FASTSIGN INTRODUCTION.

As part of global efforts to move away from a paper based environment, create a uniform standard for electronically signed documents/agreements and make them as legally binding as paper based ones or simply give them “legal admissibility”, most of the industrialised economies have enacted their own “Electronic Signature” Laws.

STANDARD ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE (SES) INFORMATION SHEET.

Standard Electronic Signatures (SES) are a legal concept distinct from Digital/Advanced (AES) or Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES). While an electronic signature can be as simple as a symbol entered on an electronic document, Digital or Qualified Signatures are typically used in e-commerce and in regulatory filings to implement electronic signatures in a cryptographically protected way. Due to the lengthy and costly procedures associated with acquiring the latter they are not cost effective for everyday administrative processes.

The concept itself is not new, with common law jurisdictions having recognized telegraph signatures as far back as the mid-19th century and faxed signatures since the 1980s.

Typical cases where the use of Standard Electronic Signature (SES) is appropriate ***

Purchase orders, order acknowledgements, quotes, invoices, shipment documentation etc,

Non-disclosure agreements, procurement documents, sales agreements, consumer agreements, including new retail account opening documents etc,

HR Documents, such as regular employment contracts, NDAs, privacy notices, and other new employee onboarding processes except termination notices.

Standard residential and commercial lease agreements, commercial agreements between corporate entities or other parties.

This is just a short list of documents that fall into the SES category as it would be impossible to list all the 1000’s of documents that qualify. Just remember, if you still email documents that must be printed, scanned and emailed back to you, there is a safer and more efficient FastSign way.

*** the above is not legal advice and you should always get confirmation from a local Attorney if in any doubt.

LEGAL ADMISSABLITY.

USA.

The U.S. Code defines an electronic signature for the purpose of US law as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.

EUROPE.

The eIDAS Regulation is technology neutral and defines three types of electronic signature (SES, AES, QES). Article 25(1) provides that an electronic signature shall not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or does not meet the requirements of a QES.

There are currently more than 60 countries where either of the above forms of SES are accepted.

For more on Electronic Signatures, the different types, the pros and cons of each, we suggest you visit the following sites;

https://acrobat.adobe.com/content/dam/doc-cloud/en/pdfs/document-cloud-global-guide-electronic-signature-law-ue.pdf

and

https://www.docusign.com/how-it-works/legality/global

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