Electronic signatures are a way to digitally sign documents such as PDFs or XML files. The signature guarantees that the document has not been changed after signing and that the right person has signed it.
Electronic signatures enable you to substitute your handwritten signature on a document with a digital alternative. You upload a document and use a special software to sign it, and then prove your identity. This assures the recipient that the right person has signed the document and that it has not been changed after signing.
Where electronic signatures can be used
Electronic signatures are a way of creating confidence between organisations – you should be able to guarantee that the documents you are sending and receiving are genuine and have not been tampered with. This can be used with:
- contracts and agreements
- minutes, decisions, or forms.
Archiving electronically-signed documents
If you have to archive the electronically-signed document, you should also save a digital copy. A printout of a document that has been signed electronically is classed as a copy. This means you cannot combine a handwritten signature with an electronic signature on the same document.
You can read more information about how to archive electronic documents and more in-depth information about using electronic signatures under the headline "More about signing documents electronically"