The electronic signature has emerged as the ideal solution to the health crisis by offering a 100% digital tool to a number of actors, both companies and individuals.
Its use, however common it has become, still raises many questions.
Two types of situations may arise with your banker or insurer:
👉 the third party refuses to use the electronic signature before a contractual process,
👉 the third party refuses to take into account an (already) electronically signed document.
After reading this article, you will be able to better understand the ins and outs of the legal context surrounding the electronic signature as well as the advantages that its use represents.
In reality 🔏
1- The basics of the e-signature
The electronic signature enters a precise legal framework in Europe via the eIDAS regulation which:
- enables the identification of trusted services offering qualified solutions with a real legal value,
- stipulates that any electronic signature has evidential value within the European Union: the legal admissibility of a signature cannot therefore be refused on the grounds that it is in the electronic format. It's the principle of non-discrimination!
FYI, all certified solutions are posted on the European Commission's website.
✅ Yousign is both a Certification Authority and a 100% eIDAS certified Trusted Third Party.
2- The third party refuses to use the electronic signature
What to base it on? The 2001 Model Law on Electronic Signatures established by UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law).
Each party is free to choose the method of signature it prefers, either electronic or handwritten.
✅ Yes, it is possible to refuse to use the electronic signature before or during the contractual process, in the name of the principle of autonomy of the co-contractors.
3- The third party refutes the validity of the electronic signature
What to base it on? The Order of 4 October 2017 on the dematerialisation of contractual relations.
✅ A professional, regardless of the sector of activity concerned, may not refuse the use of an electronic signature process from an individual in the context of a contract.
As a private individual, you want to take out an insurance policy for your home. There is no doubt that you are entitled to sign electronically.
If it were opposed to you, the pretext of the invalidity of the electronic signature would not be admissible.
The advantages of the e-signature ⚡
Prepare a solid argument for your banker or insurer.
Indeed, you are right, the advantages of the electronic signature are there, whether you are an individual or a company.
So... what are they exactly?
The electronic signature has a legal value because it makes it possible to affix an electronic certificate to the signed document, to establish the integrity of the signed document and to authenticate the signatories.
Three levels of signatures are available to best meet the security requirements for signing documents.
Moreover, thanks to the ten-year digital archiving by the third-party specialist Arkhineo, it is no longer necessary to keep the various documents in paper form.
UAn electronic signature solution such as Yousign allows the implementation of a workflow system making each signature a simple and automated process.
No need to print, initial and then physically bring the document to the signatory.
And efficiency means productivity and better time-management- it's a virtuous circle!
3. Saves money in the short term
The cost reduction is explained by:
- the reduction of material costs (purchase of paper, purchase of ink cartridges, printing, printer maintenance, postage, archiving of documents),
- the optimisation of human resources previously mobilised on administrative tasks and now fully devoted to their core business.
4. Reducing the ecological impact
The entire carbon footprint associated with the contracting process can be reduced through the use of electronic signatures.
The "paperless office" objective is only the visible part of the iceberg.
Just think about everything that can be avoided or discontinued, like:
- recurrent (motorised) trips to stamp mail on a daily basis,
- the problems of recycling printer cartridges,
- the energy consumed by multiple printers running all day
- the planned obsolescence of printers and cartridges...
Cue Cards !
✅ It is therefore possible to refuse to use the electronic signature before a contracting process.
❌ If a document has already been signed electronically, it cannot be refused on the grounds of invalidity.