What Is Electronic Signature Software and What Are the Benefits?
An electronic signature, or an eSignature, is a legally binding way to sign documents online, much like how you would sign a document with a pen. They can come in many forms, including scanned, typewritten, a unique representation of characters or an electronic representation of a handwritten signature. Electronic signatures can be divided into three groups: simple, advanced and qualified, based on their creation, security and identification. However, electronic signatures are only as good as the electronic signature software that created them, therefore it is important to consider what technology you will use for your business processes.
Great electronic signature software can offer:
- Authentication – identifying the signatory and linking them to the information.
- Integrity – allowing changes to be made to the information provided.
- Non-repudiation – ensuring legal satisfaction as to where the electronic signature has come from.
As the business world moves progressively online, electronic signature software and online identification are becoming increasingly important. That’s why it is imperative that you start considering what electronic signature software you will use for your business for a safer, simpler, and faster process for your transactions.
How eSignatures Work
So, how do eSignatures work? Much like handwritten signatures, digital signatures are unique to the signer. Electronic signature software will create a personalised eSignature that individuals can use to legally sign documents online. Different electronic signature software companies will produce different types of digital signatures for different purposes, such as a hash function, public key cryptography or public key infrastructure, so it’s important that you decide which one is best for you and your needs. If you’re unsure of what electronic signature software you need, speak to a member of our Sales Team who would be more than happy to talk you through the process and answer your questions. Or you can book a free demo to see how our eSignatures or digital wet signatures can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to get documents signed by your clients.
What Makes an Electronic Signature Legal?
Are electronic signatures legal? Yes, they are. In 2000, the Electronic Communications Act declared that electronic signatures were legal and could be used to sign legal documents. Additionally, the UK adheres to the European Union’s ‘eIDAS regulation’ that came into force on the 1st of July 2016, and ensured that all electronic signatures were legally binding. The UK’s legal model is a tiered system, therefore qualified electronic signatures are valid, legally binding, and can be submitted in court. Anything below the qualified status can also be submitted but may need further evidence.
Are Electronic Signatures Safe?
Clearly using electronic signatures is a serious business, so how do you protect yourself? Are eSignatures safe?
Electronic signatures are safe; however, it is important that you do your research into which electronic signature software you will use. They create a unique fingerprint showing the authenticity of a signed document and any attempts to tamper with the signature will be visible. All of the interactions should be 100% encrypted and good electronic signature software will ensure there is an audit trail and authenticate a signer’s identity to offer protection and security.
Benefits of Electronic Signatures
What are the benefits of electronic signatures? They include being legally binding and secure, as well as being enforced in nearly every industrialised country in the world. They’re also incredibly efficient and cost-effective. An excellent electronic signature software will also be able to boost contract speed, offer your business enhanced security and lower transaction costs.
At Virtual Cabinet, our eSignatures are compatible with many file types with unlimited usage. We have over 70,000 customers worldwide who trust and use our electronic signature software every day. Want to join them? Then why not book a free demo to try it out for yourself.