What Is Digital Transaction Management (DTM)?

Digital Transaction Management (DTM) is a cloud computing service that allows users to digitally manage document-based transactions. DTM services aim to speed up the signing of business agreements and contracts by digitizing the process in a way that is fast, accurate and secure.

In addition to faster execution, other benefits to DTM technology include fewer mistakes and lower operating costs, as documents can be signed and transmitted instantly online rather than printed, physically signed, scanned and emailed, or returned by post. Providers of DTM services include DocuSign (DOCU), Adobe (ADBE) and OneSpan (OSPN).  

Key Takeaways

  • Digital Transaction Management (DTM) refers to the online facilitation of secure document signing and processing.
  • Companies that replace paper-based workflows with DTM systems can reduce costs and errors while increasing productivity and transaction times.
  • DTM services are cloud-based, meaning workers can access key company documents from any device with an internet connection.

Understanding Digital Transaction Management

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

Proponents say businesses can more easily adopt DTM if they switch existing paper workflows to a completely digital process from start to finish. They also argue that paper-based processes, while more familiar and comfortable for many users, are not as safe or reliable as many think. Paper documents can be lost, aren't as secure and can be difficult to control. A business choosing to implement DTM can start in a single department or make the switch company-wide.

DTM benefits organizations by reducing transaction times and improving the customer experience. The xDTM Standard sets requirements for DTM providers, which must address security, assurance, privacy, validity, availability, scalability, universality and interoperability.

Digital Transaction Management Benefits

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 be more important. Every aspect of a business can reap the benefits of DTM.

  • Sales. DTM can be used for compensation agreements, referral agreements, new customer signups, and terms and conditions agreements.
  • Human Resources. Companies can use DTM for onboarding new workers, nondisclosure agreements, and payroll forms.
  • Finance. DTM makes it easier to manage invoices, asset transfers, and retirement accounts.
  • Information Technology. Companies can use DTM for access management and maintenance authorization.
  • Legal. Contract management and internal compliance can be handled via DTM.
  • Procurement. DTM can be used to process purchase orders and statements of work.

Digital Transaction Management in Practice

DocuSign, Adobe and OneSpan (formerly VASCO Data Security International) are three major players in the DTM market and specialize in digital signatures. Other major DTM companies include Box (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 Mi-Corporation, which provides mobile-based solutions to help 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 costs and features, which change frequently. Some companies cater to small businesses while others focus on enterprise-level solutions.