The Difference Between A Digital Signature, E-Signature, And A Handwritten Signature

Difference Between A Digital Signature, E-Signature, And A Handwritten Signature

For a long time, people have used signatures to verify documents and mark their involvement with an agreement, event, or idea. 

As the world becomes more digital, the notion of electronic signature has grown. The words “digital” and “e-signatures” have gained popularity. These two are somewhat similar for individuals who are just getting started with online signatures, and it is easy to get them mixed up. 

If you also use these terms interchangeably, let me tell you that the accepted definition of “electronic signature” is significantly broader than the concept of “digital signature,” and both terms have significant differences.

In this post,  I’ll tell you the differences between a handwritten signature, an e-signature, and a digital signature.  You will also know how Clustdoc’s e-signature tool can help you speed up your document signing process online.

Let’s dig into it.

Handwritten vs. E-signature

The physical signature is still the essential component of the document authentication system; however, it is not the only and the most reliable verification method. Historically, this has been the most common method of legally binding a person to contractual obligations. 

The concept of handwritten (wet) signatures is not defined. It can be the person’s first and last name in handwritten form or just a symbol, or any arbitrary combination of characters created using letters and all kinds of curls.

Physical signature

Despite the extensive use of handwritten signatures, it can be tough to spot the difference between a genuine signature and a counterfeit. Even two signatures from the same individual might vary considerably.

You can’t be confident that the document you received was signed by the right person without a thorough examination, especially if it was signed without witnesses.

E-signatures were created to address this issue and make getting signatures a breeze.

With the digitization of practically every aspect of our lives, e-signature emerged. An electronic signature is a collection of digital data used to identify a person. When businesses began to transition to digital systems, the necessity for digitally signing electronic documents developed.

We also know that using an electronic signature makes the entire process of signing papers and closing contracts easier since it eliminates the need for physical presence.

Despite the benefits of this technology, there are certain drawbacks to adopting an electronic signature. While electronic signatures are accepted in many countries, there is no official standard for them. As a result, they are vulnerable to counterfeiting, and proof of authenticity is required.

If you want to learn more about the e-signature feel free to take a look at our “what is an e-signature” article and see how Clustdoc can speed up your e-signing workflow. 

E-Signature vs. Digital Signature

E-signature vs. digital signature

Unlike digital signatures, electronic signatures are not as regulated. They do not have the secure encryption that digital signatures have. The technology of e-signature associates it with the person’s identity and the time of signing the document. However, it cannot show if someone altered the document after signing it. 

A digital signature is a more secure version of an electronic signature. When you digitally sign a document, the “fingerprint” of the file links to your identity. This information is then permanently encoded in the document. It is visible when someone tries to counterfeit it after you’ve signed it.

You can only obtain a digital signature at an approved certification facility, unlike the simple electronic signature that is available using codes or passwords. 

A digital signature is appropriate for electronic trade and serves as a guarantee of legal compliance. 

The choice to use a signature type depends on your personal preferences, comfort, and financial readiness. E-signature has no legal force and is suitable for standard daily tasks. While digital signature will allow you to send documents remotely, participate in electronic trading, and do other business operations which require legal force.

Clustdoc is the easiest way to sign documents and provide a seamless experience to your clients.

Provide Unique E-Signing Experience to Your Clients

Clustdoc E-signing experience

The E-signature feature is a powerful tool to impress your clients and provide them the best onboarding experience.

With Clustdoc, you can:

  • Insert as many e-contracts as you want
  • use whitelabel templates into your processes or live applications
  • Create signing workflows using the stakeholders’ feature
  • Automatically prepopulate e-contracts with previously entered information
  • Use the e-contract feature to build e-documents that just need to be filled out or viewed (no signature)

If you want to optimize the remote work of your team and streamline customer processes, you will get there by focusing on digitisation and automation. 

With Clustdoc, create signing documents by gathering both electronic and digital signatures from any device, anywhere, with no paper, no pen and no slowing down !

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