The electronic signature also called the digital signature has the same legal value as the handwritten signature. It is both verifiable and secure and it can replace the paper signature. With the electronic signature, you can guarantee the integrity of the document and also authenticate the signatory just like the handwritten signature on a paper document.
What is an electronic signature?
The electronic signature differs from the handwritten signature in that it is represented by a sequence of characters. The objective of the digital signature is to guarantee the accuracy of a document, to know its author, that is to say to know the identity of the signatory. For this, the electronic signature has the following characteristics: authentic, non-forgeable, non-reusable, non-changeable, and irrevocable. In a few seconds, you can sign essential documents without touching them for the smooth running of your business. The documents you can sign electronically are invoices, quotes, purchase orders, accounting documents, mandates and sales agreements, legal documents…
How does the electronic signature work?
There are currently many people who use the electronic signature for essential documents such as contracts, bank and insurance documents. A document must always be signed by the subscriber to be validated. In reality, the electronic signature is not simple. The digital signature operation needs computerized data security to authenticate the signer, to ensure the integrity of the document and its non-repudiation. The issuer cannot deny sending the document. For the proper functioning of the electronic signature, the issuer uses the hash method. This is an operation that consists in transforming the document into a code of fixed size in order to authenticate or store it. The fingerprint is unique for the hashed document. Once the hash operation is complete, two keys are given by the digital certificate: a private key and a public key. It is the private key that encrypts the hash and becomes the digital signature. Everything is transmitted to the recipient with the public key. Once received, it is with the public key that the receiver decrypts the hash and compares it with the original. If it is identical, the receiver will obtain the identity of the signer. Otherwise, the transmitted document has been altered.
Advantages of the electronic signature
There are many advantages gained with the use of electronic signature. You reduce expenses: you save on printing expenses, sending documents by mail, and manpower costs for preparing the documents to be sent. You save paper: since the document is in digital form, you don’t need paper or envelopes. You save time: you no longer need to go to the office when the other party’s signature is required. Data is well secured: it is difficult to falsify digitally signed documents. Moreover, your electronic signature cannot be copied. Save space in your office: no need for a room to store your documents.