Updated: November 9, 2023
Marie is the CEO & Founder of Clustdoc. She loves to help other teams work smarter and build trust with customers and stakeholders during daily operations.
You’ve probably heard the term “electronic signature,” but not everyone knows what it means.
Even if you haven’t heard of it before, you may have already encountered this, for example, while putting an e- signature in a bank.
Traditionally online documents are signed in the same way as paper documents. Signatures are either scanned or drawn on the screen with the mouse or touch screen.
In your regular working day, contracts, agreements, and other paperworks that require filling and signature take most of your day.
Today companies and professionals often use electronic signatures to save time and reduce costs, as electronic documents are sent to customers much faster. Besides, ease of use is also an advantage, the difficulty of faxing, scanning, and returning signed documents often frustrates clients. That’s where Clustdoc’s safe and user-friendly document-sharing platform comes in.
Among other features, the software’s legally binding e-signature feature will help you wow your clients. If you were on the fence regarding e-signatures, here are some critical insights that will convince you to reconsider.
In this article, I will provide you with a detailed explanation of what an e-signature is and how it works.
An electronic signature is a feature of an electronic document that verifies the author’s identity and corrects any changes made after signing. An e-signature can be effectively equivalent to a handwritten signature, depending on its kind, and confer a legal obligation to the files.
Electronic signatures are legally binding, valid, and enforceable for business and personal transactions in almost every country in the world. However, it is crucial to understand the various types of e-signatures and their usage.
There are three types of e-signature:
A simple e-signature verifies that an electronic document was created by a specific individual using codes and passwords, giving legal validity to the document. A simple electronic signature is a login and password combination used to provide authorization on a website, obtain access to email, and make online payments. It is necessary to identify the user, and the input code must meet certain conditions depending on the severity of the action. Simple electronic signatures aren’t legally enforceable.
An advanced electronic signature is generated by encrypting a document with cryptographic methods and allowing the user to identify the person who signed it. It also verifies that the document is not altered after signing. Electronic trading and document transfer between counterparties are two areas where advanced e-signature is commonly employed. It is better suited to individuals rather than legal entities.
Cryptographic encryption tools are used to establish a certified advanced digital signature. It has the same features as an unqualified e-signature. However, only an authorized certification institution can issue it. A certified electronic signature verification certificate is issued to the author of the signature. Along with a paper-signed document, a qualified e-signature has a legal meaning. It can provide dependable data security against unauthorized access; the owner controls the level of data secrecy. Even if the key expires, the data will remain safe.
Clustdoc provides two types of e-signatures following eIDAS requirements : Simple Electronic Signatures and Digital signature (AES).
Here, the following table describes the Clustdoc eSignatures module :
For individuals: digital signature provides remote interaction with government, educational, medical and other information systems via the Internet.
For legal entities: an electronic signature gives admission to participation in electronic trading, allows the organization to have a legally significant electronic document flow (EDF) and the submission of electronic reporting to the regulatory authorities.
Clustdoc offers you several e-signature opportunities and for different users. You can create e-signing workflows allowing you to have multiple people sign your documents in one go. With Clustdoc, your clients can easily access the documents and sign using their phones in their own time.
Digital signatures are unique for each person. Digital signature providers use a special protocol called PKI, which requires use of a mathematical algorithm to generate two numbers called keys. One key is public and the other is private.
When a person electronically signs a document, the signature is made with the signer’s private key, which is kept safe by the signatory. Data related to the signed document is generated and encrypted using a mathematical process. This encrypted data is used to create the digital signature. The e-signature includes a timestamp. The e-signature becomes invalid if the document is altered after it has been signed.
You can create a simple electronic signature with the help of software and apps:
Legal entities and individuals can get advanced electronic signatures from certification centers or even with the help of experienced programmers.
Only an accredited certification center can issue qualified advanced digital signatures. To apply to an accredited certification center, you will have to collect a package of documents of the organization and documents proving the owner’s identity.
You can use e-signature nearly everywhere:
To sum up, e-signature is used nearly in all areas and facilitates many business processes. E-signature also saves the time it takes to send documents, sign and return them. As there are different types of e-signature, choosing the one suitable for you depends on the business you deploy.
Our new signing workflows feature allows you to :
Discover the new eSignature experience that Clustdoc provides in its application.
To learn more about Clustdoc’s e-signature read our article on 5 Online Electronic Signature Tools That Will Have You Signing That Dotted Line In Seconds
And don’t forget — Clustdoc can help you save a ton of time every single week by optimizing client onboarding, document collection, and payments.
Clustdoc is a client onboarding orchestration platform used by modern teams around the world. With Clustdoc, you can run automated workflows for collecting and verifying new customers’ data, documents and contracts – without juggling between tools.
If your team is managing new customers using emails, spreadsheets and PDFs, you’ll probably love using Clustdoc.
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