Connect with us


Signatures In The Electronic Age

Moving Past Manual Processing

In June of 2000, the United States congress formalized a method for the speed of business transactions to match the quickening pace of the Internet and the electronic age. The bottleneck had been the need for customers to sign paper documents and then wait for them to be returned. Facsimiles had reached their useful limit, and not everyone had a method to digitize paper documents. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (e-Sign Act), recognized that electronic signatures are every bit as valid and binding as a wet ink signature. Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) had been a growing part of business for years. However, as faxes and telephones lines were gradually being replaced with faster networks and the beginning of the increasing availability of broadband, meant that both consumers and businesses needed a better and more efficient way to conduct business. Enabling people and businesses to confirm their agreement with the terms and conditions of a particular transaction, purchase, sale, or the entry into a credit arrangement meant that the real power of the Internet could be realized and the age of real e-commerce began.

Important Disclosures and Regulations

In order for consumers to enjoy the same protections with digital signatures as they have with paper agreements, important regulations were put in place and these terms are required to be made clear to consumers. These rights include, but are not limited to: the right to have paper copies of the documents they are signing made available to them, the right to have all the terms of their electronic consent made available as well as the method for them to revoke—if possible—such electronic consent, and the consequences or fees associated with doing so.

Signatures In The Electronic Age


The law also requires that the consumer have a combination of hardware and software available to them that enables them to reasonably view, sign, and save the documents and information pertaining to the transaction or contract being signed. The e-Sign Act also places requirements upon the bank or business accepting the e-signature, such as the retaining a copy of the signature and appropriate meta-data that was captured at the time that the signature was made.

Front Runners

Utah was the first state to meet the growing need for an electronic alternative to traditional processing and had enacted the first electronic signature verification law in 1994. Other states began drafting their own versions of the law, some adopted the Utah method directly, and others went with the method neutral Uniform Commercial Code that dropped terms like writing in favor of authenticated records. Typically, when states have conflicting and contradicting versions of laws and regulations it becomes complicated and cumbersome for business and their customers to conduct transactions compliantly. These front running versions of e-Sign no doubt spurred the federal government to hasten along the enactment of an over-arching law that would bring a single set of rules to the table and allow businesses to understand exactly what they needed to do in order to obtain electronic consent from their customers.


Generally, financial matters are those that are most likely to move over to electronic signatures. People want to obtain credit and complete transactions quickly and efficiently. Other areas, such as healthcare and attorney representation are less appropriate for e-signatures. New York State’s Electronic Records and Signature Act (ERSA) is a good codified example of legally recognizing these exceptions. The law expressly excludes certain documents and domains from utilizing electronic record execution that include: wills and trusts, health care proxies, powers of attorney, and orders to not perform heroic life sustaining and resuscitation efforts in terminal cases. The net effect of accepting electronic signatures is that in many ways paper signatures seem to have more weight now than they once did, and that for the most important matters in life people still want to agree to things on paper with ink. The balance that is now in place between electronic and ink signatures correctly allows business to be speedily conducted electronically and requires that the important matters of heath and trust be completed the old fashioned way.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Education1 day ago

Everything You Need to Know About the Thought Elevator System

If you are looking to elevate your thoughts and are aiming to have a clear understanding of life, then the...

student-849825_1280 student-849825_1280
Tech1 week ago

How Gym Management Software Can Help You Grow Your Business?

In a gym, there are a lot of administrative tasks that require more time to stay in office that you...

Health1 week ago

A Natural Pregnancy When You Have PCOS

When you’re diagnosed with PCOS it can feel like your chances of getting pregnant without invasive IVF treatments have collapsed....

Inkjet or Laser Inkjet or Laser
Business2 weeks ago

Inkjet or Laser: Buy The Right Choice Printer

Buying a printer can be very confusing especially when there are multiple choices available. You may hear many echoes here...

Business2 weeks ago

Creating a Workplace That Appeals to Gen Z

As a business owner or manager, you know that appealing to your target candidates is all about showcasing the qualities...

THC Vape Juice THC Vape Juice
Lifestyle4 weeks ago

Get the Best Thinks of THC Vape Juice and Know Their Flavors

E-juice or vape juice is a blend of water, nourishment grade enhancing, a decision of nicotine levels or zero nicotine,...

money-india-currency-indian-68912 money-india-currency-indian-68912
Finance4 weeks ago

Exclusive Loan Schemes Indian Government Launched for Women Entrepreneurs

According to the 6th Economic Census of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the share of women entrepreneurs is...

Apartment Makeoverw Apartment Makeoverw
Home Improvement1 month ago

7 Creative Ideas for an Apartment Makeover

Whether or not you feel like your apartment is due for an upgrade, it is essential always to have ideas...

Home Improvement1 month ago

The Top Ways to Beat the Winter Blues in 2019

When it comes to Winter, unless you are celebrating Christmas or New Year, it can feel a bit like a...

6 Tips to Boost the Value of a Beachside Apartment 6 Tips to Boost the Value of a Beachside Apartment
Home Improvement1 month ago

6 Tips to Boost the Value of a Beachside Apartment

It does not matter whether you are looking to offload your property or get a quote that you are comfortable...

Business1 month ago

Is a Local SEO Strategy Right for Your Business? And What to Do Next

Local SEO is certainly one of those terms that have made their way across the internet in recent years. There’s...

The Day Of Marriage The Day Of Marriage
Lifestyle1 month ago

6 Things That Are Commonly Forgotten On The Day Of Marriage

Planning a wedding is something that’s like creating a base which will be important for having a wonderful wedding. It...

Markets & Finance1 month ago

When You Would Need A Cover Letter

The main concept behind a cover letter is to tell a job, internship, academic program (really anything you’re applying for...

Health1 month ago

7 Great Techniques to Help You Get a Good Night Sleep

Sleep is a significant activity for any human being. That’s why it’s a shame that modern society tends to glorify...

Tech2 months ago

What you Should Look for in the Upcoming Redmi Note 8 & Redmi Note 8 Pro

Post the unveiling of Redmi Note 8 and Redmi Note 8 Pro in August this year in China, it’s much...