Using Clickwrap for Self-Service Flows Without Compromising Security

Clickwrap for Self-Service Workflows-09

Self-service workflows enable your internal team to work smarter and faster.

By enabling a system in which customers can onboard themselves and accept user agreements, you cut out middlemen and empower those customers to serve themselves when and where they want to be served.

Yet, the shift from a traditional system to a self-service frequently brings with it fears of a lack of security. Most think that a contract is most secure when there is a physical signature, and is done slowly to ensure maximum security. As a result they hold on to old and outdated process. But not only does a squiggly line signature not grant you additional security, but it also slows you down, makes you more prone to errors, and cannot fit within a self-service flow.

But clickwrap contracts allow you to maintain the security of your acceptance data while also presenting agreements to users in a self-service workflow.

Related: eBook: Becoming Self-Service: What Enterprise Tech Needs to Know

Why you need to implement a self-service workflow

A self-service workflow is an invaluable tool in the pursuit of an efficient, modern operation.

In fact, as buyer needs and expectations change and become increasingly more digital, companies now need to adjust their business to meet their customers where they are. 72% of customers want a B2B self-service option to manage their online purchases. And with millions of online transactions taking place daily, companies need to move faster and present enforceable contracts for acceptance more quickly than ever.

Related: 3 Potential Use Cases for a Self-Service Workflow in Enterprise

Clickwrap delivers a frictionless contracting experience within self-service flows, allowing you to capitalize on consumer conversion without compromising compliance. With a comprehensive clickwrap solution, Legal will be able to create pre-approved standardized terms and dynamically render it depending on the needs of the user. This eliminates the need to wait around for review and approval, and allows your customers to get what they need when they need it.

What types of contract acceptance methods pair best with a self-service workflow

It is important to think through how your customers will accept agreements and how these agreements will be stored internally. In particular, companies that do a high volume of business will need to utilize a contracting solution that allows them to move fast and stay secure.

Related: Three Contract Acceptance Methods Defined and Compared

On one end of the spectrum of digital contracts is a traditional e-signature system, where a PDF of the contract can be delivered and signed either through typing a name and date or drawn on the screen. These follow the traditional signing route the closest, and are therefore time-intensive and do not scale. 

Traditional e-signature systems can be improved through embedded signing, where the contracts can be embedded in the web page through JavaScript or iFrame. This allows for acceptance without ever leaving the page, a big improvement from the traditional system. 

Related: Clickwrap Litigation Trends: 2020 Report

The quickest system, though, is clickwrap. In that system, acceptance is received with one click. When a customer clicks the checkbox, they have accepted the terms of your contract in a way that doesn't impede the user experience of the product. This system is most frequently sued in terms and agreements and e-commerce checkouts, but can also be used for B2B selling.

Good recordkeeping also protects your agreements

It isn't enough just to "collect" acceptances; they also need to be stored in a way that allows you to pull them easily should the need to go to court arise.

When online agreements are challenged in court, defendants have to be able to present evidence that unequivocally proves who accepted which version of their agreements, and when. As a result, slapdash solutions for eDiscovery processes like sifting through website content management systems or printing out hard copies of each agreement as you go won’t be a strong enough solution.

Related: Why You Need a Third-Party Vendor for Your Online Terms

Instead, a comprehensive clickwrap solution will also store and collect acceptance data. It should track identifying information of the signer, like an IP address, browser used, or username for each record of acceptance. It should also track version control updates of terms. Without these back-end records on hand, your chances of enforcing your terms in court are slim to none. 

For more on how clickwrap can enable self-service flows, check out the eBook, Becoming Self-Service: What Enterprise Tech Needs to Know

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