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5 CORRECT or INCORRECT statements about the electronic signature

Last week I read an amusing article about the prejudices other countries have against Germans and Swiss. Of course, the usual clichés came up (which made me smile several times). That's when I got the idea to do the same here and to dispel the prejudices about electronic signatures. I therefore suggest a “right or wrong” - not quite as funny, but certainly more surprising than that about the Germans.

And so that you can, if you wish, test your level of knowledge on the subject, I will first present you with a few statements and then the corresponding answers:

  1. The electronic signature is just as legally effective as a handwritten signature.
  2. A handwritten signature that is scanned and applied to the bottom of a document is considered an electronic signature.
  3. The electronic signature adds a paid solution to free procedures, so it costs me money.
  4. The provision takes place immediately and without installation.
  5. A training period is necessary in-house because the electronic signature is an additional tool for employees.

So right or wrong?

1. The electronic signature is just as legally effective as a handwritten signature: CORRECT

Thanks to the European eIDAS regulation, the electronic signature has been recognized and standardized across Europe since July 2016. The legal uncertainty is over and now it is written in black and white that an electronic signature is completely equivalent to a handwritten signature.

"The legal validity of a qualified electronic signature corresponds to that of a handwritten signature." (Article 25 - 2.)

The evidential value of the electronic signature is therefore guaranteed if it is carried out with the help of a certified, trustworthy service provider. With DocuSign you are not only assured of a trustworthy service provider, but you also benefit from an electronic signature that is not only valid in Europe but also worldwide (we meet the provisions of all locally applicable legal provisions so that you can operate internationally without borders ). You can find more information on this topic in our eIDAS whitepaper.

2. A handwritten signature that is scanned and applied to the bottom of a document is considered an electronic signature: NOT CORRECT

The legal validity of the electronic signature results from the fact that the trustworthy service provider guarantees its suitability, on the one hand identifying the signatory (through identification data, time stamping, IP address, etc.) and on the other hand preventing any change to the document after the signature has been created (through encryption) to be able to. These elements are merged into a receipt file attached to the original document (or the envelope if there are several related documents).

Since the signature made on a sheet and then scanned does not have any of these characteristics, it is not valid in court.

3. The electronic signature adds a paid solution to the free procedure, so it costs me money: NOT CORRECT

It seems that the validation and signature of your documents in paper-based processes costs you (almost) nothing (apart from the material for printing and shipping).

However, if you take a closer look, it quickly becomes clear that such manual processes hide costs and the use of resources. All you have to do is take a look at the graphic below, which shows the value chain for the two types of transaction: € 1.20 per document on paper versus € 0.30 per digital document. And now multiply that by the number of documents your company sends out annually ...

Even if you subtract the cost of the electronic signature solution from the savings, you are still on the winning side. Not to mention the empirical values ​​for your employees and customers: smooth processes and satisfaction are guaranteed!

4. An electronic signature solution is provided immediately and without installation: CORRECT

The DocuSign platform is 100% cloud-based (Saas): it is available directly via a web interface without downloading. All you need to get started is a DocuSign account. By the way, only the sender of the document to be signed needs an account. The recipient (s) do not need access and can sign online in complete safety.

What if I tell you now that you don't need an internet connection to sign? At DocuSign, we want to make it even easier for you, which is why we offer you an exclusive function: the offline signature (without an Internet connection). All you have to do is sign and the platform will validate the transaction as soon as you reconnect.

5. A training period is necessary in-house because the electronic signature is an additional tool for employees: NOT CORRECT

Our electronic signature solution can be integrated into all business processes. You can use the Office suite, Google, Apple, Salesforce CRM and dozens of other applications and sign and send your documents without leaving the respective application. DocuSign is natively integrated into most of the market-leading applications, giving you a completely transparent experience: you don't get an additional application, just a new button on the interface.

And now I'm curious to see how many questions you answered correctly ...

  • 4 or 5? If you already know all the advantages, then you have surely already switched to the electronic signature. Or maybe not yet? Then let us convince you! Test our product for 1 month free of charge and with no obligation.
  • 3 or less? The good news: You have already learned the most important information about the electronic signature. Now all you have to do is take the plunge: attend our live webinars and ask your questions, or just try us out for free.

Whatever your outcome, you can rest assured that digital transformation is always a complex transition for businesses as the solutions available, as well as the legislation and costs, are constantly changing. Accompanying you, answering your questions and understanding your requirements, that is exactly what we at DocuSign care about. Check back soon on this blog for the latest news. We look forward to your questions and comments - they could be the subject of the next TRUE or FALSE.

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