Digital transformation refers to the process by which economic and institutional actors acquire all available digital technologies. These technologies, which aim to improve and streamline the company’s processes, will enable them to adapt to their market and continue their growth.

The electronic signature is one of these technologies. In July 2016, the European Union adopted the eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services) regulation.

The aim of this text is to regulate and to harmonize the digital common market. Section 4 of this text is devoted to the electronic signature. But in the end, do you know what an electronic signature is?

What is the electronic signature?

The electronic signature is a system for signing a digital document remotely.

  • It authenticates the signatory(s) of an electronic document as a handwritten signature would,
  • It establishes the authenticity and integrity of the signed document (the document is strictly the same before and after the signature)
  • It secures the transfer of information

The European text distinguishes between 3 types of digital signatures:

  • The simple signature
  • The advanced signature
  • The qualified signature

The major differences are mainly in the methods used to authenticate signatories. The electronic signature uses asymmetric cryptographic technology. It is based on a private key to encrypt the information, and a public key to decrypt the information. This dual-key mechanism links the person’s signature to the document they have signed and transmits it securely.

The benefits of the transition to electronic signature

The transition to electronic signature makes it possible to simplify and secure document signatures. Almost all documents, whether internal or for customers, can be signed remotely. The gains in efficiency and simplicity are attracting many companies.

The digital signature will impact all areas of activity. Banking, real estate and insurance are all sectors that are very fond of this new way of signing documents. Compared to the electronic signature, the handwritten signature seems to be an archaic tool. Safer, faster, more modern, it has all the assets to replace our good old autograph.

Needless to say, the electronic signature business is growing. Europe is no exception to this rule. An innovative startup, Yousign, offers secure and high-end digital signature services.

Cost reduction and productivity gains

Cost reduction is a major argument in favor of electronic signatures.

Reduction of material costs of consumables (ink cartridges, papers, stamps, shipping costs, envelopes…).

Increase in productivity by reducing the burden of administrative tasks within a company’s teams.

Dunning processes can be automated.

Ecological impact of the digital signature

The ecological issue is a major one. All companies are trying to implement a strategy of ecological transition and reduction of the carbon footprint.

The electronic signature is part of this approach…

The benefits of electronic signatures to reduce ecological impact are real and quantifiable

  • Use less paper for printing
  • Decrease ink cartridges consumption for printing
  • Reduction of the carbon footprint, with the reduction of travel (post office trips, delivery and return of signed contracts…)

The development of electronic signatures is still in its infancy. Growth in the sector is expected to accelerate. With its many advantages, the electronic signature will be an integral part of our lives.

It’s the pen manufacturers who have to worry about it!

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