The importance of choosing the correct electronic signature depending on the type of document
If we talk about electronic signature, it is possible that a few people are surprised by the term, because the truth is that its use has been taking place for several years. However, the outbreak of the pandemic and the digital transformation in which companies around the world are immersed have meant that its use has only increased. Without going any further, the europe market is the greatest presence of electronic signatures with a share of 83% according to the IDG Research study.
One of the reticence when taking part in this new way of signing documents is legal certainty, but in Spain, the electronic signature is regulated and has full legal validity, and can be used to enter into a large number of agreements. The important thing is to take into account what type of electronic signature is most appropriate for each type of document.
The different forms of electronic signature and the most appropriate use cases for each of them are presented below:
Simple electronic signature
Easy and fast since it consists of checking a box or entering a PIN code.
Quick to configure, however, it does not allow the user to be unequivocally identified, since the signatory, for example, has only clicked on the “Accept terms and conditions” button to show their agreement with the document.
Its most recommended use case is for the signing of documents with little legal risk, such as the general conditions of a website or to validate the vacation days of a worker.
Advanced electronic signature
It has a higher level of security than the simple signature and is characterized by the fact that it ensures that the signer can only have been the one from whom the signature was requested and that it extremely limits the risk of identity theft.
This type of signature is very common, since with its use the author of the signature can be identified and also verify that the message has not been modified. In this sense, the advanced electronic signature offers authentication, which links the signatory with the information, integrity, which makes it easier to detect any change in the information provided, and non-repudiation, which guarantees the origin of the electronic signature, and therefore gives it of public trust.
Given these characteristics, it is common to use it especially in the following five documents:
To sign contracts, authorizations and customer forms online. The main reason that moves companies to opt for advanced signatures in this type of document is basically the need to offer customers or consumers a simple user experience. It is applied in contracts for the purchase/sale of products or services; authorizations for the presentation of services; and forms to confirm the provision of a technical service.
To sign employment contracts and other Human Resources operations online. It allows companies to give an innovative image, and helps to do away with printed employment contracts. In addition, it is a very comfortable tool, since it makes it possible to have all the documentation related to each contract centralized on the same platform thanks to the cloud.
To sign commercial contracts and agreements with suppliers online. The reason, in addition to operational and image issues, is to be able to have all the documentation related to agreements with suppliers centralized and accessible on the same platform.
To sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements online. Because they are documents of a very critical nature for any company, because if there were fraud, this could mean the loss of intellectual property or imply the need to initiate litigation. In addition, it also collects biometric data, which offers an additional security layer. And, finally, a time stamp authority is used, which guarantees the integrity of the signed documentation.
For all these reasons, companies have the peace of mind that, in the event of a legal dispute, they have at their disposal all the legal evidence that they may need to present in court to win the case.
To sign corporate agreements. The main advantage of this use case is not only the speed it offers, but also the ease of the signing process when the signers are in different locations. Thanks to the advanced electronic signature, the legal departments can manage minutes of boards of directors, calls for shareholders' meetings, partners' agreements or investment contracts in one click and with all the legal guarantees.
Qualified electronic signature
The qualified electronic signature is one that "is created by means of a qualified electronic device for the creation of electronic signatures and that is based on a qualified electronic signature certificate" issued by a Qualified Signature Authority.
It is the signature with the greatest security guarantees and enjoys a presumption of legal validity, being therefore equivalent to a handwritten signature, although its use is usually limited to procedures carried out with public administrations, due to the need to have a qualified certificate of electronic signature (DNIe) and a secure device for creating a qualified signature.
In conclusion, it is clear that any type of document can be completed by electronic signature, but depending on the case of use, it is essential to know which of all is the most appropriate, and for this there are companies that advise and help in management such as This is the case of Signaturit, a leading European legaltech in trust services and digital transaction management.