How to Decide Between Wet Signature and E-Signature

Brendon Kelly   |   July 2024   |   2-minute read

If you’re new to annuity e-apps, you’re probably wondering which signature option to choose—e-signature or wet signature. It’s definitely the part of the application that causes the most confusion. Luckily, deciding which one to use is actually pretty simple.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, when we say wet signature, we mean printed pages signed with a pen. And when we say e-signature, we mean electronic, with your client digitally signing the application through an e-mail link.

Both options are available on an annuity e-app, and in many situations, you can just use the one you like best.

Looking at the pros and cons of each can help you decide.

When to Use a Wet Signature

More traditional clients might be more comfortable with wet signatures, and that’s an acceptable option even on an e-app. Regardless of preference, there are two instances when wet signature must always be used:

  • If your clients doesn’t have an e-mail address: since e-signature requires an email address, if your client doesn’t have one, your only choice is to use a wet signature
  • If the application includes transfer paperwork: legally, transfer paperwork (exchanging one annuity for another) still requires a wet signature

Additionally, wet signatures might make it easier to explain what clients are signing if multiple signatures are required through the application. And some clients might just like the idea of having a hard copy of their signed application to put with their other financial documents.

When to Use an E-Signature

Unless the situations above apply, you’re free to use an e-signature for e-apps. By eliminating the need to print, scan and upload signed pages, e-signatures offer improved efficiency, which can be beneficial for you and your clients.

E-signatures really shine when your client:

  • Is motivated and ready to move quickly
  • Lives remote and it’s hard to connect in person
  • Feels more comfortable with the encryption required on an e-signature application

A bonus for you is that e-signatures really do eliminate using a printer or scanner to get the application uploading.

Finding Your Favorite

You’ll be asked to decide at the start of the application process to select a signature format — either wet signature or e-signature. Although you are free to switch back and forth between the two depending on your client and their situation, most advisors find they like one better than the other.

Check out our tutorial videos defining the process to see exactly what is entailed:

Collecting an Electronic Signature

Collecting a Wet Signature

Once you understand the signing process, you’re ready to deliver the best customer experience to every client with every annuity e-app you submit!

About the Author

Retirement is one of the most important financial events in a person’s life. As SVP, Retirement, Brendon Kelley facilitates our team to make planning for retirement as straightforward as possible. From having the initial conversation to handling licensing and submitting applications, Brendon’s committed to keeping the annuity process running smoothly.