Benefits of electronic signature

By using an electronic signature, you can avoid additional printing, scanning and mailing of paper. Electronic signature makes everyday life easier and offers a modern way of confirming the signatory's identity.

Electronic signatures are typically used in PDF documents, such as contracts or orders. It is also possible to sign other types of documents and, for example, e-mails or data files electronically.

 

Why is it a good idea to use electronic signature?

Electronic signature is reliable

Electronic signatures made using the tools provided by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency are reliable. They guarantee the origin, integrity and indisputability of the signed information.

An advanced electronic signature gives the parties certainty:

  • about who signed the document
  • that no one has modified the signed information afterwards
  • that the signatory cannot deny having made the signature or claim that changes have been made to the document afterwards.

Independent of location and time

An electronic signature can be made anywhere and at any time. Especially as remote work is increasing, it is important that documents can also be signed remotely instead of the signatories having to be present at the office.

Location independence is useful especially when the same document must be signed by several persons. The signatories do not need to agree on meeting in the same place but can all sign the document wherever they are.

Fast and cost-effective

Signing a document electronically is almost as fast as signing it on paper, but time is saved especially in the handling of the document:

Affairs can be managed faster when the documents no longer need to be scanned or printed and sent as paper mail.

The document can be saved in a location where the right persons can access it if necessary.

It only takes a moment to send an electronic document to the recipient. If you send the signed document to the recipient by email, remember to take data security into account. If necessary, use encrypted email.

Less paper – an environmentally friendly choice

An electronically signed document is also processed electronically. The document does not need to be printed, so there is no need to consider its physical storage. Various electronic workspace solutions can be used to ensure that the document can be stored safely for a long period of time. Reducing the amount of paper is also an environmentally friendly choice.

No scanning – the text remains machine-readable

As the document does not need to be scanned between the signatures, the text of the document remains machine-readable. When the content of the document is machine-readable, it can also be read by screen reading software and is therefore accessible. This is useful when the documents are archived and processed as searches can targeted at the content of the documents.

Method of signing across borders

Electronic signature is also a fast and efficient method when documents need to be shared across borders, for example in connection with contracts or competitive tendering processes. In the European Union, electronic signature is guided by the EU’s eIDAS Regulation.

A qualified electronic signature (QES) is valid as such in the entire European Union. It is legally binding and indisputable without separate evidence.

Several applications

A frequently identified use case is the electronic signature of a PDF document such as a contract or a decision. However, electronic signature can be used in several different situations, such as email messages, different data files (e.g. installation packages or application updates), the securing of online traffic or block chains.

Signature options offered by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency

Organisation card

An organisation card is a certificate card intended for the employees of organisations. A signature made using the signature certificate of an organisation card is a qualified electronic signature (QES) as

  • the signature certificate of the organisation card is eIDAS approved
  • the chip in the organisation card is QSCD certified.

Organisation cards

Certificate cards for social welfare and healthcare service providers

Certificate cards for social welfare and healthcare service providers contain a signature certificate. The cards include ID cards for regulated social welfare and healthcare professionals, ID cards for non-regulated workers, ID cards for non-clinical staff and replacement cards. For example, the signature certificate of the ID card for regulated social welfare and healthcare professionals is used by physicians to sign electronic prescriptions.

Certificates and cards for social welfare and healthcare service providers

If you already use a certificate card

If your organisation already uses a certificate card issued by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, you can start to use electronic signature straight away.

Instructions: Signing a PDF document electronically

Instructions: Validating a signature in a PDF document