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Electronic signature

(also e-signature)

Electronic signature definition

An electronic signature is a digital version of a person’s signature that they can use to authenticate and validate electronic documents or transactions. It's a secure and legally binding way to show consent or give permission without using pen and paper. Electronic signatures make things easier and faster when dealing with documents or transactions online, and they ensure that the digital documents you sign are genuine and can be trusted.

Electronic signature use cases

  • Business contracts. Electronic signatures are used to sign and validate business contracts, agreements, and proposals.
  • Legal documents. Legal documents (like affidavits, waivers, and consent forms) can be electronically signed to ensure their authenticity and enforceability.
  • Financial transactions. Electronic signatures are used in banking and financial sectors for loan agreements, mortgage applications, and payment authorizations.
  • Human resources. Employee onboarding documents, including employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), and other HR-related forms, can be electronically signed.
  • Government and public administration. Electronic signatures are utilized in government applications, permit forms, tax filings, and other administrative processes.
  • Real estate. Property sales and lease agreements, rental contracts, and property management documents can be signed electronically.
  • Healthcare. Electronic signatures are used in the healthcare industry for patient consent forms, medical records, and telemedicine-related documentation.
  • Education. Educational institutions use electronic signatures for student enrollment, course registrations, and permission slips.
  • E-commerce. Online purchases, contracts with vendors, and customer agreements in e-commerce can be validated using electronic signatures.
  • Remote work and collaboration. Electronic signatures facilitate remote work scenarios by enabling the virtual signing of documents, reducing the need for physical paperwork.

Common electronic signature platforms

  • DocuSign
  • Adobe Sign
  • HelloSign
  • SignNow
  • PandaDoc