85 Percent of U.S. Adults Want to Bag Paper and Go Green

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Survey Reveals Vast Majority of Consumers Annoyed with Paper Documents, Want to Do More Online

The fastest way to get a signature.

“This survey reflects the changing behaviors among adults across the United States and their desire to complete and sign documents online to be more productive and environmentally friendly,” said Steve King, president and CEO of DocuSign.

"Conserve paper and be green” is the mantra for the overwhelming majority (85%) of Americans, according to a recent survey of more than one thousand U.S. adults conducted by Harris Interactive® for DocuSign, Inc. The broad consumer survey reveals nearly three in four adults are frustrated with completing paper-based documents, and provides a compelling snapshot of consumer preferences and the growing role smart phones are having on the average person’s daily activities.

Goodbye Paper
With the proliferation of web-based applications, e-readers and mobile computing platforms that make it easy for consumers to do more online and stay connected 24x7, it is no surprise that most people want to say bye-bye to paper documents. The nearly three in four (72 percent) adults who are frustrated with completing paper-based forms, documents or business agreements cite the following reasons filling out hardcopy forms is a pain:

  •     72% stated the fields in many forms and documents were often too small to write in
  •     38% said it’s too inconvenient to return signed paper documents by fax or mail
  •     34% said their handwriting was too messy for others to read
  •     23% make too many mistakes

Forty-four percent agreed that overnight express services like UPS and FedEx cost too much and are too slow for signing business documents and agreements. More than a third (36%) would stop using an overnight express service if they could sign forms and business agreements online; this number spikes for people in their prime working years: 54 percent aged 18-34, and 40 percent aged 35-44 would stop using express services to shuttle paperwork around the world if they could.

For tech savvy consumers used to searching for and storing documents electronically, keeping track of paper can be challenging. For example, only twenty percent of all adults admitted to accidentally losing or destroying important paper-based documents, but nearly one in three (30%) young adults aged 18-34 have trouble keeping hardcopy documents safe.

Untethered and Always On
Eighteen percent of all adults said, in addition to a computer, the use of a mobile device—such as a RIM® BlackBerry® or Apple® iPhone®—was needed to conduct their day-to-day business. Nearly half (44%) were in the highest income groups (household incomes of $75,000 or more), suggesting that their high-powered professions were faster-paced and required immediate client responses or turnaround.

E-Sign Rising
Virtually all adults (96%) agreed that their handwritten signature is an important part of their identity. Yet, the majority (63%) preferred typing on a computer to writing by hand, and 2 in 3 (66%) wish they could complete and sign certain forms and business agreements online. The good news is that modern e-signature services enable consumers to upload an e-copy of their signature to better replicate the ceremony of signing and retain that sense of personal identity.

The types of forms most U.S. adults wish they could sign online include, among others (respondents could select more than one):

  •     Employment or HR documents— job applications, W-2 or 1099 forms, 401K enrollment, etc. (47% overall, 62% of those with “high-powered careers,” defined here as adults residing in households with annual incomes of $100,000 or higher)
  •     Child’s school documents—immunization forms, field trip waivers, absentee excuses, etc. (47% overall, 62% of those with high-powered careers)
  •     Insurance documents—enrollment forms, policy change authorizations, claims, etc. (44% overall, 65% of those with high-powered careers)
  •     Business contracts—purchase orders, approvals, etc.(38% overall, 55% of those with high-powered careers)
  •     Medical or dental documents—patient information forms, insurance carrier or coverage documentation, etc. (36% overall, 47% of those with high-powered careers)
  •     Real estate documents—rental or lease agreements, realtor contracts, inspections, waivers, etc. (30% overall, 49% of those with high-powered careers)

“This survey reflects the changing behaviors among adults across the United States and their desire to complete and sign documents online to be more productive and environmentally friendly,” said Steve King, president and CEO of DocuSign. “DocuSign is seeing a tipping point of adoption of our web-based electronic signature service, and as a company we’ve processed roughly 80 million transactions to date. Consumers who use the service for the first time to secure a loan, sign real estate documents and manage other paperwork are usually surprised as to how intuitive DocuSign is and how closely it replicates the experience of signing documents the old-fashioned way, but without the delays and hassles of paper.”

DocuSign conducted the survey on the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) Act. The ESIGN Act validated the use of electronic records and signatures in interstate and foreign commerce, and launched a decade of phenomenal growth in electronic commerce that made it easier for people to get things done and transact business. The survey enables DocuSign to better understand the views of mainstream consumers, including how they feel about the environment and their acceptance of online applications to do more things electronically. To view additional results from the survey, please visit http://www.docusign.com/e-signatures/survey.

About the Survey
This survey was conducted via telephone interviews within the United States by Harris Interactive for DocuSign, Inc. from May 27-30, 2010 among 1,008 adults, ages 18 years old and above. Results were weighted to reflect the U.S. adult population. The survey results have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jill Reed or Esther Burciaga.

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit http://www.harrisinteractive.com.

About DocuSign, Inc.
DocuSign, Inc. is the leading provider of the most trusted cloud computing eSignature platform. DocuSign empowers individuals, small businesses and global enterprises to operate faster and more efficiently, with greater profitability and enhanced compliance. DocuSign is the only web-based platform to securely manage and control the complete electronic signature process. DocuSign employs the SaaS eSign industry’s only enterprise class SAS-70, fully redundant data centers delivering 99.9% uptime for customers over the last four years. As the leader in electronic signatures, DocuSign has successfully executed more than 80 million signature events.

In addition, DocuSign is the official and exclusive provider of e-signature services for the National Association of REALTORS® 1.1 million members, under the REALTOR Benefits® Program. To learn how DocuSign can accelerate your business, visit http://www.docusign.com or call (866) 219-4318. Subscribe to the DocuSign blog at http://www.docusign.com/blog. Follow DocuSign on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DocuSign.

DocuSign, the DocuSign logo and "the fastest way to get a signature" are trademarks or registered trademarks of DocuSign, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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Doug Wheeler
DocuSign
206-219-0190
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Jill Reed or Esther Burciaga
Schwartzx Communications
415-512-0770
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