. The growing era of digital activities, such as internet banking, mobile banking, and stock trading, has prompted the increased use of digital signatures. As per findings from research conducted by DocuSign in 2021, 95% of organizations worldwide are currently using e-signatures or planning to use them in the future. The digital signature market for key industry verticals such as BFSI, government, healthcare, legal, IT, real estate, and education is expected to grow at a rate of 25–30% in the coming years.
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Digital Signature Market — Vendor Strategies
The digital signature market is highly competitive. International and domestic players such as DigiCert, DocuSign, Thales, Entrust, Adobe, OneSpan, and GlobalSign have a strong foothold and offer innovative digital signature solutions to end users. These players own a substantial position in financial, government, and healthcare verticals. According to MarketsandMarkets’ market evaluation, most companies opt for inorganic growth strategies to maintain their market position. These strategies, including partnerships, acquisitions, collaborations, and business expansions, increased by about 65–70% in 2020 from 2019.
Post-pandemic, vendors continue to invest in inorganic strategies to ensure their supremacy in the digital signature market. For instance, in April 2021, GlobalSign introduced a cloud-based digital signing solution, GMO Sign, in the Americas and Europe. It facilitates secure and simplified end-to-end document signing at a competitive price point. Likewise, in February 2022, OneSpan, a company specializing in digital identity verification and e-signatures, partnered with Smart Communications. The integration of OneSpan’s e-signature product, OneSpan Sign, into the Smart Communications platform supports the safe and secure use of signatures in the agreement workflow. The partnership helps organizations—particularly those in regulated industries such as insurance, financial services, and healthcare—optimize the agreement signing processes. Such developments in the market lead to an acceleration in demand for digital signatures globally.
Digital signatures are imperative to digitally sign and manage documents. The digital signature market continues to grow post-pandemic and will have a much wider acceptance in the coming years. According to MarketsandMarkets’ insights, the digital signature market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 30–35% in the next five to six years. BFSI, government, and legal industries are among the primary end users of digital signature solutions. Increased fraud due to forged signatures, COVID-19-induced demand for digital signatures, the shift from tedious paper-intensive processes to digital signatures, and government regulations are crucial parameters boosting the growth of the digital signature market.
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