As Goes E-Signatures in the US, So Goes the World?

Joe McKairnes, April 25, 2016

The use of e-signatures in the U.S. is nothing new. Since the adoption of the Uniform Electronics Transmissions Act (UETA) and the ESIGN Act in 2000, the realization of process efficiencies has clearly become a reality. And one of the earliest and largest adopters of e-signature technology is our own Federal, State and Local government.

Why was the government an early adopter? To drive efficiencies through reduction of paper, accelerate closure, action insights into the processes…the list goes on.

The benefits of e-signatures are well-documented across every industry.

Electronic Signature Laws Around The World

More than 75 countries recognize the legal validity of e-signatures. This ebook provides a valuable introduction to the various legalities and legislative trends governing e-signatures around the globe.

Links to all legislation

Now, we know the cream of the crop always surfaces to the top. There are leaders and followers in all things. eSignLive has surfaced as one of these leaders in the electronic signature space. They have taken the time to do things right. eSignLive presents a compelling offering to government agencies by being FedRAMP compliant – meeting government standards of highly secured and continuously monitored cloud services with the most reliable dual audit trails. Important topics, to say the least.

The world has stood up and is taking notice.  Effective July 2016, the new EU regulation on electronic identification and trust services 910/2014, eIDAS, goes into force. Its purpose is to drive digital transformation as a major cornerstone for a single European market by creating uniformity and mutual recognition of e-signature regulations.

To be clear, I’m not implying it’s a competition or race. Europe and the rest of the world are also trendsetters in their own right, and deserve recognition for their contributions. What I am pointing out is that Governments everywhere, which are traditionally the last in adopting new technology, have raised their hands to say "this stuff works, and were going to use it".

The applicability of e-signatures is as wide and varied as its clients – from insurance companies, financial institutions and online commerce – anyone with signature in their workflow can reap benefits by adding e-signatures to their business.

However, it is extremely important to consider whom you choose as a vendor for your e-signature solution, Not all e-signatures are created equal. Here are some important considerations:

  • Private Labeling
    • Does the e-sign vendor place their name on your transactions – diluting your brand by advertising their name?
    • Do they take the data collected and market their product to your customer?
  • Security
    • How secure is the process?
    • Can documents be downloaded and modified during signing?
    • Can you positively identify a signer to the process?
  • Audit
    • What audit data will back the process?
    • Can you provide proof of what transpired, and by whom?
    • Do you own the audit data or does the vendor?

These are important considerations and have been addressed by leading solutions. Further, consider who the leading industries and governments have chosen to partner with.

So, who is leading the way in e-signature adoption?  The U.S. or the EU?  Well, I’d say both. I’m not concerned with who was the first, but rather, why they have implemented it.  Clearly, there are huge benefits to be gained by leveraging an e-signature solution such as eSignLive.