Speedy closure of business contracts and making tedious process into easy one, nothing kills the momentum of a business transaction like paperwork and delay caused in finalizing and signing them. The process of printing a document and either setting up an in-person signing event or emailing the scanned versions of signed documents, it can eat up all of your precious prospecting time. Thanks to technology, we now have electronic ways of executing legal documents that help save precious time that is lost in clerical work.An effective contract management system should include the ability to support electronic signatures for executing the documents.
What are eSignatures?
eSignatures are digital signatures that can be applied to electronic documents. The Information Technology Act, 2000 (the ‘Act’)under Section 5 provides the legal recognition of electronic signatures, and Section 3A of the Act provides that a subscriber may authenticate an electronic record with an electronic signature. In India, you can use an electronic signature just by using the OTP generated on your Aadhaar-enabled mobile device once you make a request to sign an electronic document. E-Signature is associated with other electronic data and used by the signatory to sign or authorize a document. E-signature holds the same legal standing as a handwritten signature, provided that other specific requirements of the relevant Indian government regulations are adhered to.
E-signature and Digital signature; used interchangeably but have a different meanings.
E-signature is entirely different from a digital signature. Digital signatures are a cryptographic mechanism used for implementing e-signatures. An electronic signature can be as simple as entering a name in the electronic document. On the other hand, digital signatures are widely used in e-commerce and regulatory filings to print e-signatures in a protected way.
Requirements to Avail E-Signature Services
In order to avail E-signature facility remotely, an individual must have a valid UIDAI Aadhar Card and his/her mobile number linked with Aadhaar Card. The purpose of this service is to promote paper-less transaction and enable people to sign the documents in a secure way that is also accepted legally and saves time. You can avail e-Signature feature on our website.
Documents on which eSignature is Invalid in India
The Central Government has stipulated that electronic signatures cannot be used on all classes of documents. Any electronic signature used on any of the documents listed below will not make such a signature or the document itself valid as per Section 1(4) of the IT Act, 2000, itself is not applicable to:
- Any sale of immovable property in India or any contract, interest or conveyance in such property.
- Power of Attorney as per Section 1A of the Powers of Attorney Act, 1882.
- A will and/or testament as per Section 2(h) of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.
- A negotiable instrument as per Section 13 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881.
- A trust as per Section 3 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.
- Any class of documents as stipulated by the Central Government by way of a notification published in the Official Gazette from time to time.
International acceptance of eSignature.
Different countries have different laws with respect to digital signatures and eSignatures considering the benefits of e-signature. Hence, one should diligently check out on the validity and process of electronic signatures in any country before executing a document and signing it electronically.
Benefits of Aadhaar E-Signature
Aadhaar E-Signature service comes with a number of benefits that are mentioned hereunder.
- Privacy: It is the responsibility of both service providers and solution providers that the full data protection and confidentiality norms are followed to maintain the privacy of the signatory. Further to ensure safety and data protection, complete Aadhaar information is not accessible to the service providers.
- No Physical Presence Required: Aadhaar E-Signature is an online service since the individuals are not required to be physically present at the time of verification. It can be done remotely which saves time and eliminates the possibility of delays and errors.
- Flexible Verification Process: The verification can be done in a number of ways depending on the availability of the devices at the service provider. The basic way is to go through the video verification where personal detail verification is done. The other way is to do it with a One-Time Password (OTP). The person receives an OTP on his/her registered mobile number and confirms the verification. This makes the whole process easy and highly flexible.
- Safety: All the service providers are qualified and certified for this process by CCA. The authorities are licensed under the IT act. The private keys of the user are created on Hardware Security Module (HSM) and destroyed immediately after one-time use. This enhances the security and prevents any misuse of the sensitive information of the user.