The Legality of Electronic Signatures

Aug 30, 2017

The electronic signature market is continuing to grow at a rapid pace, so what holds others back?

The use of electronic signatures has grown in popularity in recent years because it’s use allows for a reduction in operational costs; improves document integrity and security, along with increasing business efficiency.

Forrester research found that compared to 2014, there would be a 350% increase in the amount of documents signed electronically in 2017, which equates to 754 million documents to be signed this year.

Are Electronic Signatures Legal

However, even with this growth, people still ask the question, ‘are electronic signatures legally binding?’

The simple answer is, “Yes”. Electronic signatures are a recognised and legally binding method of nearly all business and personal document transactions in the UK and around the world.

People’s apprehension is understandable. Signing a document is the universally understood method of demonstrating intent to be bound. Therefore, people want the piece of mind that the validity and authenticity of the signature placed on their document is legally binding, in case it was to ever be contested in a court of law.

However, would it shock you to know that an advanced electronic signature provides more validity, authenticity and security than a handwritten one?

Signing Process

The legislative requirements for advanced electronic signatures are:

  • it is uniquely linked to the signatory
  • it is capable of identifying the signatory
  • it is created using means that the signatory can maintain under their sole control; and it is linked to the data to which it relates in such a manner that any subsequent change of the data is detectable

These requirements stem from UK, EU and legal frameworks from across the world including the following:
UK: Electronic Communications Act 2000
EU: eIDAS
US: ESIGN Act (2000), UETA

E-Sign provides an advanced electronic signature solution, which complies with all electronic signature laws in the UK, EU and the rest of the world. Any document signed using E-Sign anywhere in the world is legally valid.

Secure

Unlike a hand signature, which is generally the same mark on every document, E-Sign’s advanced electronic signature is 100% unique to every document.

Signatory identity verified via:
- Email address
- IP address
- Location
- Time and date stamping
- Web browser and system information

E-Sign provides the following within its advanced electronic signature to ensure every document that is sent is secure and legally admissible. See full overview of E-Signs key features

For more information visit our FAQ’s page

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