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September 29th, 2023

What’s In It For Businesses: Building vs Buying an eSignature API


The last few years have witnessed a rapid surge in the demand and adoption of eSignatures globally. Definitely, the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered the use of the tool, as it became difficult for businesses to approve documents during the time with the help of traditional, physical signatures. As per a report, the global eSignature market is expected to reach a CAGR of approx. 26.6% from 2021 to 2030.

Now, as businesses in large numbers consider the myriad benefits of eSignatures and rush towards adopting them, the important question arises – whether to go for an eSignature API or not.



Does your Business Require an eSignature API?

To find out whether integrating an eSignature API makes sense for your business, it is advisable to delve deep into your business requirements and challenges and then take a leap.

To start with, if your business deals with extensive documentation, where multiple contracts, agreements, etc are required to be signed on a day-to-day basis, you could start gathering your thoughts in favor of an eSignature API. Moreover, if you wish to offer exceptional, customized eSigning experiences to your stakeholders, wherein they can sign documents directly on your website or app, an eSignature API receives a due thumbs up. Well, as the signing functionality gets embedded into your system with an API, users need not navigate to third-party websites or pages to drop their consent.

On top of this, an eSignature API leads to substantial time and cost savings in the long run.

Some clarity of thoughts?

Key Choice to be Made: Building an API or Buying it?

Now, since you have decided that an eSignature API is a perfect solution to meet your business needs, you need to go a step ahead and make another smart choice – whether to build the eSignature API in-house or simply buy it from an expert third-party provider. We are in favor of the latter, and we will let you know why.

Here is why we think that buying an eSignature API could be a better option for your business

  • Quickly embark on your eSigning journey – An eSignature API cannot be built overnight; is a time-consuming, extensive process, which involves multiple stages including creating the platform, testing it, fixing bugs, and then finally releasing it. At times, implementation can take up to months and one has to wait for long to actually start using the eSignature platform. On the other hand, when you buy the API from an eSignature specialist, you get access to the platform and the gamut of features only within a few days, or sometimes hours. Time is truly money in a business landscape, and buying an API lets you do some substantial time-saving here.
  • Cost Savings – Developing an API requires a lot of technical expertise, and one needs to hire dedicated resources such as a software developer or a team of developers who are solely responsible for building, improving, and maintaining the API framework. Along with this cost of specialised resources, the expense of software, introducing additional features, introducing regular updates, adhering to compliance processes, etc can take a toll on businesses. On the other hand, when you buy an eSignature API, you simply have to incur the purchase cost, and forget about everything else. Lucrative, isn’t it?
  • Constant Technical Support – When you build an eSignature API on your own, you are always immersed in the intricacies of the technical framework. However, in the case of buying, you are assured of constant technical support by the vendor at all times. At MSB Docs, our API support team will provide you with ongoing technical assistance throughout the entire software lifecycle. This could include support for functions such as testing, setup, troubleshooting, introducing updates frequently, etc.
  • Ensures compliance – To develop an eSignature API in-house, one has to dive into the complex regulatory and legal framework to ensure compliance with various eSignature laws (domestic and international), security standards, industry certifications, etc. All of this is a burdening job, which can only delay the process of implementation. On the other hand, buying the eSignature API will free you from this hassle, as all the compliance requirements are automatically taken care of. MSB Docs duly abides by all key industry regulations and compliance standards for its signing and documentation processes. Some of these key regulations are FDA 21 CFR Part 11, eIDAS, IT Act 2000, HIPAA, EMA, ESIGN Act (USA) and SSAE 16.
  • Stay updated – Buying an eSignature API through a specialist such as MSB Docs will ensure that you are using the best of technology and features available in the market at all times. This is because we are constantly innovating our product and are well-versed with all the technical developments happening around. On the contrary, one might lag behind a few steps if you are maintaining your own in-house eSignature API.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the key differences between the two options: buying vs building an eSignature API.

Difference Buying an eSignature API Building an eSignature API
Time to Implementation
Time to Implementation
Few Months
Hiring a Developer
Not required
Not required
Costs Involved
Comparatively less, due to the single, upfront buying cost to be borne
High (cost of hiring developers, compliance requirements, software investment, system maintenance, etc)
Adherence to eSignature laws and regulations
Adherence to eSignature laws and regulations
Technical Support
Constant, provided by the vendor
In-house team bears the responsibility of dealing with all technical nuances
Additional Responsibilities
All outsourced to the vendor
Configuration, set-up, testing, troubleshooting, system updates, addition of new features, taking care of technical glitches, maintaining innovation, ensuring compliance, etc.


Our Final Thoughts

Clearly, the benefits of buying an eSignature API outweigh the benefits of building it in-house. At MSB Docs, we have over 16 years of experience in developing and providing enterprise-grade APIs to multiple corporations across the globe. Our APIs are highly flexible, customizable, reliable, advanced and can also embed seamlessly into your workflows.

It’s time to build on your eSignature capabilities. So, are you Ready?