After 45 years, it looks like we can finally say goodbye to paper – even the most important ones.
Did you know that the idea of a paperless office was born back in 1975? It’s when a Business Week article predicted offices would become paperless, after the first computer terminals were introduced.
Fast forward to 2020, and computers have become extensions of our hands, but we can’t seem to get rid of paper. Even fully digital currencies have become commonplace, but we still often reach for paper when we want to document something has been agreed.
Electronic signatures are, however, becoming more commonplace, and the reason for this is simple: it’s convenient. And it’s simple, and saves time. There is simply no reason to print, scan, sign, scan and send any documents when you can manage the entire process digitally.
It’s not surprising that there is a large number of solutions for electronic signing. What many of these deliver though is simply a scribble on a screen, or if for example one-time password was used, shows that the signer was in possession of the mobile phone or email account where the code was sent to.
This is why signing of important documents has been, and many times still is, paper-based. You can apply for a mortgage digitally, but your bank will likely ask you to meet face to face for signing of the documents. Or you can bid on a property by email or SMS, but for the contract you still need to show up somewhere with an ID. Also many legal documents still require a handwritten signature.
It’s these situations when you really need to know who signed the document that have been left waiting for… something magical that would allow the parties to establish the needed level of trust without ever meeting face to face.
Verified electronic signatures change the game. Contracts, agreements and other important documents can be signed using a verified digital identity (eID), such as BankID in Norway and Sweden, or NemID in Denmark, or technologies that verify the signer’s identity documents and even couple that with a selfie or video interview to ensure the person is who they say they are. This eliminates any doubt about who signed the document, or when.
Just the time savings are enormous when you no longer need to schedule appointments for signing contracts, or send them by email and have the other party go through a cumbersome print-sign-scan-send routine.
Let’s make 2020 the year even the most important papers disappear from our desks.
Solutions Marketing Manager at Signicat
April 01 2020