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Signature types

Today business has become more automated than ever before. Сompanies replace the traditional paper-based signature process, incorporating electronic and digital signature technologies.


Electronic and digital signatures

An electronic signature is a broad term for any electronic process that indicates acceptance of an agreement. It refers to a group of techniques used to sign documents. An electronic signature may take the form of a representation of a handwritten signature in the form of an electronic image. They are quick to set up and very easy for signers to use.

A digital signature is a kind of electronic signature. It is usually characterized by their ability to authenticate the signer's identity, ensure the document's integrity, provide non-repudiation and use encryption for security. This process involves an algorithm that encrypts the signature to create a unique digital certificate. This certificate is a receipt that securely binds the signer to any interactions within the document. The signer must have this certificate to be associated with a particular document. This makes unauthorized tampering virtually impossible and ensures the integrity and security of your digital documents. Generally, a digital signature provides the highest levels of security.

The key difference between a digital signature and an electronic one is in their security level and intended use. Digital signatures enable the verification of the signer's identity and use cryptographic techniques to secure documents, making them suitable for various legal requirements and high-trust transactions. In contrast, electronic signatures are widely used for signing a wide range of document types that are permitted by law.


Types of signature

The types of electronic signatures are determined by the laws of a specific country and vary across jurisdictions. For instance, eIDAS Regulation recognizes the following signature types:

  • Simple electronic signature - the basic signature that requires the signer's email address or the confirmation with a special access code. This type of signature is suitable for everyday business transactions.

  • Advanced electronic signature - it requires several actions: the signer receives an access code and may be required to provide a legitimate government-issued document to verify his/her identity. It can also requires biometric data. The digital certificate is generated and attached to the transaction.

  • Qualified electronic signature - is an electronic signature that is compliant with EU Regulation No 910/2014 (eIDAS Regulation) for electronic transactions within the internal European market. It enables to verify the authorship of a declaration in electronic data exchange over long periods of time.

You should always refer to the applicable legislation to determine the types of electronic signatures in your country and how they may be used in your specific case.


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