Make Document Signing Convenient with Electronic Signatures
One of the key advantages of having an effective Workflow Automation tool is having document signing capabilities as its feature.
Electronic Signatures are defined as “any distinctive mark, characteristic and/or sound in electronic form, representing the identity of a person and attached to or logically associated with the electronic data message or electronic document or any methodology or procedures employed or adopted by a person and executed or adopted by such person with the intention of authenticating or approving an electronic data message or electronic document.”
In simpler words, an electronic signature is a digital version of the handwritten signature, and it carries the same legal footing of a handwritten signature, as long as it follows the requirements of the regulations of which it was created under.
Types of Electronic Signatures
- Standard Electronic Signature
As the simplest form of electronic signature, Standard Electronic Signatures can be your average email signature or a scanned image of your handwritten signature. Mainly used for efficiency and convenience reasons, it signifies intent to sign but has no basic security requirements. These can be used for documents like commercial agreements such as purchase orders, invoices, sales agreements, NDAs, HR documents, etc.
- Advanced Electronic Signature
This type of signature eliminates the potential for fraud since it requires a certificate or key that is uniquely linked to the signatory. Moreover, it has to match the following requirements:
- It must be linked to the signer’s ID in a unique and non-transferable manner.
- It must allow its identification.
- It must be created using data that the signer can use with trust and has exclusive control.
- It must be linked to the data in the signed document preventing any subsequent modification thereof.
A good example of this are digital signatures that are based on Public Key Infrastructures (PKI) since it satisfies the abovementioned requirements. This type of digital signature comes with a digital certificate that is unique to the owner of the digital signature, and it is impossible to tamper with.
- Qualified Electronic Signature
This is an electronic equivalent of having your signature witnessed as done on pen and paper. A QES has met the particular specifications of a government, including using a secure signature creation device, and been certified as ‘qualified’ by either that government or a party contracted by that government.
In the Philippine setting, Qualified Electronic Signatures are seen as a legal type of e-signature. Submitting a non-QES e-Signature may be allowed only with the presence of extra evidence to support it.
Types of Documents That Are Inappropriate for Electronic Signatures
There still are documents that explicitly require handwritten signatures. The Philippine law doesn’t accept the validity of electronic signatures in the following cases:
- Formal notarization - acts and contracts which have for their object the creation, transmission, modification or extinguishment of real rights over immovable property (Civil Code of Philippines)
- Formal notarization - the cession, repudiation or renunciation of hereditary rights or of those of the conjugal partnership of gains (Civil Code of Philippines)
- Formal notarization - the power to administer property, or any other power which has for its object an act appearing or which should appear in a public document, or should prejudice a third person (Civil Code of Philippines)
- Formal notarization - the cession of actions or rights proceeding from an act appearing in a public document (Civil Code of Philippines)
- Formal notarization - other deeds and documents that are required under applicable laws and regulations to appear in a public document (Civil Code of Philippines)
Why Should You Use Electronic Signatures?
- Electronic signatures can be more secure than wet ink signatures.
- Electronic signatures are recognized legally as replacements for handwritten signatures.
- Electronic signatures can be used to make signing faster and more convenient for big bulk of business documents such as contracts, invoices, purchase orders, etc.
- Digital files reduce printing and mailing costs, and paper waste.
Using Activity Factory as an Electronic Signature Solution
Nowadays, many teams are comprised of remote and on-site employees working across different sites and geographies. This makes Electronic Signatures not only valuable but also a must-have.
With Activity Factory, organizations can integrate electronic signatures with document generation, process automation and other capabilities. You can digitize and transform your processes so redundant manual tasks can be eliminated and document signing no longer have to be a burden.
Activity Factory is a workflow automation tool that allows companies to build consistent and auditable compliance and operational workflows, ensuring that the right processes are followed at the right times while staying compliant.