Digital Signature at Point of Sale

Digital server signing offers major benefits for sales agreements


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Companies, shops and financial institutions often need customers to sign documents. This is still mainly done on paper, even though electronic solutions exist and provide a better alternative. Digital server signing offers numerous advantages including greater efficiency, speed and security when compared to manual administrative processes.


Document signing is often necessary in every company, financial institution or shop. Examples might include a customer in an electronics shop who wants to buy a new television set on credit, a sales agreement for a property purchase at an estate agent, documents for a loan or opening a bank account. Other examples are: a car rental agreement at a car rental company, taking out insurance at an insurance broker, an employment contract, a contract with an energy supplier. The potential examples are virtually unlimited. 


Very often these documents are still signed on paper, but now there is an alternative. An e-signature solution makes digital signing of documents possible and the advantages are clear. Electronic signing promotes resource conservation in companies and allows them to make the switch to a completely paperless workflow. The process of printing out documents, dispatching them, receiving completed documents and scanning them in costs time, money and effort. With digital signing, postage and physical document handling are no longer necessary. This lowers the operational and administrative costs and strongly reduces the chance of mistakes occurring. It also eliminates paper usage and dispatching costs. 


Higher processing speed

Electronic signatures accelerate and streamline the decision-making and sales process, which is beneficial for granting consumer credit, mortgages and so on. They also allow companies to offer their customers greater value, since the product or service for which the contract is signed with an e-signature is available faster, or potentially even immediately. A shop, for example, could allow their customer to access consumer credit on the spot and take the purchased item with them straight away. They don’t have to wait for credit approval before picking up their purchases.


Highest possible legal value

Of course, digital signatures must be secure and legally binding according to the European eIDAS regulations. This states that a qualified certificate must be used in order to sign with a qualified electronic signature.


As an accredited supplier of trust services (recognised as a TSP on the EU Trust List), ZetesConfidens offers the eaZyCert solution for issuing qualified certificates for server signing with cloud-based signing. This makes digital signing available to everyone [1]. The result is a signature with the highest possible qualified value.


[1] Anyone in Belgium who has an eID already has this sort of certificate. The eaZyCert solution allows both methods to be combined. Even in cases where someone does not have their eID handy or has forgotten the PIN code, eaZyCert offers a solution.

The eaZyCert solution from ZetesConfidens also offers certificates for server signing with cloud-based signing.


How does the e-signature solution work?

Digital signing is based on the ‘know your customer’ (KYC) process. The overall process starts with robust identity verification. This can be done in person or via an equivalent method. With face-to-face verification, the customer presents a valid identification document - a passport, a driving licence or an ID card - to the salesperson or broker. The employee validates the identity of the customer based on the data and photo on the identification document.


Then the customer’s identity data is registered. The employee enters the required data in a digital document and uploads it to a secure cloud environment. In this process, the employee acts as an authorised person for ZetesConfidens – in other words, as a local registration authority officer – to validate the identity of the person concerned. Before taking on this role, the employee is thoroughly trained in the procedures to be followed, so that customer registration is performed correctly and in a trustworthy manner.  In many cases, this registration can take place as part of the KYC process already present at the point of sale.


After registration by the employee, a digital certificate is issued and can be used for electronic signing. The customer’s identity is registered in this certificate in an indisputable manner.


The actual certificate is retained in a secure cloud environment and can only be used by the customer concerned. The customer consents to signing with their digital signature by means of a secure mechanism that is independent of the sales channel. For example, this can be done via an SMS message in which the customer enters a one-time password, or by a challenge–response authentication mechanism such as used for Internet banking. In the end, the customer's digital signature is added based on the customer's consent.


Peace of mind

Digital signing is extremely trustworthy and according to the elDAS regulations, the digital signature has the same legally binding value as a handwritten signature. In addition, ZetesConfidens guarantees correct handling of digital signing according to the ‘what you see is what you sign’ (WYSIWYS) principle. Both the customer and the salesperson are certain that the digital signature has been placed on the displayed document. The signed digital document provides clear and indisputable proof of the transactions concerned. This offers peace of mind for both the company and the customer.

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