What does eIDAS mean and what are the different types of signatures?

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Electronic signatures have become part and parcel of our daily actions. They save time and are therefore a necessary step in the further digitalisation of many business processes. Digital signatures come in different forms, which is why the choice is not always easy. In this blog, we give you the necessary tools to make the right choices. This way, you will not face any surprises later on.

What is eIDAS?

eIDAS is the abbreviation for Electronic Identification, Authentication and Trust Services. It is the set of rules issued by the European Union that ensures you can identify yourself online securely and that digital transactions are reliable. It helps ensure that your personal data stays safe and that you can trust the things you do online.

In addition to secure identification, there are also rules and regulations for trust services, which includes digital signatures. eIDAS is not a law, but it is the starting point for laws and regulations at national level or by sector. in other words, eIDAS is the framework for the legal validity of electronic signatures.

Read more about e-signing

What are the 3 levels of electronic signatures?

The eIDAS regulation defines 3 levels of electronic signatures. Each has its characteristics and applications.

  • Basic: immediate signing without user registration or certification. This is, for example, a typed name or clicking 'I agree'.
  • Advanced: this signature is uniquely linked to the signatory. The signature is supplemented with encryption and every change is traceable thanks to a timestamp.
  • Qualified: this signature has a certificate from a European recognised trust service provider. This provides additional support for the authenticity of the signature.

Which signature should I choose?

Different rules are laid down per country, region or sector. They are often based on the type of document. Do you want to have an offer signed online? Then a basic signature usually suffices. Notarial deeds, government documents or other official contracts, on the other hand, require a qualified signature.

It is therefore important to check which rules apply to your company or organisation. For this, you can always contact the legal department of your company or organisation.

Zeticon's online signature platform offers solutions for all levels. Our team has years of experience implementing these solutions. Together, we can look at the appropriate type of electronic signature for your business processes.

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Written on Mathilde Lacante