Electronic signature

How electronic signatures work

Learn about electronic signatures and how they work.

An electronic signature works similarly to and is just as legally binding as a signature made with pen and paper, but is in many ways even more secure and effective.

Simply put, you have much more information about the signing process and the signing itself with an electronic signature than with a signature on paper.

During the signing process, a number of data points are stored:

  • Sender’s email address and phone number
  • Date/time of sending
  • Recipient’s email address
  • Date/time of when they open the actual agreement/offer they have received by email
  • IP address of the recipient 
  • Which acceptance environment recipient has confirmed the agreement from (browser type, version, etc.)

All this information is stored as part of the signed document and is combined to make digital contracts legally binding in the same way as a signature made with pen and paper.

In DealBuilder there are several different ways to sign electronically. You can choose whether your customers and partners should sign:

  • Keystroke
  • Mouse pointer
  • Touchscreen signing 
  • BankID: Soon to be launched in a number of countries for interested parties. Please note that BankID will always have a cost per signature, and will therefore be a more expensive alternative than normal electronic signatures where the signing itself is free of charge. To meet the different needs in the market, we therefore want to offer both, but there are very few cases that require BankID as a signing method in product and service sales B2B and B2C.

Feel free to contact us for more information about what is best for your particular company and use case.

elektronisk signatur

DealBuilder’s Solution

  • Is built on PAdES (PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures), which is an open international technical standard for e-signature solutions and PDFs, approved under the regulations eIDAS (for Europe), as well as ESIGN and UETA (for the USA).
  • The signed document is self-supporting and contains all necessary information about signatories, certificates, times of the signings and the steps in the signing process.
  • The signatures are time-stamped with a qualified time-stamping service and stored directly in the PDFs to enable time-consistency through Long Term Validation (LTV). This allows the agreements, at any time in the future, despite technological and other advances, to be validated to confirm signature authenticity at the time they were signed.
  • Viewing and validation of a signed PDF document is performed with a regular PDF reader where an online revocation check with a mathematical checksum/hash function guarantees that the content and signatures are valid at all times and that the content has not been changed after the document was signed.
  • All customer data and contracts are encrypted over SSL/TLS.

Here’s an example of a DealBuilder contract

  1. The first part is the contract itself. 
  2. The second part is a signing page that contains all the necessary information about signatories, times for the signings and the steps in the signing process. If appendices to the contract have been uploaded, these appendices also become part of the signed PDF.

Look further down the page to see more agreement or offer types that can be set up in DealBuilder.

Our three different agreement types

DealBuilder meets your needs in three different ways: 

  1. Add products and services from a product menu to a template.
  2. Purely text-based agreement template
  3. Upload a PDF you already have and send it for signing.

You enter standard content, terms, prices and conditions into the agreement templates, each of which are customized with the company’s logo. Attachments to the agreements can also be easily uploaded if needed.

Click on the images to see the types of agreement in a larger format or watch a video of each individual agreement type in use below.


The regulations for electronic signatures

In Norway, to give an example, which is DealBuilder’s home country, electronic signatures are regulated through the Act on Electronic Trust Services (full name: Act on the Implementation of the EU Regulation on Electronic Identification and Trust Services for Electronic Transactions in the Internal Market). A Norwegian law also implements EU Regulation 910/ 2014, also known as the eIDAS regulation (Electronic Identification and Trust Services regulation).

In other countries, they have similar arrangements. For example, in the USA it is regulated through the ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA Act). 

Common to all markets, both in Europe and The USA, is that they have regulated that digital signatures are as legally binding and have the same status as handwritten signatures.

The basic legal principles supporting the use of electronic signatures are not defined by eIDAS, the eSignature Act, or other similar bodies. The legal principles are found in the Contracts Act, where an offer to enter into an agreement followed by acceptance of it constitutes a binding agreement. In the absence of legal requirements specifying the form of contract, type of signature or authentication method, a contract can be entered into in several ways, including on paper, verbally, by email or chat, a handshake, or with an electronic signature.

The eIDAS Regulation and similar bodies are legislation that regulates the use of electronic signatures, but it does not prescribe their use in itself, nor does it have any impact on contract law. The regulations, such as eIDAS, say:

This regulation does not affect national law or European Union law related to the conclusion and validity of agreements or other legal or procedural obligations related to form.

In fact, a basic electronic signature is sufficient and indeed legally valid for the vast majority of transactions, B2B, B2C, and between private individuals, all over the world. To remove any doubt in this regard, eIDAS explicitly states this basic principle:

An electronic signature shall not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements for qualified electronic signatures.

See Agreement

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