Different Types of Signatures
Updated: Apr 21
There are various types of signatures the business world, and often the definitions can be mixed up or blurred.
Let’s take a moment to clarify:
1. The Wet Signature:
The traditional method of capturing your signature by putting pen to paper: it is any physical mark on documents created by a person. In most cases it’s writing
your name in cursive on a piece of paper, document or contract, often with initials on each page indicating the extent of what is being signed.
2. Click Wrap Signatures
Typically a tick box on a website. It is used for mostly online purchases, where a simple tick in a box is an acceptance of the terms and conditions contained; referred to somewhere on the website. A user is required to click the box before the services can be consumed.
3. The Electronic Signature (E-Signature)
There are a wide variety of types and forms of electronic signatures, ranging from your name in an email, a copy of your wet signature, to an authenticated name stamp with date, IP address and time stamp.
It is a digital version of a wet signature, where many countries have defined the legality and description of uses for e-signatures. These are the most common form of signatures used by organisations globally.
4. The Digital Signature
An electronic signature with a mechanism that enables private and public key authentication. It is an authentication mechanism that enables a code to be attached as a signature. It is required for certain specific agreements, and issued through a certification agency.
5. The Advanced Digital Signature
Required for only a select few document types, requiring face to face and/or other ID verification service supported by a certificate of authentication. There are presently two agencies registered in South Africa.
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Visit www.realyst.com for more information on advanced digital signatures and how they tie neatly into contract management.