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Electronic signatures have been around for a while, but with the recent evolution of centralized national eIDs, they have begun to reach their full potential.
Today, many organizations use electronic signatures to streamline their internal processes while saving time, money, and resources. So how exactly does using an e-signature solution help your business?
Let's find out!
What is an electronic signature?
An e-signature is essentially the electronic equivalent of a handwritten signature.
You can use electronic signatures to sign digital contracts, forms, agreements, invoices, receipts, and other documents. Unlike a physical or "wet" signature, an e-signature is generated digitally using a software program or an app.
Electronic signatures serve largely the same purpose as handwritten ones but are usually much easier, faster, and safer to use.
How do e-signature solutions work?
A typical electronic signature solution has the following components:
- A user interface to capture the signature from the signer. This will normally be a web browser or some other client application form.
- An encryption algorithm to encrypt the signature data to guarantee its integrity and non-repudiation.
- An integrity verification process to ensure that the data is not tampered with while in transit.
All of the above ensures that the signer's identity is verified correctly and that the signature data is unreadable by third parties. If you combine an e-signature solution with a national eID, you get built-in identity verification as an added benefit.
By incorporating an electronic signature solution within your company, you'll allow customers to sign online documents without worrying about the security of their information.
The business benefits of an electronic signature solution
Implementing an e-signature solution helps your business in several ways.
1. Save time
Signing documents with an electronic signature is significantly faster than doing so physically. This is especially true when the process involves signees who aren't located close to each other. In such cases, you must first print the document in question, send it out to all relevant parties, then wait for them to sign and return it. Even in the best-case scenario, this process will take a few days.
With an e-signature, all parties can sign a document online in seconds, from any location, using their preferred device.
2. Save money
This is directly related to the above time-saving aspect.
E-signatures can save your business money in two ways:
Reducing the cost of equipment and materials: E-signature solutions make it possible for users to sign documents without using additional equipment like printers, scanners, and so on. Moreover, the electronic signing process is completely paperless.
Reducing the cost of labor: The time spent on printing, mailing, verifying, and archiving wet signatures add up quickly. Replacing this labor-intensive process with an electronic signature solution lets you free up employee time, allowing them to focus on more business-critical, value-adding tasks. At the same time, relying on eID logins reduces the risk of human error and the need for repeat signatures.
3. Improve security
Electronic signatures are far more secure due to the added layers of identity verification, encryption, and built-in integrity checks. An electronic signature is, therefore, much more difficult to forge than a handwritten one.
In addition, most electronic signature solutions introduce transparency into the signing process by logging every step and making everyone's actions traceable. The end result is a secure, mutually transparent way to sign documents.
Finally, thanks to the encryption algorithms, electronic signatures are safe from tampering and interference by third-party actors. This reduces the risk of harmful actions by cyber criminals or other ill-intentioned players.
4. Ensure compliance
Finally, having an e-signature solution helps your company comply with legal requirements. In recent years, we’ve witnessed increasingly stringent regulations regarding the collection, storage, and transfer of personal data (most notably the GDPR)
Modern electronic signature solutions are built with such regulations in mind. This means any personal data collected in the process of signing documents is handled in full compliance with any relevant guidelines.
In addition, by letting users log in with various eIDs, e-signature software relies on existing government-approved frameworks to authorize users. All of this serves to reduce the risk of facing any legal challenges associated with improperly handled signatures or documents.
Get started with an e-signature solution from Criipto
There’s no question that digital signatures are here to stay. They are fast, convenient, secure, and efficient. By using an e-signature provider like Criipto, your business can start benefiting from electronic signatures within hours of signing up.
Criipto Signature is a secure digital signing service that’s easy to integrate into your own applications. It’s guaranteed to comply with existing regulations like GDPR and the more recent Schrems II court ruling.
Criipto Signature lets your customers instantly sign documents using a range of national eIDs, including the Danish MitID, Swedish and Norwegian BankID, Finnish Trust Network (FTN), Belgian itsme and many more.
Learn more about our digital signature solution or discuss your needs with one of our digital identity experts.