If you have ever used a document generator to fill out a document which could produce a digital signature field, it will most likely have produced a PDF for exporting (Portable Document Format). Every digital transaction has a vehicle driving that transaction, almost like a parcel that goes between two individual parties. In most cases, it is the universal PDF. However, times have changed and in the world of online transactions the PDF will soon be obsolete.
Traditionally, and in most organizational environments, paper has always been a part of life. It’s something that can be printed, amended, signed, scanned and then emailed to appropriate parties for record keeping purposes. It sounds simple, but realistically this procedure can sometimes go on many times before the document is actually where it needs to be. Think real estate transactions.
So, let’s go back to the original process of what happens before a document is sent where a signature or digital signature is needed. It is normally typed up by a realtor using some type of document processing program; such as Microsoft Word, Webforms, or EasyOffer (in Ontario), amongst others. When finalized, it is saved as a PDF and in turn set in stone. The actual print on that PDF can never be changed unless the same person who had created it changes it in the software they originally used to create it.
PDFs are fine if the content does not change, an example being a petition form, you simply input your name, age, date etc.. PDFs can be layered with input fields which can be easily amended, but what about the deeper fundamental issues that cannot be changed? Realtors have standard board forms they use but they have to include certain specifications such as clauses and amendments for each individual purchase or sale transaction. It would be unrealistic for them to recreate a new PDF each time there is an amendment or clause on a sale. To do this, too much time is required and too much paper is constantly wasted. As such using a PDF as a vehicle for these types of transactions is ludicrous and age-old!
New emerging web technologies, like HTML5 and CSS, can render a dynamic document while the PDF remains static. Here at Cordon we are using this new universal language to develop documents that are editable at any time and on any device, effectively eliminating the need for not only printing or scanning, but the fundamental need for offer generators. The final product is flexible, and users have the opportunity to do everything within a single app, instead of using PDF generators, converters, etc.
HTML5 is undoubtedly the ultimate vehicle for transactions of the future – or in our opinion, the true digital transaction.