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August 30, 2017

Tim Osborn, of Osborn Law, wrote recently in the Newcastle Herald about a court case that highlights the risks in relying on scanned signatures as a form of signing. It's a reminder that if you need to sign, then you should sign with a tamper proof digital signature that is unique to you and your document. Nothing else is worth the risk.

In the case in question, an electronic image of the signature was readily accessible on the corporate network. The court held that documents signed by simply pasting the image into a document, were not legally binding. It was not possible to demonstrate that the owner of the signature had personally applied their signature to the document or given their explicit consent to do so. The result was a loss of business and a costly court case. It could have all been avoided by using a digital signature service such as Secured Signing.

Signing a document using Secured Signing is as a simple click to sign process that differs from scanned signatures in a number of really important ways.

The first is that Secured Signing gives you an automated log of every action performed in the signing process. This is one of the key pieces of advice Mr Osborn gives in his article.  Good quality record keeping is invaluable in demonstrating that a signed document is evidence of a legally binding agreement. Secured Signing completely automates the logging of every action so your people don't have to waste their time, keeping manual records of who did what and when.

The second is validating the identity of your signer. A key problem in the case referenced is that it could not be demonstrated that the person who applied the signature to the document was the owner of the signature. Secured Signing creates unique credentials for each person who will sign your document that only they can access. Adding video confirmation to your signing process captures a brief video recording of the person signing your document, to give you a signed document that cannot be reasonably challenged.

The final thing I'll mention is the inherent authenticity and reliability of PKI based digital signatures. A digital signature is much more than a graphical representation of a person's signature. It provides sophisticated methods to seal the signed document from tampering and creates an irrevocable, unforgeable and no transferrable link between the signer and the document.  

As you know, inviting people to sign your documents with Secured Signing is quick, simple, inexpensive and reduces your risk. Share with your friends and colleagues that they too can enjoy the benefits Secured Signing, help us spread the word and they can be signing documents online today with one of our Freeway evaluation accounts.

‘til next time

Cheers, John 

 


General

August 8, 2017

It seems obvious but it bears repeating. Being absolutely clear on who is signing your document, not only makes good business sense, it is also a compliance requirement for many industries. Adding video confirmation to Secured Signing's usual signing process ensures there can be no doubt about who signed your document.

Even if your business is not subject to anti money laundering and counter terrorism financing (AML/CTF) legislation, robust customer due diligence practices will give you a competitive advantage, limit your exposure to the risk of loss and protect your business from damage to its reputation. It's also just plain good sense. If there is ever a dispute, being able to simply and clearly demonstrate who signed your document will ensure you are best placed to recover monies owed or the return of equipment hired or leased.

It is not just banks and other lenders that need to comply with the customer due diligence requirements of AML/CTF legislation. A recent mutual evaluation of Australia's AML/CTF frameworks gave an overall pass mark, but highlighted key areas of concern. Research by AUSTRAC, the Australian government's financial intelligence agency, indicates the outcomes around customer due diligence (CDD) vary from very high confidence to closer to 50% confidence in customer identity. This is an area that needs to improve as AUSTRAC rightly identifies that knowing your customer is "the cornerstone of an effective AML/CTF regime." It is not surprising that regulatory reform proposals recommend both more explicit CDD requirements and the application of CDD requirements to a broader range of industries.

Secured Signing's video confirmation capability is a simple yet powerful tool to demonstrate you know exactly who is signing your documents.  

Customers expect to be able to transact business with you online. Inviting your customers to sign documents online with Secured Signing gives you the capability to meet this expectation of customer convenience while enjoying the security, authenticity and reliability that only tamper proof digital signatures can provide. Adding a video confirmation to your online signing process gives you complete confidence you know who you are dealing with and in particular who signed your agreement.  

When you ask customers to use video confirmation in the signing process, they are prompted to record a short video before they sign the document. The whole process takes no more than 10 seconds. The video records a specific gesture which is recorded in the Secured Signing document log and the video's secure location is appended to the document and sealed with the PKI digital signature, ensuring the details cannot be modified without invalidating the signature.

If your non face to face transactions don't give you this degree of confidence in knowing who your customer is, it is time to closely evaluate the benefits Secured Signing can give you. The best first step is to open a free evaluation account and try video confirmation of signing yourself.  Secured Signing's website provides a lot more detail on how video confirmation works to deliver unquestionable confirmation of signer's identity. As always, if you have specific questions, please get in touch and someone will contact you personally.  

'Til next time

Cheers, John


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