Digital signature has become widely accepted as a valid form of signature today. A primary benefit of digital signature is convenience in that users can sign documents from any location, on any device. However, when complex documents require explanation and assistance prior to signing or the signature is only one part of a multi-step process, digital documents often remain unsigned. When digital envelopes are not completed and signed (for a variety of reasons), the convenience ends as the signor(s) have to be tracked down for missing information and/or reminded to sign in a timely manner  – or the process has to be restarted.


In today’s connected world, people have come to expect the convenience and flexibility of digital transactions. A digital transaction can be broadly defined as an online or automated transaction that takes place between people and organizations – without the use of paper.

The term digital transformation (DX) refers to the reworking of products, processes and strategies within an organization by leveraging current technologies. As more processes are incorporated into digital transformation, organizations work down the food chain of complexity to try to automate and convert existing paper processes into digital workflows.

An example of a transformative technology is DocuSign’s electronic signature product that was launched in 2003. Tom Gonser and his team at DocuSign blazed the trail for transformation by building an accessible solution that replaced wet signatures with secure digital signatures. Prior to  2003, most transactions were done by paper and eSignature was considered groundbreaking technology.

DocuSign’s electronic signature technology created opportunity and convenience for users with the ability to complete remote transactions. Today, DocuSign is considered the industry standard with over 370,000 paying customers and millions of users worldwide.

When it comes to digital transactions, not all are created equal. Some transactions are straightforward and can be accomplished via a simple web form or application. Other transactions are complex and require detailed information and explanation. We now know that complex paperwork typically requires hand holding and personal assistance, even with the convenience of digital signature technology.

Without this personal touch, complex documents sent out for electronic signature are not always executed in a timely manner and some are not executed at all.

As mentioned above, digital signature technology can dramatically assist in the last mile of getting agreements and documents completed; however, friction remains a major source of pain when it comes to completing and signing complex documents and applications.

Key Challenges

Behavioral Friction

The more complex an agreement, application or document, the higher the possibility for procrastination — the leading type behavioral friction. This is particularly true if the customer does not fully understand what is being asked or how to execute the document.

Behavior experts agree that in order to reduce behavioral friction and influence behavior, the task needs to be as simple and hassle free as possible.

Multi-Step Transactions

In multi-step transactions, additional steps require a customer to stop and start again at a later time. Submitting documents for underwriting or validation purposes can cause friction if the customer is asked to complete a process with several disconnected steps. For example, a customer is asked to sign a document via digital signature and is also asked to submit required documentation via traditional mail, email or in person at a branch or office. In this case, the customer cannot complete the requirements or process in one single step and friction occurs.

Multi-Party Transactions

When there are multiple parties involved in a transaction and signatures are required, obtaining individual signatures can be challenging when the parties are not in the same physical location. Further, in many circumstances, information is being gathered from different people which layers additional complexity with getting all information in good order – especially if you can not have all parties in the same room working together.

ID Verification

In the financial services world, ID verification is required to mitigate impersonation and fraud. Providing a valid ID is always required to open new banking and credit union accounts (KYC regulations), to purchase certain types of insurance, to open investment/wealth management accounts, and to purchase a property. Verifying and validating a person’s identification can slow down the process and cause friction if there is not a system in place for remote ID verification (i.e. if a person is unable to visit a branch or office in person).

Not-in-Good-Order Status

Applications that are incomplete, inaccurate or ambiguous are termed “Not in Good Order” (NIGO). Documents that are NIGO are time-consuming and expensive to correct; however, in regulated industries, the corrections must be made and this often slows down the entire process which causes friction in the transaction.

Audit Requirements

When it comes to digital transactions, some circumstances require a record of the entire customer exchange/journey that takes place ahead of completing and signing a document as well as a record of each participant’s actions/keystrokes/shared files/signature that take place during a digital transaction or exchange.

This practice of tracking every action and providing a corresponding time stamp is referred to as the audit trail. The audit trail provides the ability to authenticate what a person did and what they typed into their keyboard during a digital transaction. Not having a complete audit trail can be a source of friction.

Customer Needs

  • Ability to create a collaboration process ahead of the signing ceremony. For example, the ability to design a workflow that allows for ID verification and supplemental documents to be added to the customer file prior to signing.
  • Customers need tools that solve for workflow friction stated above.
  • In order to provide assistance with unsigned documents, customers need the ability to retrieve “in-flight” documents that have already been issued. For example, something went wrong with a document or it is not in good order and is stuck. The document needs to be pulled into a live collaboration room to repair, finish and sign.

Digital Signature Provider Needs

  • Increase adoption of their digital signature product
  • Technology that can work seamlessly with existing technologies already implemented in the workflow
  • Add new use cases that were previously not deemed a fit for a digital signature workflow

How does Liveoak Improve Digital Signature Workflow?

Liveoak wraps a secure, collaborative workspace around the digital signature process. We know that digital signature does an excellent job of solving for the last mile for transactions, deals and paperwork. We also know that friction increases with complexity, multi-step processes and compliance/regulatory requirements. Liveoak was built to make complex transactions and paperwork easier, particularly when people are remote and not in the same geographic location.

“Overall – Liveoak has drastically reduced the time it takes to get completed paperwork back from clients and has eliminated errors or missed signature sections.”

Liveoak improves digital signature workflow by providing a secure, virtual workspace where business agreements, legal agreements, authorizations, new account applications, forms etc. can not only be reviewed and signed but also filled out in real-time and corrected if needed. In addition, supplemental documents can be attached, photo ID’s can be uploaded and selfie images can be captured.

When it is time to sign the paperwork, DocuSign’s digital signature ceremony is embedded directly inside of the Liveoak conference. This is a different workflow than the typical DocuSign experience where the envelopes are initiated through an email notification. In the case of Liveoak and DocuSign, the parties stay in the Liveoak conference and sign on the spot. In addition, multiple parties can sign an agreement inside of a Liveoak conference session.

Having the ability to fill out and complete applications and documents, attach supplemental files, upload a photo ID and sign all while inside a conference session eliminates behavioral friction and the key challenges associated with remote customer interactions.

While video conferencing is a feature of the Liveoak platform, Liveoak is not to be compared with standard video conferencing technology. Standard video conferencing technology enables face-to-face web conferencing, screen sharing and presenting but complex business deals and agreements cannot be completed through standard web conferencing technology.

An ongoing challenge, particularly inside of regulated industries, is when paperwork is not in good order (NIGO). Using Liveoak’s digital platform to complete paperwork can reduce NIGO by 99%. Why? Because walking a customer through complicated paperwork and checking for completion and accuracy yields great results.

One of the challenges associated with digital signature is incomplete “in-flight”  documents. The envelope has been created and sent out for signature but stalls out and does not get signed. With Liveoak, instead of going through the time consuming process of creating a new envelope with possibly the same errors, the existing envelope can be retrieved “in-flight” and pulled into a Liveoak conference session. Once in conference, the client can be walked through the process and any errors can be corrected before signing.

When compliance is a concern, Liveoak captures all of the conference activity by participant down to the keystroke. This means that each time a conference participant types a letter, number or strikes a key, it is captured and recorded by Liveoak. When files and photo IDs are uploaded, screens are shared, documents are signed, all of it is entered into the conference record and packaged together to create a complete audit trail. This information can then be electronically sent to your database or exported through the Liveoak dashboard.

“Users are able to collaborate and sign electronically, which saves a substantial amount of time during the signing process. The audit trail has come in handy when there are questions or issues during the onboarding process. The main aspect that stands out to me is Liveoak’s professionalism and customer support.”

For digital signature providers, Liveoak’s functionality helps increase adoption and volume by eliminating the friction that typically occurs with complex, remote transactions. Further with Liveoak, use cases that were previously deemed incompatible for a standard digital signature product are now possible. With increased use cases, comes higher adoption rates and volume.

Success Metrics

Implementing Liveoak had demonstrated results yielding a 12x increase in digital signature.
Our clients using Liveoak as part of their customer onboarding process are experiencing 99% of paperwork in good order. NIGO has been reduced to 1%!
Companies that use Liveoak close deals 60% faster!

The Impact of Implementing Liveoak

For Customers

Implementing Liveoak gives enterprises the ability to work through complex workflows and paperwork with remote clients ahead of the digital signature ceremony. The entire process is able to flow without requiring a client to come into a branch or mail in documents. When it is time to sign, the signature ceremony happens inside the Liveoak conference while you have your customer’s attention. No longer do you you have to wait for a customer to initiate and complete the digital signature process. Using Liveoak directly reduces the friction that occurs with complex paperwork and transactions.

For Digital Signature Providers

Recommending Liveoak to your clients or working with Liveoak to create a solution that meets the specific workflow needs of your customer will help boost DocuSign utilization and increase digital signature envelope sales. Liveoak’s digital customer engagement platform helps broaden the landscape by creating new opportunities and solving for complex transactions and workflows that cannot be addressed with a traditional digital signature product.

We share the same mission which is to increase digital transactions and provide solutions that help our customers make complex workflows and transactions simple.

“We live in the age where companies are in the midst of a massive digital transformation. Almost every activity that used to be done with paper and pen is now going digital, including getting documents signed…Liveoak brings the personal touch and relationship back into the signing process where things to need to be explained, when you’re dealing with complex transactions or simply when you want to be able to walk your client through what they’re signing in real-time when you’re miles or oceans apart.

If you’re using DocuSign to get things signed and have the additional need to add real-time collaboration and video to the signing process, check out this brief video.”

Glenn Shimkus, Former VP of Product DocuSign

About Liveoak Technologies

The Liveoak cloud platform seamlessly integrates best-in-class video conferencing, screen-sharing and data/ID capture with forms collaboration and e-signature capabilities that let your teams deliver white-glove service to your customers. We help enterprises close more business, eliminate nearly all “not in good order” paperwork and turn customers into passionate brand advocates.

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