Long gone are the days when you’d sit down on a table, discuss business or formal deals, shake hands and walk away. Soon, signing hard copy documents will become a thing of the past as well. Many governments and organizations are becoming digital and getting rid of paperwork. There is also an increasing need for people to sign official documents digitally. Contracts, procedures, policy papers, and many business documents we use today exist in digitally signed formats as well. After signing, people can download them for personal records and safekeeping. So, how do you sign a document digitally? Let’s look at two software that addresses this new need.
PandaDoc and Hellosign are two major document managing software. Before selecting the right document manager, you should consider how it helps you and your business. To determine this, we will explore and compare the functioning and features between PandaDoc vs Hellosign. We will also explore their various capabilities and give you a conclusion on which is better.
Let’s begin with Hellosign.
HelloSign is a document management company with a long well-established record. They have been in business for a long time. Their product offering shows just how much they understand their customers and the market. Their security standards are exceptional. Let’s look at its essential features.
Hellosign comes with an audit trail feature. What is it? It is an authentication feature used by Hellosign to track transactions between two signing parties. You can access your transaction log, and see any changes that both you and your client make. To prevent anyone from tampering with this log, it undergoes hashing. If an audit trail has a signature request, then it has an identifier behind it. You can use this identifier to look at the transaction history of the document in a database. An audit trail doesn’t apply to self-signed documents.
Hellosign has a way of ensuring that their security systems are up to date. Each year, independent auditors test Hellosign’s security system and suggest improvements. For your protection, and at your request, Hellosign can also initiate a data dump. Data disposed of in this manner is untraceable. Hellosign processes payments on its platform entirely through Stripe. They do not store any client’s billing and payment information on their servers. By using third party payment solutions, Hellosign ensures the security of your financial data. Hellosign encrypts your documents before storing them in the cloud.
Templates are ideal for people who create similar documents over and over again. Hellosign has a useful tool for creating templates. Hellosign itself takes you through the process of creating templates systematically and directly. They also offers templates as a premium product. So, they are not available for non-paying users.
Helloworks (a product by Hellosign) enables smooth interaction with documents on mobile devices. With Helloworks, you catch errors in real-time. This feature ensures that you spend less time editing your work. Helloworks is also a mobile-first meaning; it tends to work best on mobile devices. The forms enable dynamic mapping between your static PDFs and dynamic online forms. Helloworks takes the data filled in the online form and instantly maps it to an offline PDF form. You can also pre-fill data on forms so that users don’t have to fill in all fields. Moreover, you can also set rules that control what fields are visible to users.
HelloSign recognizes the importance of combined workflows, offering decent team management tools. Other extra features include an API, personal signing, and notifications. Prominent Hellosign clients include Kickstarter and Twitter. So, you know you’re in good company when you choose to use this service.
The Hellosign API enables them to quickly integrate with other solutions and give you a clean signing experience. The API returns JSON objects, accepts POST parameters, and uses basic authentication. You can also use SDKs for Ruby, Python, PHP, NodeJS, Java, and more.
With the API, you can expect the following:
Two times faster integration
On average, integration with other software takes about two and a half days. This time is much less than what their competitors offer.
This feature enables you to sign documents directly on your website. You will not have to redirect your website to the Hellosign home page. It also works for your users who sign documents on your site but don’t have accounts on the Hellosign platform.
These signatures are legally binding. They follow all major e-signature laws like ESIGN and UETA. All-access to documents is over secure HTTP connections. Document encryption occurs at rest. You also have extra security with the Audit trail we already discussed
It is easy to set up and use a Hellosign account. You require no credit card or payment method for the basic plan. Once you are ready to upgrade the procedure is clean and straightforward. You won’t have to deal with sales information and other kinds of hassle. Enterprise users with a high volume of traffic might not find the basic plans to their liking. Therefore, Hellosign has Enterprise plans. For more information on these plans, contact Hellosign customer support for further quotations. These quotations depend on the volume of your clients.
Hellosign offers integration with the most popular business systems and applications. They include Gatekeeper, Google Docs, and Box.
The Hellosign help page has a search bar. If you need help with an issue, it is easy to find the exact link to the support issue. Hellosign also has a collection of articles, some of which get promoted to the front page based on demand. Each aspect of the Hellosign platform has its link. These links take you to specific support pages for those particular products. For instance, if you need help on the Hellosign API, you click on a link. This link takes you to a page with all the information you need.
From embedded testing tools to the steps required to create an API app, you get information on everything. Lastly, there’s a community where conversations regularly take place. This community is a reliable source of information, especially if you want help from Hellosign users. Direct support works more in favor of premium clients. However, with all the information you can find for yourself, you may end up not needing immediate help at all.
HelloSign offers a free package. They also offer free trials for some of their premium plans.
The free plan lets you sign and secure three documents a month and for one sender. You do not have access to any document templates. However, you get notifications, integration with Google Drive, and an audit trail.
The pro plan is the premier option for clients. It costs $15 monthly to buy their month-to-month subscription. The annual plans cost $13. This plan has no limit on documents, but you are still limited to one sender.
PandaDoc was founded in 2013 by Mikita Mikado and Sergey Barysiuk. It serves businesses ranging in size from the very small to established enterprises. You can use PandaDoc to create, send, e-sign, and store secure documents.
PandaDoc has features that enable you to create, track, and execute documents. This factor is besides the well-known functionality for electronic signatures. Functions are in several categories. These categories are proposals, team management, content management, and more.
E-signatures is the flagship product from Pandadoc. It helps to ease workflows and save time dramatically. Instead of handling forms that need signatures physically, you can do this online. Even if the person who needs to append his signature is far, they can still sign quickly enough. E signatures aren’t of a lesser standard than typical signatures. Documents with e signatures from PandaDoc are legally binding.
E-signatures is the main service you get from PandaDoc, but you get other essential services too. PandaDoc provides complete document management online. The first step involved in this process is document creation. There are pre-defined content blocks that cater to almost any kind of document you’d need to produce. Be it business plans, contracts, quotes, or proposals, they’ve got you covered.
Besides content blocks, there are templates for these different types of documents. You use a drag-and-drop editor to create your desired document after choosing an appropriate template easily. Personalization such as Branding, logo, and corporate colors can then go with the finished product. PandaDoc stores these created documents in a cloud location. You can easily access it at any time.
Collaboration is a powerful feature of PandaDoc. It enables work to flow much faster without ignoring input from involved people. Collaboration works on PandaDoc by logging proposal activity and commenting. You can negotiate deals and reach agreements while on the platform. Through this feature, you can achieve what would perhaps have taken weeks.
Tracking is the most transparent form of analysis. PandaDoc provides comprehensive monitoring of your documents at all times. The analysis extends to when a recipient of a client opens a text you sent them. If the document has sections, you will get alerts on the amount of time the client spent on each section. These analytics give you valuable information for your clients. Understanding how your clients interact with your documents could be critical. As an example, such information is vital if you are in sales. You may have to design your documents differently to boost interaction with clients. It is also possible to include other sections in your documents based on the analytics you get.
Audit trails are a staple feature in most modern document management platforms. PandaDoc’s audit trail doesn’t work any differently from what you’d expect. All signing requests get tagged with unique markers. These markers keep a trail of information exchanged between the parties involved. Such a close watch ensures that no tampering happens. It also ensures that all actions performed by the two parties are authentic.
PandaDoc also has a search bar at the top of their help page. Immediately after his bar comes a list of links to the most important things you need. There’s an account settings page, a getting started guide, and more. Lastly, there’s a FAQ section where you can find solutions to the most common issues. The help center has no options for direct support. I guess direct support is for premium users. Though the help center isn’t as extensive, it still manages to offer solutions to most of what you’d need.
PandaDoc has no free plan. They also have two different plans for their users, just like HelloSign.
This plan targets new users. It costs $9 a month. For this price, you get e-signatures and unlimited templates. The package also offers to track your documents and payments. You can, however, send only 60 documents every year.
This plan costs more at $49 per month. There is no limit to documents and templates. You get your content library, and the content in this library is locked. Another benefit you get is unlimited e-signatures. You also get approval workflows and branding to suit your specific needs.
Verdict: PandaDoc vs Hellosign
Both Hellosign and PandaDoc are astute document management softwares. As we have seen from their features and capabilities, they are quite at par with each other. You can’t quite go wrong choosing Hellosign or PandaDoc. However, unlike PandaDoc, you can use Hellosign on their basic plan at no charge. This version does not have many features, unfortunately, but you’ll get a good understanding of what’s possible.
Cost: PandaDoc vs Hellosign
Hellosign costs roughly $15 monthly vs PandaDoc which costs $9 if you’re buying a plan for a single user. If you’re making your decision solely on the price tag, then PandaDoc is the way to go. For the enterprise package on Hellosign, you have several options. You may choose to contact their sales support for their custom plan or purchase their $50 a month business plan that offers 1-5 senders. PandaDoc offers you pretty much the same deal.
Winner: PandaDoc vs Hellosign
We have chosen to go with Hellosign as the winner of this comparison between PandaDoc vs Hellosign. Hellosign’s API provides smoother integrations that tilt the scales in its favor. PandaDoc lacks a free option. Also, when we compare the individual packages offered by the PandaDoc are better vs those provided by Hellosign. However, this is a narrow win. As we said before, you can’t go wrong either way.