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The Basic Concepts of E-Signature Agreements – And Growing Complexity

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With all the extra functionality we offer with SutiSign, it can sometimes escape even us just how simple the concept of a legally binding electronic signature can be.

Nolo.com has a brief yet complete description of the simple concept that makes e-signature so efficient and powerful.

On the other hand, their comment close to the end about good record-keeping (and, we would add, a strong audit trail) is a critical aspect that is a standard part of online signature software.

Flexibility and Customization make Electronic Signatures Acceptable.

The video notes that the specific method for indicating agreement and/or approval can vary, as long as they are acceptable to both parties and achievable.

So ask if your software provider offers multiple signature methods. You may find that /signature/ works for a document, while a “click here” button to indicate approval makes more sense when seeking approval on your website.

For more important contractual agreements, of course, you want a more robust “digital signature,” which is a subset of electronic signatures that is highly secure.

From the Nolo article we get a more complete description:

Cryptographic Signatures (PKI)

Security experts currently favour the cryptographic signature method known as Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) as the most secure and reliable method of signing contracts online.

PKI uses an algorithm to encrypt online documents so that they will be accessible only to authorized parties. The parties have “keys” to read and sign the document, thus ensuring that no one else will be able to sign fraudulently.

Biometrics and XML-Based Signatures

Other e-signature systems have been developed, including a method for digitally recording a fingerprint (one biometric option), and hardware that electronically records your signature. In addition, the organization that sets Web standards for the Internet, the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C), developed XML-compliant guidelines for digital signatures.

As you can see, the simple concept of accepting a signature electronically has grown into a fairly complex series of options.?

How to Evaluate eSignature Software

That’s where we come in. Our mission is to make capturing agreement between parties as easy as possible and as binding as needed. You set the parameters, we customize your solution.

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