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esignature for integration

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature is sometimes referred to as an eSignature which enables the recipient to conveniently sign documents by typing their name out or simply scrawling it with a finger directly through a web browser, tablet or mobile device. It’s worth noting that the terms eSignature and digital signature are often used interchangeably despite their notable differences. 

Digital signatures, also called cryptographic signatures, are a type of electronic signature which is encoded and encrypted in order to prevent the impersonation of a signee, tampering and improving the security overall of every signed document. 


Electronic signatures vs. digital signatures

An electronic signature represents verified intent to sign a document, which can be demonstrated as anything from a verbal authorization, an electronically signed transaction or just checking a box. The most traditional form of authorization is simply typing or signing your name on a document or a process that indicates your intent to sign, like entering a numerical code.

A digital signature contains an algorithm that encrypts the signature to generate a unique digital certificate. It’s a type of signature that encrypts a document with invisible digital codes that makes the document tamper-proof.

The main thing to keep in mind is that an electronic signature is generally used to collect someone else’s signature, while a digital signature is used to add your own signature to a document to prove its authenticity.


Are both eSignatures and digital signatures legally binding?

Both methods are legally binding forms of accepting signatures. Electronic signatures are legally enforceable in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Australia, the European Union, and dozens of other countries. In most cases, electronic signatures are no different than handwritten ones — the primary difference being that signing a document electronically is more convenient than by hand and electronic methods offer greater means of security & authenticity. 


How secure is an electronic signature? 

Putting any personal information or important documents on the internet can be a bit scary and uncomfortable. The security measures tied to eSignatures have developed a long way since their inception, which is why they’re now trusted by small businesses and enterprises alike. A lot of behind-the-scenes technological processes happen when you double-click the new signature button on an electronic document. Various checks need to take place in order to determine the signers are who they say they are and that the information within every file format remains secure.

The key to using eSignatures is to pick a reputable service that’s willing to explain the security measures it has in place for when your recipients fill & sign documents. GetAccepts eSignature solutions generate unique certificates of authority that note all of the signatures on the agreement, IP addresses, the date(s) and a timestamp, so you have an in-depth audit trail for all of your electronically signed business pdf documents, word documents, or image file (png, jpg, are all supported).

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