Electronic Signatures – How Valid are They?

July 3, 2019 Karli Langner

The drive to digitization of business processes creates efficiencies within your firm. As processes are automated, business operations are streamlined. With digital operations, paperwork is eliminated and your business transacts at the speed of light.

But what happens if you need to sign a contract or purchase order? You’ve heard of digital signatures and electronic signatures (e-signatures), but which one do I use?

What's the Difference?

Digital signatures are not the same as e-signatures. Digital signatures are a type of electronic signature that encrypts documents with digital codes that are particularly difficult to duplicate. Digital signatures use a standard, accepted format, called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), to provide the highest levels of security and universal acceptance. Because of their high level of security, digital signatures are primarily accepted around the world as they comply with national security regulations.

However, they can’t be legally binding.

E-signatures are a technology that allows a person to electronically affix a signature or its equivalent to an electronic document. E-signatures ARE legally binding. E-signatures are simply your signature on a digital document using your fingers or a pen.

Digital signatures can be made binding when used in conjunction with an e-signature.

When signing contracts, or purchase orders, or other documents, use virtual signatures to speed up the contractual process and save time and money. One such application in the construction industry using virtual signatures is electronic proof of delivery or e-Pod.

ePod solutions eliminate the need to handle paper, prompting users with simple instructions, such as “sign here.” Mobile workers find that ePod solutions make daily tasks easier and remove the frustration of delivery paperwork. This ease of use means drivers are less likely to make errors on forms, reduces the need to call headquarters or the dispatch office with a question, and can lead to the completion of more deliveries per day.

With electronic proof of a signature, your drivers can prove a delivery was made at the right time at the right place.

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