To ensure growth in dematerialization of exchanges, companies will have to acquire electronic signature solutions. A few things to know a little more…
The health crisis has highlighted that remote signing is necessary in order to continue administrative or commercial acts and allow the company to operate due to various confinements.
According to a survey by YouGov for Universine on the development of the use of electronic signatures in France in January 2021, 26% of companies have adopted an electronic signature solution since the start of the health crisis. Of them, 49% used preliminary documents prepared in the context of sales and 41% for documents related to human resources. However, there is still progress to be made for small businesses: 41% are SMEs, 53% are ETIs, and only 25% are VSEs.
The increasing dematerialization of documents now allows companies to accelerate and optimize the exchange of information with administration, banks or other companies. Among the possibilities of remote exchanges now open to companies, we can cite the production of a social or tax declaration, the response to a call for tenders or even the management of its banking operations. Business-to-business exchanges will be increasingly affected by dematerialisation: sending electronic invoices, signing contracts to establish direct debit mandates, and more.
What is its legal value?
According to Article 1366 of the Civil Code: “Electronic writing has the same potential force as writing on paper, provided that the person from whom it emanates can be duly identified and it is prepared and stored to guarantee its integrity.”
An electronic signature has the same value as a handwritten signature France, as in the rest of the European Union, since the year 2000. However, as specified by Decree No. 2017-1416 of September 28, 2017 relating to electronic signatures, only qualified electronic signature equivalent to a handwritten signature. In the context of public procurement, an advanced electronic signature satisfies these conditions.
The European Standard since 1 July 2016, eIDAS has provided a legal and practical framework for its use and harmonized the rules governing signatures across the European Union.
This European regulation defines three levels of protection: standard, advanced and qualified. The “Advanced” and “Qualified” levels, which include a trusted third party (provider of electronic signature solutions), are most recommended for companies. They are completely reliable before the courts, as they guarantee the identity of the signatories of a document while respecting the European Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
Source France Portal for the Digital Transformation of Number Companies
Reach European Standards! secure the process
In order to be accepted, these remote applications require your company’s signature to authenticate. It is also necessary to guarantee the integrity of the signed document. Therefore the company must have a certificate and a digital application for an electronic signature. Adding a signature commits the signer. Also, electronic signature certificates are enrolled and issued to a duly identified natural person (such as a bank card). The company must provide and obtain a certificate for each person authorized to sign on behalf of the company. The holder of a certificate who signs a document is personally committed and is therefore the only one who can use it. The rules to be followed for these authentication and signing processes are defined by public authorities in the Common Security Framework (RGS). The banking profession has adopted this RGS. It requires varying degrees of protection depending on the type of operation, featuring one, two or three stars. For example, RGS 1 is the one that was used in the implementation of online tax declaration for individuals. Among other things, RGS 2 requires that the user be given a certificate on a physical medium (a secure USB key). This is the current standard required for exchanges between companies and administrations.
What is electronic signature?
Electronic signature is a process that guarantees the integrity of an electronic document and certifies the author, as for the handwritten signature of a paper document. with him legal value as a handwritten signature, It differs from a written signature in that it is not visual, but corresponds to a sequence of characters.
What type of electronic signature to use?
The choice of signature level, as defined by EIDAS, depends on the importance of the document to be used and signed: in the event of a dispute, the stronger the level of credibility of your signature, the more difficult it will be. To challenge the validity of the signed deed and the commitments contained therein. On a case by case basis, the appropriate level of protection will be selected.
Some digital solutions for digitally signing
Oodrive Signs (formerly Sell & Sign)