Overview

What is the eIDAS regulation?

The eIDAS regulation, formally known as Regulation 910/2014, was established to standardize Electronic Identification, Authentication, and Trust Services across the European Union. It initially came into effect in 2014, and was fully implemented across all EU member states on July 1, 2016.

With eIDAS, the EU established a robust legal framework that governs electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions within member states.

Types of eSignatures

eSignature meanings and types in the EU

eIDAS classifies three types of electronic signature: simple electronic signature (SES), advanced electronic signature (AES), and qualified electronic signature (QES), each offering different levels of legality and security. Sign.Plus offers each level of legal validity from a single source, ensuring your needs are fully met.

Basic

SES

Simple electronic signature
Confirm signature with a click.
Informal agreements and basic document signing:
  • Service contract
  • Privacy policy
  • Employment contract
  • Purchase orders
  • Permanent rental contract
High

AES

Advanced electronic signature
One-time password.
Business contracts, financial transactions:
  • Non-disclosure agreement
  • Rental agreement
  • Copyright contract
  • Partnership agreements
  • Personal insurance
Maximum

QES

Qualified electronic signature
Signature with additional ID.
Legal agreements, contracts, government documents:
  • Audit report
  • Bank account opening
  • Consumer loan contract
  • Consumer credit contracts
  • Temporary rental contracts

Simple electronic signature (SES)

Simple electronic signature is a basic type of eSignature most commonly used for documents that do not have stringent legal form requirements and carry minimal liability risk.

SES eSignatures serve as digital affirmations, functioning similarly to a scanned image of a signature, clicking an "I accept" button, or simply typing your name.

Advanced electronic signature (AES)

Advanced electronic signature is a specialized type of eSignature that meets a certain regulatory criteria to provide enhanced authenticity and security.

AES eSignatures feature a higher level of signer ID verification, uniquely linking the electronic signature to the signer and safeguarding the integrity of their signature.

Qualified electronic signature (QES)

A qualified electronic signature is the only type of eSignature granted special legal status in EU member states, deemed as the legal equivalent to a handwritten signature. It represents the highest standard of eSignature legally recognized in courts.

This specific form of eSignature must meet advanced electronic signature requirements and additionally be certified by a trust service provider. Such providers must be listed on the EU Trusted List (ETL) and accredited by an EU member state, ensuring both the authenticity of the signed document and the identity of the signer.

QES with Sign.Plus

Qualified eSignatures with Sign.Plus

To comply with the law, electronic signatures must be supported by qualified certificates issued by a Qualified Trust Service Provider (QTSP) that meets the criteria outlined in the eIDAS Regulation. A QTSP is defined as a provider of trust services that fulfills the specifications in the eIDAS Regulation.

Sign.Plus partners with Swisscom Trust Services, a recognized QTSP, to issue Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) certificates. Users have the option to choose Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) when creating signature requests via Sign.Plus. They will be redirected to a Swisscom page for identity verification before they can sign via Sign.Plus.

How to obtain QES with Sign.Plus?

QES requires identity authentication before a digital certificate is issued. Users must electronically verify their identity during the signing process when prompted.

1

Prepare Your Document

Access your Dashboard. Click on Sign, and follow the prompted steps.

When you reach the Add Fields stage, prepare your document by adding necessary fields for your signer to complete.

2

Choose QES as eSignature Level

Before clicking Confirm, find E-Signature Level option at the top right of your page.

Select Qualified Signature (QES) for compliance with eIDAS or ZertES regulations.

3

Send or Sign Your Document

Click on Send.

Signers receiving your document will be redirected to our Swisscom partners' website for additional verification steps.

Secure documents during signing and beyond

Sign.Plus ensures you have all the necessary elements for a legally compliant eSignature, eliminating the need to deal with third-party providers or extra services.

sign myself online signature

Trust service provider (TSP)

We use signature certificates issued by recognized Trust Service Providers (TSPs).
request signature online

Identity provider (IDP)

We provide a range of identification methods, supported by established Identity Providers (IDPs).
request signature online

Updated regularly

We continually adapt to market developments, ensuring we stay current with all technical and legal changes.
Legal Admissibility & Effect

Admissibility and legal effect of eSignatures under eIDAS

eIDAS guarantees that all forms of electronic signatures are recognized as admissible evidence in EU courts and will not be denied legal effect simply because they are in electronic form.

The enforceability of transactions completed with electronic signatures varies based on several factors, such as the type of signature used and the information it contains. For instance, a typed name at the end of an email is more susceptible to dispute than a qualified electronic signature. Qualified electronic signatures adhere to numerous EU technical standards, are supported by a regulated Trust Service Provider, and include detailed information about the signer.

However, the eIDAS Regulation does not prescribe when a signature is required for a transaction or specify the necessary type of signature. Instead, it is up to each EU member state to determine within its own laws when a transaction cannot be executed with an electronic signature or when it requires a more secure form, such as an advanced or qualified electronic signature.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the levels of electronic signatures?
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The eIDAS Regulation establishes three levels of electronic signatures: simple, advanced, and qualified. Each level builds upon the criteria of the preceding one, increasing in security and complexity.
What is a trust service provider (TSP)?
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A Trust Service Provider (TSP) is an independent entity that offers trust services and is regularly certified by the relevant national authority. TSPs issue electronic certificates for signatures, ensuring the document's integrity remains intact since signing. They also provide information on the signer's identity, guaranteeing the authenticity of the signature to both the signer and the verifier.
What is a signature certificate?
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The signature certificate from a certified trust service provider is technically linked to the signed PDF document, confirming the signature's validity. It includes a timestamp that records the signing time, ensures the document's integrity (confirming no changes have been made since signing), and verifies the signer's identity.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only, and Sign.Plus cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or accurate. This is not intended to be legal advice and should not be a substitute for professional legal advice. For legal advice, consult a licensed attorney regarding your specific legal questions.

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