Electronic signatures save a lot of time and make file management much smoother. For this reason, it is used by more and more companies in all sectors of activity.However, it is natural to ask whether such a signature has any real legal value in the event of non-compliance with the contract.First of all, it is important to understand that an electronic signature and a handwritten signature are both proof of acceptance of contractual documents. For this reason, electronically signed documents are legally binding.In France, the electronic signature has been recognized since 2000. Indeed, the law n°2000-230 was adopted following the vote of the European directive of 1999. The legal value of the electronic signature is also established in French law in Articles 1366 and 1367 of the Civil Code.Furthermore, the legal value of electronic identification was reinforced on 1 July 2016, when the eIDAS (Electronic Identification and Trust Services) regulation was adopted. Its objective is to remove the obstacles to the adoption of electronic signatures on the continent. The electronic signature thus becomes the equivalent of the handwritten signature and the regulation introduces three levels of electronic signature:- Simple signature- Advanced signature or AES- Qualified signature or QESThus, the electronic signature is recognized in all 28 EU Member States and service providers must of course comply with the standards of the regulation. In France, the ANSSI (Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information) is responsible for identifying and monitoring trusted service providers. The latter can be included in a list of providers recognized by the European Union.
At first sight, the terms “electronic signature” and “digital signature” are similar. In reality, this is not the case.The electronic signature refers to the digital signature as such. It is simply the equivalent of a handwritten signature in digital form. This can be a simple image of a handwritten signature or an email signature.In the context of the procedure for signing a contract on the web, it is questionable whether the signatory is the individual in question or whether it is a forged signature. This is where the digital signature comes into play, which is in fact a secure electronic signature.Thus, the digital signature uses public key infrastructure (PKI) standards and procedures. The signature process then incorporates a cryptographic key. An identifier is linked to your identity, which then allows you to affix your digital signature to documents in digital format or on SaaS signature platforms.The authenticity of the signature is therefore assured and the security of the process guarantees that:- The document is authentic and comes from a verified source- The document has not been modified since the signature- The identity of the signatory has been verified and validated by a trusted organizationThus, each type of signature meets specific needs. The electronic signature allows documents to be signed quickly and simply. Where greater security is required for a sensitive electronic document, the digital signature is required.
Although electronic signatures are easy to use and very effective in everyday life, it is necessary to have a powerful signature tool. This will give you access to a higher level of security. Moreover, it must comply with European standards to ensure that the signatory can be identified.YousignTo centralize all your document signing tasks, Yousign is perfect. This tool secures your documents, as it allows you to authenticate your customers’ signatures. Once the documents are signed, you can store them in a secure storage location. You can create, edit, and send your electronic documents directly through the Yousign platform. If you prefer to use other software, the Yousign API allows you to integrate the signature tool with third-party solutions. In addition, all Yousign electronic signatures are legally binding.SignaturitTo manage your documents more efficiently, whether they are employment contracts, sales contracts, or legal agreements, Signaturit offers you a complete platform. First, you draw up your contract directly in the tool. Then you share it with all partners so that they can electronically sign the document in a few seconds. Different types of signatures can be integrated, from the simplest to the most advanced with biometrics. All data can then be stored on the platform and is protected and secured by ISO 27001 and IEC 2014 standards. Note that this SaaS software has extensive integration and can be added to your own software or website using the dedicated API.UniversignUniversign is the European leader in electronic signatures. The French company offers a complete solution to secure your documents. Universign’s SaaS platform, which is qualified under the European eIDAS regulation, gives you access to electronic signature, electronic seal, and time-stamping functions. The tool guarantees the integrity of the signed document and the identification of the signatory. From quotations to sales contracts, including general terms and conditions or purchase orders, Universign certifies all your contractual documents with ease. Moreover, depending on your needs, you can choose the level of signature. Once signed, the documents can also be archived electronically in the platform.