In the early days, many technological innovations led to uncertainties, and this has been (and continues to be) the case with advanced electronic signatures. Sometimes, lack of information or misinformation generates concerns, and we may have misconceptions about advanced electronic signatures. This post tells you about the most common misconceptions and provides you with all the details to learn about how it works.

Indeed, the use of new technologies has been a life-saving tool for companies during the current pandemic. Virtual meetings or digital communications have been used more than ever, and, against this background, the use of electronic signatures to sign all types of documents evolved.

What is an advanced electronic signature?

Following the European regulation on electronic signatures set out in the eIDAS regulation, there are three types of electronic signatures: simple, advanced, and qualified. Advanced electronic signature must meet the specific requirements of article 26 of the regulation:

  • It is uniquely linked to the signer.
  • It is capable of identifying the signer.
  • Creation of the signature using data that only the signatory knows and has exclusive control over.
  • Binds the signature to the data in the document so that it cannot be altered.

Therefore, the advanced electronic signature is a secure method to sign contracts, budgets or carry out procedures with the administration.

Misconceptions about advanced electronic signatures

The use of electronic signatures has spread throughout the last few years, but there are still misconceptions about advanced electronic signatures that need to be known and cleared up. The following are the most common ones:

– Using an advanced electronic signature is the same as signing a contract on paper and scanning it. This is one of the most common misconceptions about advanced electronic signatures. It is not the same to print a contract on paper and scan it to sign a contract with an advanced electronic signature. Neither the signatory’s identity nor the fact that the document has not been modified is guaranteed in the first case, whereas the advanced electronic signature ensures total security on these points to be used as evidence in Court.

  • Advanced electronic signatures are tricky to use. With Click & Sign, signing documents electronically is easy as it does not involve installing any application and can be used on any device and from anywhere.
  • The advanced electronic signature is not legally valid. The validity of the advanced electronic signature is acknowledged by Article 25 of the eIDAS Regulation, which states that
    1. An electronic signature shall not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic signature or that it does not meet the requirements for qualified electronic signatures.
    2. A qualified electronic signature will have the same effects as a handwritten signature.
    3. A qualified electronic signature based on a qualified certificate issued for one Member State will be recognised as a qualified electronic signature in all other member states.

Therefore, the electronic signature is fully valid and can be used as evidence in legal proceedings.

  • Advanced electronic signatures represent a significant investment. Using Click & Sign’s advanced electronic signature solution, you pay per usee, no fixed fees, So you’ll know what you’re paying right from the start.
  • Advanced electronic signatures cannot be used as evidence in Court. Here is another of the most common misconceptions about advanced electronic signatures. Most people think that advanced electronic signatures do not have the same validity as handwritten signatures and cannot be used as evidence in legal proceedings. Nevertheless, according to the provisions of Article 25 eIDAS Regulation, as we have seen above, the advanced electronic signature is fully valid as evidence in Court, and if the other party in the trial disputes it, an official expert report may be requested.
  • Not every company can use electronic signatures. This is not true. Regardless of its size or the sector in which it operates, any company can use electronic signatures. All companies sign contracts and other documents with suppliers, customers, partners, or employees daily.

Common misconceptions about advanced e-signatures and other cutting-edge technologies lead some companies not to move towards digitisation and resist testing e-signatures and integrate them into their systems, thus losing market share and reducing their profits. Understanding how this technology works helps to overcome barriers and to know that it is secure and reliable.