3 Benefits of Digital Signatures

Mary Ellen Power, September 10, 2014
benefits of digital signatures

Digital signatures make up the key difference between basic electronic signatures and enhanced e-signature solutions. Think of it this way, a basic electronic signature is the kind of thing you may use to sign a petition, an enhanced e-signature is so secure that you can use it to sign papers on a mortgage loan. Digital signatures are foundational to these enhanced e-signatures, because they provide a key layer of security and user authentication. This is incredibly important for businesses, as they may need the benefits of digital signatures even if they aren't required to use enhanced e-signatures for legal reasons. Digital signatures are an encrypted code that is attached to an electronic signature to verify its authenticity from origination through storage. A few reasons this is key for businesses include:

Three Benefits of Digital Signatures

  1. Mobile Device Support: User authentication is extremely difficult to manage when dealing with smartphones and tablets, making innovative solutions vital to ensuring that a person who signs a document is who he or she claims to be. Digital signatures are sent out attached to documents to verify their source and destination. That digital signature then sticks with the form throughout the entire process. If a smartphone is somehow compromised or a network intrusion causes the document to be captured by an unauthorized user, the digital signature will record the unexpected access and call the electronic signature into question. Alternately, if every facet of what the digital signature records goes as it should, it provides another layer of verification that supports the entire transaction.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Encryption is a common regulatory requirement as it ensures that data is safe even if it is stolen. Using digital signatures to support e-signatures ensures that key signing and user data is protected throughout every phase of record creation and management, making it much easier to comply with regulatory guidelines.
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  3. Taking E-Signatures to Court: A basic e-signature holds minimal weight in court as there is little evidence to back that a person who made a signature was the individual he or she claimed to be. Digital signatures capture more metadata about signature transactions and provide protection for all parties in court by providing a critical layer of user authentication that can stand up in front of a judge and jury. Digital signatures provide the security and user verification businesses need to safely transition to electronic signatures.

Check out our Electronic Signature FAQs to get more info on why digital signatures can make such a big difference for businesses.