What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature, or e-signature, is any electronic means that indicates either that a person adopts the contents of an electronic message, or more broadly that the person who claims to have written a message is the one who wrote it.

What are the common uses of electronic signatures?

Electronic signature is used for many kinds of documents and transactions, for both personal and business, in e-government and on-line banking.

Most common examples of its uses include:

  • Sign contracts, invoices, and work orders
  • Sign project proposal, budget request and change orders
  • Sign for credit card payment at a store
  • Sign bank and insurance documents
  • Acknowledge goods delivery for courier services
  • Complete and sign all types of contracts

What are the benefits of electronic handwritten signatures?

E-signature allows you to sign, send, and track documents from anywhere on any Internet-enabled device. The key benefits are:

  • Improve customer experience with shorter processing time
  • Reduction in the amount of paper processed
  • Reduction of errors which lead to delays
  • Reduced need for filing and paper storage space of hard-copy forms
  • No more lost or misplaced of paper records
  • Improved security through a certified signature process

What is the difference between an electronic signature and a digital signature?

An electronic signature is any author identification and verification mechanism used in an electronic system. This could be a scan of your real hand-written signature, or any kind of electronic authenticity stamp. It’s a generic term that covers a lot of authenticity measures.

A digital signature is a type of electronic signature. It is a signature generated by a computer for a specific document, for the purposes of strong authenticity verification. For example, in asymmetric cryptography, a private key might be used to sign a hash of a document, which anyone in possession of the corresponding public key can verify but not forge. It also prevents modification of the document after the signature is generated. This allows one user to place a digital signature on a document, and many other users to verify that the signature is correct.