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Frequently asked questions: electronic signatures

Are electronic signatures secure?

Security is always top-of-mind when organizations begin providing their customers, partners and suppliers the option to sign online. GetAccept provides three levels of security:

Signer authentication: GetAccept authenticates document signers so you know exactly who is signing your documents. To protect GetAccept’s user accounts, all user information transferred is 256-bit SSL encrypted, including usernames and passwords. We also seek to prevent others from accessing or using your account by imposing automated session time-outs, sending notifications every time a contract is sent to, received by, or signed under your account.

Document authentication: Each signature on a contract is imposed and affixed to the contract. GetAccept creates a comprehensive transaction trail between signing parties. To provide you with transaction history, we track and timestamp various information from the moment the document is submitted for signature to when it is completely signed and secured.

Audit trails: GetAccept creates a comprehensive transaction trail between signing parties, to provide you with transaction history, we track and timestamp various information from the moment the document is submitted for signature to when it is completely signed and secured, such as IP information.  To help ensure that any tampering of your transaction log is detectable, we process the transactions log with hashing technology. 

 

What is the ESIGN Act?

The (ESIGN), Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act is a U.S. Federal law that was passed in 2000 that enabled the use of electronic records and signatures for commercial transactions. The Act essentially enables organizations to adopt a uniform e-signature process across all 50 states with the assurance that records cannot be refused by a court of law solely on the basis that they were signed electronically.

 

What is eIDAS?

eIDAS (electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services) is an EU regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the European Single Market. It was established in EU Regulation 910/2014 of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and repeals Directive 1999/93/EC from 13 December 1999.

It entered into force on 17 September 2014 and applied from 1 July 2016. All organizations delivering public digital services in an EU member state must recognize electronic identification from all EU member states from September 29, 2018. 

For more information about eIDAS click here. 

 

Have e-signed documents been challenged in court?

There have been several cases of contract disputes involving e-records and e-signature. Most of the cases do not challenge the eSigning itself, the majority challenge the circumstances surrounding the signing process. For example if the intent was properly established or whether the correct process and evidentiary rules were followed. In some cases the electronic records were accepted as evidence and the transaction under question upheld.

Example of some cases that have been challenged in court:

  • Barwick v. GEICO
  • Vinhnee v. American Express
  • Labajo v. Best Buy Stores
  • Shattuck v. Klotzback
  • Hotmail Corporation v. Van$ Money Pie Inc.

How can we ensure electronic records & audit trails are suitable for internal and external auditors to review?

When regulated companies undergo a compliance audit, they are often asked to provide evidence for all business processes followed. This applies to both customer-facing transactions and internal operations. As part of this, auditors also look for a record of every time key documents were touched, when, and by whom.

GetAccept creates a comprehensive transaction trail between signing parties, to provide you with transaction history; tracking & time stamping vital information from the moment the document is submitted for signature to when it is completely signed and secured. To help ensure that any tampering of your transaction log is detectable, we encrypt the transaction log with hashing technology. This audit trail gives you a full evidence log to bring to court should any conflicts arise.

 

Are eSignatures legal in the U.S.?

Federal and state law gives electronic signatures the same legal status as handwritten signatures. 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have adopted the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN), a federal law, provides that electronic signatures are legally enforceable for intrastate commerce and within those states that have not adopted UETA.

 

Are eSignatures legal in Europe?

Directive 1999/93/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 1999 on a Community framework for electronic signatures, establishes the criteria for the legality of e-signatures. It sets out three levels of e-signature (simple, advanced, qualified). According to the directive, an advanced e-signature based on a qualified certificate satisfies the legal requirements of a signature in relation to data in electronic form, in the same way, a handwritten signature satisfies those requirements in relation to paper-based data.

For more information about eIDAS read, The legal perspective of eSignature and eIDAS. 

 

Are eSignatures legal around the world? 

There are many countries worldwide that have adopted eSignature and digital signature laws including: China (Electronic Signature Law 2004), The Russian Federation (Electronic Signature Law 2011), India (Information Technology Act 2000), Australia (section 10 of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999), Japan (Law Concerning Electronic Signatures and Certification Services), Mexico (E-Commerce Act 2000).

 

How does GetAccept’s eSignature solution work?

GetAccept Sales enablement platform is also a digital e-signature service. You use a web browser or phone to send and sign all types of documents (sales collaterals, contracts, proposals. Here’s how it works:

  1. Upload your documents.
  2. Add your recipients.
  3. Define where the recipients will sign by simply dragging a signature block to the correct location(s) in the document.
  4. Select the authentication method (username/password, secret question/answer, one-time passcode (OTP), third-party authentication services (BankID for Sweden, Denmark, and Norway)
  5. Click “SEND”

 

Do I need any special hardware or software to eSign?

The signer of the document doesn’t need anything more than a web browser. When asking customers to sign the can sign documents on any devices as long as there is an internet connection without asking the customer to download any software.

 

Which mobile devices can my customers use to eSign? Which devices are supported?

With GetAccept’s Sales Enablement platform, you can easily e-sign documents anywhere, anytime from any web-enabled device including tablet, laptop, and smartphone. 

 

Where can I find information about pricing?

For more information about pricing, visit our pricing page.

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