Use OneSpan Sign to Create Digital Signatures
Though “electronic signature” and “digital signature” are often used as synonyms, they actually describe distinct concepts and functions. The electronic signature is what one would typically think of when hearing the term – it is the act of signing and expressing consent towards an agreement or contract.
Meanwhile, digital signatures are based on public-key encryption/decryption technology, and they are used to ensure the authenticity of the signed record.
In truth, the digital signature and electronic signature must work in tandem. Without the electronic signature, you cannot capture consent. Without the digital signature, you cannot ensure the document is authentic and untampered with.
Create Digital Signature
When used in conjunction with OneSpan Sign, a digital signature will always possess three characteristics:
- Uniqueness: In order for the digital signature to be able to secure the authenticity of an electronic signature, the digital signature must be completely unique. The digital signature is linked to each signer in the transaction, meaning the signers can be identified with a high degree of reliability.
- Data Integrity: Through the digital signature, the e-signature software will be able to determine whether any changes have been made to the document after the signature took place. This is crucial in establishing the legitimacy of the electronic signature.
- Non-repudiation: If there is a dispute or compliance issue, a digital signature through OneSpan Sign will provide the ability to prove that the signer’s signature took place as described.
OneSpan Sign Can Create Digital Signatures as Part of the E-Signature Process
In order for OneSpan Sign to create reliable, secure, and legally-enforceable electronic signatures, it must lock each signed document with a digital signature. As you can see when viewing the entire e-signature process, digital signatures are just one of several measures taken to ensure the security of the signer’s signature.
- Access: The process begins with the signer accessing the digital document to be signed. This can be done through email, SMS, in-person interactions, or other means.
- User Identification and Authentication: When the signer accesses the document and arrives at the welcome page, they must first prove their identity before this signing session can begin. This involves an ID verification process for new customers or an authentication process for existing customers.
- Presenting the Documents: Once authenticated, the signer can review the documents on screen or they can print the document if they prefer.
- Forms and Data Capture: You can further customize your electronic document with additional form fields, such as check boxes, radio buttons, or text boxes. The signer can complete these fields at this time.
- Document Upload: Your electronic document package may include other non-standard legal documents that can also be reviewed and signed at this time. These documents typically consist of agreements like power of attorney forms, medical reports, or similar documents.
- Signing: The signer is now ready to sign, and OneSpan Sign is ready to capture their intent. This can be accomplished through a few different means, including click-to-sign, digitized handwritten signature, or smartcard signing. Once the signer has e-signed the document, the electronic signature software will then apply a digital signature to the signed content to tamper-proof it.
- Document Delivery: At this point, the documents are signed and ready to be delivered to the relevant parties. Here is the second place where digital signatures come into play. If a document signed through OneSpan Sign is tampered with after the signatures are in place, the digital signature technology will detect the change. As a result, the PDF reader will invalidate the contract or document. This will indicate to any readers that this document has been manipulated and can no longer be trusted as a reliable expression of the signer’s consent.