Beginner’s Guide to Electronic Signature

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These are exciting times for those using electronic signatures as they are gaining momentum, after a decade of constant and significant adoption within insurance, lending, government and many other industries.

Yes, you are right! This is a signature replacing the paper-based, manual one. Well, what else can you expect from the online age, when fast and reliable electronic communication is part of the daily routine. First of all, an electronic signature, like its paper equiv­alent, is a legal concept which can be broken down into the fol­lowing components: a method of signing, data authentication, user authentica­tion, and capture of intent.

You’ve probably heard about both electronic and digital signatures and you’re wondering what’s the difference. Digital signature refers to the encryption / decryption technology used as the foundation for a variety of security, e-business and e-commerce products, while anelectronic signature is any electronic means that indicates either that a person adopts the contents of an electronic message, or more broadly, that the person who claims to have written a message is the one who wrote it. So, digital signatures are often used to implement electronic signatures, which is a broader term that refers to any electronic data that carries the intent of a signature. However, not all electronic signatures use digital signatures.

Now you are probably wondering why adopt an electronic signature?
In short, the electronic signature, also known as e-signing or e-signature, is faster, more efficient, addresses legal compliance and limits liability. Not to mention other obvious reasons like the fact that it cuts operational costs, and it’s green, which means tons of paper documents will be saved. So, it saves more than just money.

Thus, electronic signatures help businesses move faster while demanding less effort from customers. They also enable large and small organizations alike to reduce errors and costs in all the administrative tasks, which are such a vital part of making businesses run like well-oiled machines. Just think about getting customers, partners, supplier and employees to review and sign documents needed to close new business, authorize deci­sions, and move operations forward.

However, if you want to adopt electronic signatures, you still need to find out a few important aspects, like the legal implications of using e-signing, security considerations, and last, but not least, how they can improve the overall customer satisfaction in your particular area of interest.

Long story short, you need to check out this detailed beginner’s guide, which introduces business and IT executives to the key concepts and considerations for moving to this popular, innovative signing process. You will find out more about technology and terminology, compliance and legality, security, user adoption, e-Signing process and solution options. Enjoy!

image credit: rastudio / 123RF Stock Photo

Catalin is the founder of Mostash – a social marketing boutique – and he’s always happy to share his passion for graphic design & social media.

  • Catalin, I love how you’ve described the difference between digital signatures and electronic signatures. It’s difficult to explain that as clearly and concisely as you have. Well done!
    At Inkdit we’ve found it it helpful to point out explicitly that electronic signatures don’t have to be handwritten …and that contracts don’t have to look like paper. That frees us to make contracts usable and legible on the web and mobile.