A quick scan of the electronic signature vendor landscape shows a market jam-packed with competition. Although the technology has been around for more than two decades, the electronic signature vendor space is clearly in a growth cycle. According to an industry study recently published by Gartner, the overall market for electronic signature software and services grew by 48 percent from 2010 to 2011, with similar growth expected in 2012 and beyond. What is driving this growth? We believe a few factors are responsible. First, growth in the electronic signature vendor space is directly correlated with growth in mobile commerce (e.g., commerce conducted via smartphones, tablets, etc.). Second, the emergence of cloud-based/Software as a Service (SaaS) models has lowered the barriers to market entry, resulting in a rapid influx of new competitors. In 2009, only about 5 percent of electronic signature activity was SaaS supported; projections show that figure around 50 percent by 2014.

Rapid growth in the electronic signature vendor space presents a number of challenges to financial institutions seeking to select a vendor. For example, how do you know a vendor is reputable? Is it financially viable? How is it capitalized? Is the market ripe for consolidation? Will this vendor be around in five years? These questions and many others can be overwhelming when evaluating electronic signature vendors. Read full story on Bank Systems & Technology

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