Contract

Signing a contract digitally

Signing a contract digitally is fast and practical, enabling you to complete many projects with total legality. As a real asset for both professionals and private individuals, this process accelerates and optimises contract signing. Connective invites you to discover how signing a contract digitally works and how it benefits you.

Digital signature: definition

A digital signature is a process used to sign a digital document. Far from the handwritten signature that you scan to add to various documents, digital signing takes place entirely online, very simply, and in just a few minutes, with no obligation to bring all the signatories to the same place.

This solution is used both to facilitate and accelerate the signing of important documents, as well as to limit printing and the environmental impact it creates.

Digital signatures can be used to initial many types of official document, and contracts in particular.

signature électronique - contrat

Why sign a contract digitally?

Contract digitalisation and digital signing offer new contract signing prospects and make the process seamless and secure. Signing a contract digitally is beneficial to all, both companies and private individuals.

Saving time

With the digital contract, there’s no more need to print and sign the document or even schedule an appointment to sign it. The signatories immediately receive the files and appendices by email, sign and return them instantly.

Great flexibility

There’s no need to set an appointment in your diary for signing the contract. With digital signatures, you can sign documents where you want, when you want, from any connected device.

Increased security

Thanks to the digital signature encrypted data, the signatory’s identity is authenticated, then the encrypted fingerprint prevents any changes after signing.

Organised and reliable archiving

After signing, you may decide to print the documents, but you can also archive them in the database, to keep all your contracts in the same place securely and reliably. You can access them simply with an Internet connection at any time.

What types of contract can you sign digitally?

If you’re sceptical about using digital signatures for your official documents, you should know that a digital signature and a handwritten signature have the same legal value today. Also, any contract can be signed digitally, whether it’s an employment contract, a rental contract, a sales agreement or a booking contract.

You can therefore sign all your contracts with total legality. In the event of a dispute, these will constitute irrefutable proof, just like any document that you sign by hand.

Digital signing: how it’s done

If you’re sceptical about using digital signatures for your official documents, you should know that a digital signature and a handwritten signature have the same legal value today. Also, any contract can be signed digitally, whether it’s an employment contract, a rental contract, a sales agreement or a booking contract.

You can therefore sign all your contracts with total legality. In the event of a dispute, these will constitute irrefutable proof, just like any document that you sign by hand.

1

Signing a contract digitally naturally starts by drafting the computer document. Then, it will be saved on the digital signature platform before being sent to the different signatories. The recipients will then receive an email containing a link, which will direct them to the online contract.

2

The signatory must then give their consent, to guarantee that they have read the document and the obligations they are undertaking. To do so, they just need to tick a box then authenticate themselves by entering the code received by text message. These steps are essential to authenticate the signatory.

3

Once all the parties have signed the contract, the documents are sent by email, or remain available in a customer account. Each signatory also receives a digital signature certificate (DSC) certifying the act of signing.

What equipment is required to sign a contract digitally?

The aim of digital signing is to simplify all the procedures. This is why it is now possible to sign a contract from many connected devices: smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop, etc. You just need to have a good Internet connection to do this signing 100% online.

The legal conditions
of the digital signature

For a digital signature to be legally recognised, it’s not enough to add a tick box at the foot of a document. Consequently, the European law known as the eIDAS regulation defines three levels of digital signature identification.

Manual Scribble

The simple signature

SES

The simple digital signature is the most commonly used procedure and has the advantage of being simple and seamless. But, although it’s quick to perform, its security level is relatively low, because it doesn’t really require consent or an identity check. Connective, however, offers a simple signature with basic security: time-stamping, document integrity and archiving.

This digital signature type is very commonly used to sign contracts, as well as quotes or invoices.

One Time Password signature

The advanced signature

AES

The advanced electronic signature’s security level is more effective. It’s used to formalise transactions that have high financial or legal stakes. This type of digital signature must therefore meet stronger identification criteria:

  • It must be unequivocally linked to the signatory;
  • It must identify the signatory simply and securely;
  • It must be performed using a device over which the signatory has exclusive control (computer, smartphone, etc.);
  • It must guarantee that it’s impossible to make subsequent changes.

Advanced signatures are therefore often used to sign a contract for banking products, a loan contract or an insurance contract.

Sign with smartcard

The qualified signature

QES

With an even higher level of security, the qualified digital signature has the same criteria as the advanced signature. However, the signatory’s identity must be confirmed first, and the signature key is integrated in a qualified signature creation device (QSCD).

One of the conditions of the qualified signature is that it is issued by a qualified certificate authority, which itself must be accredited by the supervisory body of the member state (in the EU) where the CA is located. If approved, that certificate is then valid in Europe under EIDAS legislation.

For more information on the other requirements of a qualified signature, visit our Trust Center.

Want to know more? Contact us. Or even better, try it out now!

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