Though we have seen a massive push in the digital transformation of companies in recent years, there’s still a lot to be done. An electronic signature is the first step for businesses of any size to be digit ised and compete with companies on an equal footing.

However, many entrepreneurs still do not know how to use an electronic signature, their advantages, and how they differ from digital certificates. In this post we will tell you about it.

Digital certificates and electronic signatures

To understand how to use an electronic signature, it’s essential to firstly understand the meaning and use of digital certificates. Digital certificates are an electronic document wherein people can be identified on the internet and are usually used to carry out negotiations with public administrations (Social Security and Tax Agencies, for example). In Spain, for example, there are two ways to obtain a digital certificate: The Spanish Royal Mint, where a certificate is obtained that is installed in the browser of the user who requests it, and from the Ministry of Domestic Affairs and Justice, through which an Electronic Identification Number is issued. Digital certificates, in these two ways, allow for the verification of information from the administrations and signing of documents online safely and quickly.

According to the eIDAS Regulation, an electronic signature is defined as:

“the data in electronic format attached to other electronic data or logically associated with them that the signer uses to sign.”

The above definition refers to a simple electronic signature. Coupled with this, there are two other types of electronic signature: the advanced electronic signature: (which meets the requirements of article 26 of the eIDAS Regulation) and the qualified electronic signature, for which a qualified device must be used to create electronic signatures.

How to use electronic signatures in a simple way?

To answer this question, it is necessary to specify that there are different ways of electronically signing a document, but not all offer the same level of security. For example, you can use electronic signature options offered by applications such as Adobe or Word, but often there is no way to verify the identification of the signers or whether the document has been altered in any way after being signed.

Therefore, using electronic signature software provided by trusted service providers works differently and provides different advantages. So that you know how to use an electronic signature, at Click & Sign we describe the process in detail:

  • Register on the Click & Sign platform: The first step is to register on the Click & Sign platform. With your username and password, you can access the control panel.
  • Configuration: Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to set up your signature and all other elements, including: additional signers, document signing settings (i.e. using a button, with a biometric signature, etc.) and the configuration of reminders and notifications.
  • Drafting of the email and document to be signed: During the configuration process you will have to draft the email or SMS that the signatory will receive, with the link to the document to be signed. Finally, you have to include the document that’s to be signed.
  • Receipt of the mail and the document: The signers will receive an email or an SMS with the link of the document to be signed and access it. They will be able to read and sign it in the way you have configured it, for example, with a simple sign button or with a one-time password.
  • Process monitoring: Through the control panel of the Click & Sign platform you will monitor the entire process and find out who has / who has not signed and if any documents are missing from the signing process (payroll, IDs etc.). If a person has not signed, you can configure the platform to send them reminder.
  • Download the signed document and documentary evidence: Once the document is signed, it may be downloaded and stored locally in your files. Additionally, you will be able to obtain an electronic documentary evidence that will contain all the info relating to the signing process: email addresses of the signers, dates and times of signing, IP addresses, etc. Thus providing you with proof of the process to be used as evidence in court.

The whole process offers security and simplicity, which speeds up any procedure where it is necessary to sign a company document and, therefore, streamlining procedures. Knowing how to use electronic signatures will help you choose a provider that provides you with security and the peace-of-mind in knowing that complies with the eIDAS Regulation and the rest of the regulations on electronic signatures.