Types of electronic signatures. Which esignature best suits my business needs?

The use of the electronic signature in your business can mean a difference between the company that continues relentless towards digital transformation and the one that is left behind. In this post we tell you about the different types of electronic signatures and how to choose the one that best suits your company.

Are there different types of electronic signatures?

We usually talk about electronic signature, but it is truth that there are different types of electronic signatures:

  • Simple electronic signature. The electronic signature is a digital version of a physical signature and implies the acceptance of a document by a person. The eIDAS Regulation defines it as “the data in electronic format attached to other electronic data or logically associated with them that the signatory uses to sign”.
  • Advanced electronic signature. It meets the requirements set forth under of the eIDAS Regulation.
  • Qualified electronic signature. Qualified electronic signature is an advanced electronic signature that is created by a qualified signature creation device and which is based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures. This signature includes  name,VAT number  signature algorithm and its key, expiry date and issuing agency.

So, which is the best electronic signature for my business?

If you are looking for the electronic signature that best suits your business needs, you should take into account:

  • Your company industry.
  • The document you are going to sign.
  • The level of security you need in the signature.

For example, the simple electronic signature is usually used for low value processes, e.g., the acceptance of the general conditions of a website or the proof of delivery (POD).

The advanced electronic signature is used when greater legal certainty is necessary, for example:

  • Signature of contracts with new clients by utilities companies and insurance companies.
  • Signing up for credit cards or signing of bank transactions.
  • Acceptance of the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • Signature of contracts of sale, rent, sales orders, etc. in real estate documents.
  • Signature of employment contracts, end of contract notices or temporary layoff procedures.
  • Signature of extensions, modifications, or renewals of policies in insurance companies.
  • Contracting additional services, tariff changes in utility companies or telecom companies.

In addition to the foregoing, you should consider the following:

  • Simple and advanced electronic signatures are easier to use, since the qualified one needs a device to create the signature and the signatory must have a certificate.
  • The simple electronic signature does not allow the signatory to be unequivocally identified, so it is not advisable to use it for contractual documents that may pose a legal risk.

Therefore, you may have to use electronic signatures on a case- by-case basis and depending on the needs.

How to choose your electronic signature provider?

If you have decided to use the electronic signature for your day-to-day transactions, you will have to choose a provider, and it is essential to consider:

  • To keep electronic signature a quick and simple process. The ultimate aim is to streamline the signature processes.
  • No app is required, thus taking no space on the hard disk since the cloud storage is used.
  • That it can be signed from any device. The solution has to ensure responsiveness on all major devices, mobiles, computers, tablets etc.
  • That the process can be tracked from the moment the document is received, opened, and signed.
  • That the electronic signature is legally valid based on European eIDAS Regulation, the US ESIGN and the UETA Act and other international regulations.
  • To integrate the signature into your ERP or CRM.
  • That you pay per use, no monthly or annual fees.
  • To choose the solution that best integrate within your internal processes, so that no time is wasted using multiple applications.

Having various types of electronic signatures enable the choice of each type depending on the document to be signed and on the level of security needed to identify the signatory. Always go into each particular situation, analysing the electronic signature you need thus avoiding any legal problems.

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