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Apr 22, 2024 · 6 min read

10 most commonly asked questions about e-sign

Your most wild questions answered! Discover legalities, security Measures, costs, and more with Enty eSignature service

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Digital or electronic signatures, a cornerstone of modern security in digital communication, offer a level of assurance in the authenticity and integrity of messages and documents that traditional electronic signatures cannot match. By leveraging a unique virtual fingerprint, digital signatures create a robust mechanism for identity verification and document signing, protecting against forgery and unauthorized alterations. This technology, grounded in certificate authority and advanced electronic signature standards, is not only a testament to the progress in email security and electronic seal applications but also essential for businesses aiming for enhanced document security and compliance.
It is of no surprise that such a groundbreaking concept brings about a lot of questions. As you dive into the digital signature FAQ, you'll uncover key insights into how these signatures operate, their legal status across various regions, and the substantial benefits they bring to document management.

A starter: how do eSignatures work

Digital signatures, a sophisticated type of electronic signature, utilize a technology known as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to provide enhanced security and universal acceptance. Here’s a breakdown of how they function:
  1. Key generation: initially, a pair of cryptographic keys is generated. One is public, which can be shared widely, and the other is private, kept securely by the signer.
  2. Signing: when signing a document, the signer uses their private key to encrypt the document’s hash (a unique digital fingerprint of the document), creating the digital signature.
  3. Verification: the recipient uses the signer’s public key to decrypt the signature. They then create a new hash of the document to compare with the decrypted hash. If they match, it confirms the document's integrity and the signer’s identity.
This process ensures that digital signatures offer not only security but also legal compliance, as they provide proof of the signer’s consent and the document’s untampered status. Moreover, digital signatures depend heavily on the security of the private key. Entities like Certificate Authorities (CAs) play a crucial role by issuing digital certificates that affirm the ownership of public keys, adding an extra layer of trust and authentication. If you want to learn more about whether esignatures are legal - feel free to head here.

1. What is an e-signature?

An e-signature, short for electronic signature, is a digital representation of a person's signature. It is used to sign documents electronically, replacing the need for traditional handwritten signatures. E-signatures can be created using various methods, including typing a name, drawing a signature using a touchpad or stylus, or using a digital certificate-based signature.

2. What about legal framework and compliance?

E-signatures work by using advanced cryptographic technology to verify the authenticity and integrity of digital documents. When you electronically sign a document, the e-signature solution captures your signature, along with other relevant metadata, and encrypts it. This encrypted data is securely attached to the document, ensuring that any subsequent changes to the file will be detected.
Here are a few legal considerations you should know:
  • Legislation and acts: eSignatures are legally binding, similar to traditional signatures, under acts like the U.S. ESIGN Act and the European eIDAS Regulation. These laws ensure that electronic signatures are recognized and enforceable, provided they meet certain criteria and involve clear consent by all parties.
  • Regulatory adherence: compliance with these regulations is crucial for maintaining the integrity of electronic transactions and mitigating legal risks. For instance, the ESIGN Act requires that all parties to a contract must agree to use electronic documents and signatures explicitly.
  • Data protection laws: in the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) mandates stringent adherence to data privacy and security, impacting how eSignatures are implemented and managed.

3. Are e-signatures legally binding?

Yes, e-signatures are legally binding in many countries around the world. In the United States, for example, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN Act) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) establish the legal framework for e-signatures. These laws recognize the validity of electronic signatures and electronic records in various transactions, including business contracts and agreements. It is important to note that the legal validity of e-signatures may vary by jurisdiction, so it is essential to understand the specific regulations governing e-signatures in the countries where you operate.

4. What are the benefits of using e-signatures?

The use of e-signatures offers numerous benefits to individuals and organizations. Some of the key advantages include:
  • Time and cost savings: e-signatures eliminate the need for printing, shipping, and storing physical documents, saving both time and money.
  • Increased efficiency: documents can be signed and processed within minutes, accelerating business workflows.
  • Improved security: e-signatures employ encryption and authentication measures to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of signed documents.
  • Enhanced customer experience: with e-signatures, customers can sign documents anytime, providing convenience and flexibility.

5. How secure are e-signatures?

E-signature solutions prioritize the security of your documents. They use industry-standard encryption techniques to protect the integrity of your data. Additionally, e-signatures often employ multi-factor authentication, tamper-evident seals, and audit trails to ensure the authenticity of signed documents.
Most eSignatures come with robust authentication protocols to ensure the signer’s identity and document integrity, safeguarding your business against fraud. eSignature platforms like Enty automate routine tasks, reduce human error by an average of 80%, and improve tracking and management of documents. This not only bolsters productivity but also enhances the customer experience, with companies reporting higher satisfaction rates. That’s why it is crucial to choose a reputable e-signature provider that complies with industry security standards and regulations.
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6. Can e-signatures be used internationally?

Yes, e-signatures can be used internationally, subject to the legal requirements of each country. Many countries have adopted laws and regulations that recognize and accept electronic signatures. However, it is essential to understand the specific regulations governing e-signatures in the jurisdictions where you operate to ensure compliance.

7. Which industries can benefit from e-signatures?

E-signatures are beneficial across various sectors, including:
  • Banking and finance: streamline loan applications, account openings, and other financial processes.
  • Real estate: expedite property transactions, lease agreements, and rental contracts.
  • Healthcare: simplify patient consent forms, medical records, and telemedicine agreements.
  • Legal services: facilitate the signing of contracts, legal documents, and client agreements.
  • Human resources: streamline employee onboarding, offer letters, and performance reviews.

8. What is the cost of implementing e-signatures?

The cost of implementing e-signatures varies depending on the solution and the scale of your organization's needs. e-signature providers like Enty offer subscription-based pricing plans, where esignature will be just a small part of the benefits you can get. At the same time, of course you can opt for services that charge per document or user. Evaluating your requirements and comparing different providers is advisable to find the most suitable and cost-effective solution.
However, it is helpful to keep in mind that transitioning to eSignatures eliminates the need for physical materials like paper and ink. This not only saves money but also reduces administrative overhead. For instance, Dropbox reported saving approximately $120 million in printing costs.

9. How do I choose the right e-signature solution for my business?

When selecting an e-signature solution, consider the following factors:
  • Security: ensure the solution complies with industry security standards and offers robust encryption and authentication mechanisms.
  • Ease of use: гse a user-friendly interface and intuitive signing process to enhance user adoption.
  • Integration capabilities: сheck if the solution integrates seamlessly with your existing software and workflow. Ensure that the legality of a provider is easy to prove, as well as obtain any necessary documents in case you need to - for instance, all signatures generated with Enty can provide you a legal assurance. Moreover, you can request an audit trail if necessary.
  • Support and training: evaluate the customer support and training resources provided by the e-signature provider.
  • Pricing: сompare pricing plans and choose a solution that aligns with your budget and anticipated usage. Enty’s subscription gives you access to various types of signatures, as well as a number of other services like finances, contract management, invoicing and more.

10. How can I get started with e-signatures?

Getting started with e-signatures is relatively simple. First, identify your business needs and the specific documents or processes that require signatures. Then, research and select an e-signature solution that meets your requirements - Enty is a great fit that offers numerous benefits, which go beyond simple eSignature. Once you have chosen a provider, sign up for an account and familiarize yourself with the platform's features and functionalities. Finally, start uploading your documents, invite signatories, and begin experiencing the benefits of e-signatures in your business processes.

Last thoughts

As we can see, eSignatures offer a secure, efficient, and legally binding alternative to traditional pen and paper signatures. By understanding the basics of e-signatures and selecting Enty solution for your business, you can streamline your workflows, save time and costs, and enhance the overall customer experience. Embrace the digital transformation and unlock the potential of e-signatures for your organization today.
Remember, when adopting e-signatures, always stay informed about the legal requirements in your jurisdiction and choose a reputable e-signature provider that prioritizes data security and compliance with industry standards.
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