How Remote Signing Has Changed During the Pandemic: What You Need to Know

Remote signing is the future of business and personal agreements. As we are all aware, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected many individuals and business owners worldwide. 

Due to the preventive measures we must all take, such as social distancing, doing business face-to-face is no longer a viable option for the foreseeable future. And this means that the signing of documents, often a process carried out where both parties are present, has become more challenging. 

However, there is a simple solution — signing documents remotely through the use of online signature software. But, like with any document signing process, you need to read the fine print. 

When Can I Use My Electronic Signature?

There is no distinction between a ‘wet ink’ signature and an electronic signature in most major regions. Therefore, e-signatures are used whenever it’s convenient or when it’s not possible to give or obtain a signature in person, which has undoubtedly become a reality for most of us. 

To Ensure Your Signed Agreement is Valid, You Have to Adhere to 3 Main Requirements:

Although it is not necessary for identity verification, you need to prove the identity of the person who signed the contract. For instance, if someone had to sign a contract, and one of their employees had access to their email and signed it on their behalf, and without their consent, the contract won’t be valid. 

Security

One way to avoid this is including a clause in the agreement that stipulates no other party may have access to applying the e-signature.

Reliability of Software 

The software you use to create your e-signature and sign your digital document must be reliable. Electronic signature software and digital signing platforms such as Agreeable are considered to be the most reliable. 

Consent to Sign Electronically 

Both parties must indicate their consent to signing the document electronically as opposed to on paper or in person. You can do this by including a clause into the contract outlining this agreement. 

How Does Social Distancing Effect Contract Signing that Requires Witnesses?  

Witnessing the signing of contracts has become more challenging due to lockdowns and restrictions across the globe. As a result, some governing bodies have passed legislation that permits you to witness the remote signing of documents. And this can be done via audio-visual online communication platforms, such as Zoom, FaceTime or Microsoft Teams.  

However, this is generally not advisable. These new regulations and its contents are still unclear, and the law that constitutes the signing of a deed must take place in ‘the presence of a witness’ makes the legislation even more complicated. 

However, if you want to implement this method for remote signing, here are a few essential things to remember: 

  • The witness must see the signing process happening in real-time.
  • They must confirm that they have witnessed it by signing the same or copy of the document.
  • The witness must state the method used to witness the signature and that it applied to all regulatory standards. 

What are the Limitations of E-Signatures and Remote Signing? 

Although remote signing applies to most documents, there are specific contracts and agreements you cannot sign online. This is because there is a legal requirement for particular documents to be signed in person and with a witness present.

To Name a Few: 

  • Court documents, such as divorce papers
  • Deeds
  • Wills 
  • Adoption papers 
  • Leases 

However, you’ll find that some bodies and regulators have become more flexible during the pandemic. When you’re unsure whether you can sign a document electronically, contact them and see if they have adjusted their signing process and requirements.

Things to Consider Before Adopting a Remote Signing Method 

There are a few things you need to consider before implementing the use of online signing into your business or even for personal use: 

Having Access to a Reliable Online Signing Platform 

Both signers or parties must have access to a reliable online signing platform that they are confident and comfortable using. 

Authority of the Signer 

Whoever signs the digital document must have the legal authority to do so. 

IT Security of the Platform Used

Only make use of reliable e-signature platforms that offer the highest IT security levels to keep your documents safe.

Remote Signing Made Easy With Agreeable 

As we adapt to a new way of living, and doing business online, finding simple and cost-effective solutions is the holy grail. Agreeable is the online signing app that helps you get your documents signed and secured at the click of a button. And what’s more, you can do it all at home and still adhere to Covid-19 regulations. 

Contact us or sign up with Agreeable today to make your business processes faster and more efficient while still legally compliant.