The rise of the digital signature has revolutionized finance, and real estate sectors, as well as commercial and industrial enterprises. This is likely to be happening even more now that contactless transactions, social distancing and digital adoption are all traits of the new norm amid COVID-19.
Digital signatures are ways to verify your identity on an electronic file (like a sales contract). They work with encryption technology, so you're the only person that can use any electronic file to access your unique encryption. Using tech for digital signatures can be part of system modernization and a larger, overall digital strategy. Some have adopted the technology while others remain skeptical. Either way, digital signatures have measurable benefits, like most technological advances, as well as associated costs and risks.
Electronic signatures (e-signatures) and digital signatures are not the same
e-signatures are notoriously susceptible to fraud because they are essentially just electronic symbols, processes or sounds attached to documents to represent a form of assent or agreement. A digital image of a handwritten signature can easily be captured on a smartphone or tablet before being pasted back into a document. Without any encrypted authentication process to reinforce security, e-signatures aren't able to determine the identity of a human operator who last used the signature.
On the other hand, digital signatures are reinforced with higher levels of security and advanced technology to assure optimal safety for documents. They are often built on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which is used to generate unique "digital fingerprints" through mathematical algorithms. These digital fingerprints are then safely embedded in the documents, and signers will have to perform 2-Factor Authentication measures to confirm legitimate identities.
What's more, the digital IDs of each legitimate signer can only be issued by an accredited CA (authorised bodies empowered by the government to issue digital IDs for evaluated individuals). In essence, each signer is legally permitted to use these generated signatures.
Digital signing is generally made up of a simple process. Users simply upload their documents and take simple steps to set up the necessary signatures. An automated process prompts the signatories via a mobile app or email, which leads to the creation of a highly secure and convenient digital signature on the respective document.