Working from home has become common in the course of the digital transformation, but one or two situations still present difficulties for employees and decision-makers – namely when it comes to signing documents or obtaining a signature. On-site in the office this isn’t a problem, but how does it work digitally?
The digital signature has not yet arrived in many SMEs, even though the signature is of enormous legal importance, especially for companies. We explain how the digital signature works, how secure it is and what advantages it offers.
Digital signature: An underused element of digital transformation
Signing documents or having them signed is a tedious business in the home office: printing, enveloping, posting, sending them back and forth between the parties involved, … All this is of course associated with postage costs, not to mention the time required! Digital signatures are much faster and easier to use: Contracts can be signed within a few minutes, in contrary to several days by post.
Employees and managers from a wide range of industries therefore value the digital signature as a key element of successful digitization. Digital signatures also help to effectively close security gaps and increase confidentiality, authenticity and integrity – because you don’t have to be a Beltracchi to copy a normal handwritten signature.
What is a digital signature and how secure is it?
The terms “electronic signature” and “digital signature” are often used synonymously, but actually mean different things. Both types of signatures are created online and applied to digital documents. However, digital signatures can offer additional security, as they use a special technology to encrypt the signature and authenticate the signing person. This makes the digital signature extremely secure.
The digital signature not only provides more security but can also do more than the traditional signature. It also serves as a seal and ensures that documents cannot be changed after signing. The signature would then no longer be valid.
Signature is not equal to signature – legally speaking
Swiss law distinguishes between three levels of digital signatures:
- Simple signature: The identity is not verified. The signature only proves that the document has not been changed after signing.
- Advanced signature: The signer must be identifiable with a certificate. Many contracts in Switzerland can be legally signed with this.
- Qualified signature: The qualified signature is legally equivalent to signing by hand. Only recognized providers may issue the necessary certificate. In Switzerland, these are the Swiss Sign Group, Swisscom Trust Services, Quovadis and the Federal Office of Information Technology
Five clear advantages of digital signatures
- Handle business faster, within a few clicks
Send and sign contracts securely from virtually any device and in real time.
- Increase efficiency
Electronic signatures eliminate manual tasks and increase convenience for your customers and employees. You can set up complete contract templates, set up automations and have immediate insight into the current status.
- Save money & protect the environment
Thanks to digital signatures, you can reduce direct costs and improve employee productivity. You also have less paper consumption and save the traditional space-consuming archive storage.
- Geographical & time flexibility
The digital signature is a simple and proven solution for signing contracts in the home office – anytime and anywhere.
- Maximum security & legally regulated standards
The recipient of the document, file or image can identify the sender beyond any doubt thanks to a digital signature. The data transferred in this way cannot be forged unnoticed – a major advantage over the paper documents: a time stamp can be applied to the document, which is comparable to the postmark on a letter. Time stamps certify that a document was presented at a specific time. This creates a further legal evidential value.
Would you like to benefit from the advantages and high security of the digital signature? We would be happy to support and advise you in the conversion and implementation of digital signatures in your company. Contact us for a non-binding consultation.