By Ron Miller for TechCrunch
DocuSign built a $3 billion valuation by providing a simple way to execute an electronic signature. That has worked well as far as it goes, but in order to separate from the growing pack of competitor companies, it announced today that it’s allowing users to add a payment to be collected digitally at signing.
This is particularly important for contracts that require a down payment to continue. Prior to having this capability, the parties would have to arrange payment separately from the electronic contract signing process.
For many businesses like contractors or event rentals, this meant having to make a phone call or sending an email or snail mail bill to collect payment before work could begin or the deal was official. With this new payments functionality, the parties can arrange payments up front and streamline the entire process.
“It keeps the process digital. When you ask for payment separate from the transaction itself, you lose visibility into the transaction cycle. [With this new payment capability], you can track the event all the way through. It makes it much easier for the sender and signer,” Ron Hirson, chief of product at DocuSign explained.
The company has partnered with several major payment providers including Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay and Android pay (and PayPal will be coming on board some time in 2017, as well).
The payment works in a similar fashion to adding a signature line. You drag your signature line from DocuSign into your document, then you drag a payment line along with it if required. You fill in the payment amount and send the document to the recipient.
They simply sign the document in the normal fashion and pay the amount due with one of the payment methods and the contract is ready to return to the sender.
The company has raised over $500 million on a valuation of $3 billion. It is used by 250,000 companies and 100 million users across 188 countries, according to numbers supplied by the company. While the new payment functionality is being announced this week, it won’t be available until early 2017.
First appeared at TC