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Wednesday, 8 April

Digital Signatures - Picture Perfect?

Do you remember when you were young and could sit for hours and practice your signature? It was not so many years ago when the careful cashier looked at the signature on your card and compared it to your paper based signature, to ensure you were indeed the person you claim to be.

But just like retail itself, signatures have changed tremendously in the years that has passed. Right now we are experiencing an exciting time when it comes to signatures and the digital evolution. Everything is indicating that paper based signatures will become more and more of a rarity. Instead we will sign using our computer and smartphone.

We don’t have to look very far to find examples. Swedish bank SBAB uses digital signatures to simplify the process for their customers to sign applications for loans and different contracts. The customers can do everything from home and the bank don’t have to scan every document. Instead it gets everything effectively stored electronically and accessible.

But not all banks have come as far as SBAB. Many banks have a long journey ahead. Their focus is still on providing customers the opportunity to conduct simple tasks and money transfers, rather than the opportunity to sign contracts and so forth.

The current biggest barrier with regards to digital signatures is lack of knowledge. Many of those who are responsible for developing services in organisations know too little about digital signatures. They are poorly updated on how accessible the technology has become and the opportunity it brings.

Because it is not only about signing digital contracts. An architectural firm can use digital signatures to simplify the handling of architectural drawings, which has different locked versions agreed with clients on different occasions. For public sector entities, digital signatures can simplify the process for political decisions, such as a building permit from a municipality, which for legal reasons needs to have the exact copy signed and stored. Basically all areas where it is important to verify how a document looked at a specific point in time, digital signatures will simplify life.

Nexus Digital signature products and solutions are becoming increasingly popular. The solutions makes it easy to sign web based forms, for example containing contracts. The company also sees a coming scenario where users can use their smartphone to sign documents, without previous add-ons like Bank-ID. In this scenario the signature work will be done on the server side instead.

It is clear we are only seeing the beginning of the introduction of digital signatures. In a few years it will be used in ways we could hardly imagine today. The technology is here.

Picture: Digital signatures - coming to a device near you?

Article written by Nexus Blogger

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