What impact have free Electronic Signature software (e-signatures) had on the world? Here’s one simple example: Applying for a bank loan used to entail making an appointment, going to your local branch, meeting with a loan officer, and signing a stack of paperwork.
You can now do it from your smartphone, with approximately the same effort as ordering takeout from your neighbour hood burger business.
However, e-signatures are about more than just convenience. They can be more secure than a real “wet ink” Electronic Signatures if done correctly.
Don’t worry if you still have questions regarding e-signatures; you’re not alone. Many individuals are unaware of what technology is and what it can achieve.
Here are our responses to the most frequently requested e-signature inquiries.
What Exactly is An Electronic Signature (e-Signature)?
The word “electronic signature” has a legally defined, particular meaning. The ESIGN act of 2000 in the United States defines electronic signature as “an electronic sound, symbol, or procedure attached to or logically related with a contract or other document and completed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.”
What Distinguishes an e-Signature from an “Online Signature” or “Digital Signature?”
An “online signature” is not a legal phrase; it may or may not fulfil the conditions for being legally binding in a court of law.
A “digital signature” is an free electronic signature software with enhanced security and privacy protection. It complies with strict legal requirements by securely connecting the signer to the document and giving the highest level of assurance of the signer’s identity.
Why are e-Signatures Used?
- Why Would a Company Utilise an e-Signature Rather Than a Traditional “Wet Ink”Signature?
When opposed to paper-based systems, e-signature offers numerous significant advantages:
Safety and legality – E-signatures, with the appropriate supplier, may incorporate numerous levels of verification and documentation, making them more legally defensible than a forgeable paper signature.
Cost-Effectiveness and Sustainability – Fewer paper records imply less waste and less money spent on paper, stamps, envelopes, file folders, and other office supplies.
What Sorts of Papers Can Be Electronically Signed?
- What Sorts of Papers Can Be Electronically Signed?
The majority of popular forms of company contracts may be executed online.
- Contracts for sale
- Nondisclosure agreements (NDAs)
- Purchases of real estate
- Purchase orders and vendor contracts
- Insurance claims and applications
eSignature provides templates for many of these papers, which are all embedded into the software.
- Is It Lawful to Accept e-Signatures?
According to legislation such as ESIGN, in order to be legally enforceable, an e-signature must fulfil certain minimum requirements, including security and validity standards. This is why an e-signature service is essential for producing a legally enforceable signature.
In most circumstances, e-signature is just as legally binding as a “wet ink” signature. In most cases, proving a wet ink signature in court needs an expert to analyse signatures forensically and confirm they match. An e-signature can be integrated with digital authentication, security, and tamper-proofing, making determining its authenticity much easier.
Is It Possible to Sign Legal Papers Electronically?
In the United States, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) prohibits the use of e-signature on certain types of documents. These are some examples:
- Testamentary trusts or wills
- Divorce and adoption papers are examples of family law paperwork.
- Orders of the court, papers, or pleadings
- Notice of water, heat, or power cancellation Notice of failure, foreclosure, or eviction
- Notice of cancellation of a health or life insurance policy
- Recall warnings for items that pose a significant danger to one’s health or safety
- Any paperwork necessary by law to carry hazardous chemicals.
With the correct electronic signature service providers, an electronic signature may be far more secure than a physical one.
An electronic signature leaves an audit trail, making it simple to verify its legitimacy and avoid manipulation. Each one has a unique sequence of encrypted integers known as a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The PKI logs the date and time of the signature, as well as the signer’s IP address and other information.