What Is Digital Transaction Management (DTM)?

Digital Transaction Management (DTM) uses computer systems rather than paper to manage business agreements in a way that is fast, accurate and secure. DTM is a 100% digital cloud-based service that speeds up the process of signing contracts and reduces the number of mistakes that can be made along the way since documents can be signed and transmitted instantly online rather than having to be printed, physically signed, scanned and emailed, or returned by post.

Key Takeaways

  • Digital transaction management (DTM) refers to the online facilitation of secure document signing and processing.
  • By shifting from paper-based systems to cloud-based computational systems, cost is greatly reduced as speed is increased and errors reduced.
  • DTM practices have been adopted by several large firms, either through in-house efforts or by outsourcing these platforms to dedicated third-party providers under widely-recognized industry standards.

Understanding Digital Transaction Management

DTM technology creates digital signatures that are highly secure and authenticated, making them more legally enforceable than traditional signatures. Furthermore, because it is cloud based, DTM allows businesses to access key documents and do business anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Businesses can more easily adopt DTM if they switch their existing paper processes to completely digital processes from start to finish. Paper-based processes, while more familiar and comfortable for many users, are not as safe or reliable as some users think. Paper documents can be lost, they aren’t very secure and they can be difficult to control. A company can choose to implement DTM in a single department or implement it company-wide.

DTM benefits organizations by reducing transaction time and improving the customer experience. One widely-used industry standard for DTM is called xDTM, and it has requirements for privacy, security, universality, scalability, availability, enforceability, openness, and compliance.

Digital Transaction Management Benefits

Chief information officers (CIOs) and executives from companies such as DocuSign, Microsoft, FedEx, Intel, and UPS help to manage this standard. DTM requires industry experts to create and implement best practices for practitioners in different fields, from doctors to lawyers to government workers. For example, when DTM is used in a healthcare setting, the privacy standard might be paramount, whereas in finance, the security standard might get top billing. 

Every aspect of a business can reap the benefits of DTM.

  • In sales, it can be used for compensation agreements, referral agreements, new customer signups, and terms and conditions agreements.
  • Human resources departments can use it for new hire paperwork, nondisclosure agreements, and payroll forms.
  • Finance departments can use it for invoice processing, asset transfer, and retirement accounts.
  • In IT, it can be used for access management and maintenance authorization.
  • Legal teams can use DTM for contract management and internal compliance.
  • Procurement staff can use it for purchase orders and statements of work.

Digital Transaction Management in Practice

DocuSign, Adobe and VASCO Data Security International (formerly Silanis Technology) are three major players in the DTM market. All specialize in digital signatures.   Other major DTM companies include Box, which provides cloud storage, team collaboration, and workflow automation for businesses; Fluix, which stores files, facilitates document collaboration, and converts paper documents to digital files, in addition to offering e-signatures; and MiForms, which helps employees collect data, GPS, photos, barcodes and signatures in the field. 

There are a number of other DTM companies so potential users should perform a comparison of cost and features, which change frequently. Some companies cater to small businesses while others focus on enterprise-level solutions. A handy way of vetting providers is seeing who they list as customers.