Electronic signature software makes it easy for organizations to sign documents online and quickly complete important business processes like signing sales contracts. Because they take place on a screen instead of in person, electronic signatures come with potential risks, such as forgery and fraud, unauthorized signing, and non-compliance. Fortunately, e-signature verification helps you avoid these common pitfalls.
Introduction to E-Signature Verification
E-signature verification is the process of ensuring and proving the validity of electronic signatures. Its main aim is to establish document authenticity and integrity to conform with the requirements of various legislation, including the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA), Electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services (eIDAS), and the Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign).
This technology verifies:
- The location, date, IP address, and time of the signing
- The identity of the signatories to confirm they match the signees named on the document
- That the contents of the signed document are tamper-proof.
The presence of verifiable signatures qualifies the legal validity of online documents. Thus, doing e-signature verification for all e-signed documents helps you avoid legal liabilities during your business transactions. And more importantly, it helps you preserve business information confidentiality. All companies, big and small, would go to great lengths to preserve their crucial information. So, these companies trust you more when they know you’ve invested in an e-signature verification platform like jSign.
E-Signature Verification Methods
Just like with physical signatures, there are different ways to verify a digital signature. Ultimately, you’ll need to:
- Establish that the right person(s) signed the document; and
- Verify that the document wasn’t tampered with at any point during the process.
For the former, there are several elements you can look at to establish the signer’s identity. These include reviewing the signer’s timestamp, location, IP address used, and which device they submitted their signature with. Of course, you can add identity-affirming measures such as security questions, credentials, biometrics, and two-factor identification (2FA).
For the latter, you can use an e-signature verification service to establish that your documents haven’t been altered in any way. To this end, top e-signature platforms like jSign leverage blockchain technology, encryption, audit trails, and virtual receipts (also known as “certificates of completion).
Benefits of E-Signature Verification
E-signature verification is beneficial for several reasons. By establishing a method with which you can confirm the authenticity of a digital signature, your company can enjoy:
- Enhanced document security: In verifying the authenticity and identity of electronic signatures, you’re adding an extra layer of security to protect your documents from hacking, tampering, and forgery.
- Improved stakeholder and customer confidence: Investors and third parties with a stake in your business will be more confident in your operations when you have e-signature verification procedures in place. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C organization, your customers will feel more confident sharing business information on your platform when they’re guaranteed secure signatures and verification methods.
- Compliance with industry requirements: Industry regulations such as the E-Sign Act may require you to verify your e-signatures in order to make them legally binding.
- Cost savings: By helping you comply with standard industry regulations and reduce document security risks, e-signature verification saves you substantial costs you would otherwise pay in fines or to mitigate security breaches. Plus, you’re able to rely on digital signatures instead of physical ones, so you won’t need to spend money on postage.
Best Practices for Implementing E-Signature Verification
Follow these three best practices to implement e-signature verification successfully.
1. Require the Signer To Verify Their Identity
You can invest in biometric authentication tools to require signers to verify their identities using their unique physical characteristics such as their iris, fingerprints, facial features, or vocal patterns. You can capture and store the biometric data of your signers before allowing them to access your digital documents.
When signers want to e-sign a document, the e-signature platform will prompt them to verify their identity using any physical characteristics captured in the biometric data. The system will then compare this to the archived data to either allow or deny access.
2. Send the Signer a Confirmation Email
Once users log in or sign up on your e-signature platform, you can program your system to automatically forward confirmation emails with a secure link redirecting them to the login page. When users sign something electronically, you should send them a confirmation email with a digital certificate of completion that proves the transaction was successful.
3. Use a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) System
Utilizing a 2FA or multi-factor authentication (MFA) system adds an extra layer of security to your login protocols. These systems prompt signers to provide different levels or forms of identification to validate their identity. For instance, you may send signers a confirmation email with an access key or secret word they’ll use to log in.
Or you may require signers to sign in using their password and biometric data. 2FA and MFA systems reduce the risk of unauthorized signings by making it hard for a random user to guess the login credentials of a legitimate user and impersonate their signatures.
Use a Secure E-Signature Platform
Knowing how to sign online documents is just one step in the right direction. Being able to sign them securely and knowing how to verify the authenticity of the signatures is even more important. With jSign, you can quickly and easily verify the validity of your signer’s digital signature (and your signer’s identity).
Even better, jSign, the top electronic signature solution, is affordable for businesses of all sizes. Using jSign, you can sign online, send, track, collect, and verify electronic signatures in minutes without hassle.