How does the electronic signature work?

Just like its handwritten counterpart, the electronic signature allows you to give your approval on a document, but in a dematerialized way. Even today, many people do not understand how this innovation works, although it has existed for several years. Here is a short guide to learn a little more about e-signature.

What is the electronic signature?

Contrary to what most people think, an electronic signature is not about scanning a graphic signature. It is not just about reproducing a graphic by using a stylus on a connected device. Rather, it is a technical process in which you can give your approval to a digital document. Moreover, to be valid, the entire process must comply with the regulations established in the European Union and in France.

At the center of this mechanism is the public key infrastructure. The latter uses a cryptographic algorithm to generate two sets of numbers called keys. One of them is only reserved for the signatory and it is from it that you can electronically sign an employment contract, for example. Furthermore, these coded messages are also associated with a certificate which contains the data concerning the date and time of the affixing.

What are the different forms of e-signature?

There are three types of digital signatures which are distinguished by the level of reliability. Thereby :

  • the simple form remains the most basic and consists of checking a box on the document;
  • the advanced version offers a greater degree of security and makes it possible to identify the signatory and to guarantee that any subsequent modification of the file is detectable;
  • and the qualified e-signature is based on a digital certificate and is carried out by an approved body.

The scope of this process does not stop only at the level of the employment contract. It also allows you to receive someone’s approval on any other dematerialized document in many areas such as justice, real estate or insurance.

How to get an electronic signature?

To obtain a person’s e-signature, you need to use an electronic transaction management platform. This will be responsible for verifying the identity of the signatory using his digital certificate. This approach ensures that the document cannot be corrupted and that the recipient is who he claims to be. Once these precautions have been taken, the person receives an e-mail notification with a link to redirect them to the file to be signed.

As soon as he has taken the time to read the document thoroughly, he can sign it by checking a box. But he must confirm his identity again by typing a secret code sent by SMS to his phone number. On the other hand, for an advanced signature, the means of verification are more advanced. The signatory must in particular present his identity card.

What are the advantages of using such a process?

Having a document signed electronically has many advantages. First, it’s a simple procedure that saves you a lot of time. You no longer need to send letters by post. In addition, it also helps you save money, especially on the cost of printing and processing. As far as security is concerned, you have nothing to worry about, as the cryptographic encryption device guarantees the authenticity of the document. In addition, this signature has real legal value and can therefore be used in the event of conflicts before the law.

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