The Rise of E-Signatures in Europe

Last year, the European Union implemented new rules for e-signature, which replaced the old e-signature regulations that had made the use of electronic authentication difficult to manage across the union. The eIDAS went into effect last July, which allowed individuals and organizations throughout the EU to take advantage of e-signature, timestamps, and web authentication across borders. The new and improved e-signature regulations made e-signature solutions more trustworthy and well-authenticated.

What is eIDAS?

eIDAS, “Electronic Identification and Trust Services Regulation,” is a consistent legal e-signature structure, which replaced the Electronic Signature Directive (1999/93/EC) as well automatically repealing, replacing or modifying any EU member state laws that were inconsistent with eIDAS. Article 25 of the Regulation establishes a fundamental legal rule that all electronic signatures and verification services shall be admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

What does eIDAS address?

In eIDAS, the first section deals with government-issued electronic identification and establishes a legal framework for all EU member states to mutually recognize each other’s identification systems. The second section deals with electronic signatures, defining a legal framework for electronic signatures and seals. The goal is to increase confidence in digital transactions by demonstrating their reliability and security, as well as their clear advantages over handwritten signatures; e-signatures increase company security and prevent against phishing attempts and ransomware threats.

Why is eIDAS so important in the European Union?

Ever since eIDAS’ new regulations took place, businesses have been allowed to utilize safe, global electronic signature solutions and better authentication methods that can be used anywhere in the EU. The e-signature regulations also provided a more stable framework for businesses outside of the EU to improve business systems and automate workflows.

Three Types of E-Signatures in eIDAS:

There are three types of electronic signatures defined in eIDAS: basic electronic signatures, Advanced Electronic Signatures and Qualified Electronic Signatures. We’ve explained the three types of e-signatures in detail below, with the help from eIDAS official website:

Basic E-Signature: This is an e-signature that isn’t denied legal effect as evidence in legal proceedings, based on the fact that it is in electronic form.

Advanced E-Signature: This type allows unique identification and authentication of the signer of a document, and also enables the verification of the integrity of the signed agreement.

Qualified E-Signature: QES are important because they are the only type of signature that will ensure mutual recognition of its validity by all the EU member states. This mutual recognition is crucial for the creation of the single digital market across the entire EU.

Finding an e-signature solution that has compliance with ESIGN and eIDAS is essential for your document’s protection and e-signature legality. SignNow, for example, complies with ESIGN, and enforces e-signatures worldwide. Get legally binding e-signatures and world-class security with the right e-signature solution.