What is the definition of an electronic signature?

In the course of the last few years, electronic signatures or e-signatures have become more and more widely used. They are simple and effective and can speed up your business and modernise your working environment. But what exactly is an electronic signature?

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Also called e-signature, the electronic signature is the digital transposition of the handwritten signature by encryption. It guarantees the identity of the signer and simplifies the authentication and the integrity of a document. It is based on an asymmetric cryptographic and hashing technique. It nevertheless has the same legal value as a handwritten signature.

There are three types of electronic signatures, i. e. the simple signature, the advanced signature and the certified signature. However, in order to give legal value to your e-signature, it is essential to use electronic signature software published by a certified partner.

What are the main advantages of an electronic signature?

An electronic signature provides real efficiency. You will no longer need to scan, print, sign, archive and mail your documents manually at the office. Moreover, you don’t have to waste time waiting for senior managers to sign, which allows you to gain a considerable amount of time. When it comes to customers, e-signatures allow you to conclude deals and quickly establish contracts, especially if you choose the right electronic signature software. Furthermore, it allows you to sign documents on any device and at any time, even while on holiday. It also provides true legal compliance. It guarantees the approval of the identity of the signatory and provides true authenticity. Finally, thanks to encryption, your document will be well secured and will remain unchanged after being digitally signed.

How to select an e-signature solution?

Before choosing an electronic signature solution, you should first consider the protection level of your data, as it should remain confidential. Thus, ensure that the publisher of your electronic signature software complies with the existing regulations. Also check that it is compatible with your operating system, all types of digital documents and other software you have already used. A good electronic signature solution is also edited by a trusted third party approved by the French Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI). This solution should also be flexible and easy to use so that your customer can also certify documents from a mobile device, no matter where they are.

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