The Importance Of Digital Signatures In Financial Record-Keeping

Electronic and digital signatures are changing how we conduct business and handle records and paperwork. If you're unsure if getting a digital signature solution for your financial business is the right thing to do, we're here to help.

What Is an Electronic Signature?

A digital signature is a modern form of an electronic signature. Using a cryptographic process, a unique digital "fingerprint" is made. This number is used to identify the signer and prove that they are who they say they are. This can be checked with a PDF reader, making it hard to change or fake digital signatures.

How Digital Signatures Benefit Recordkeeping

The success or breakdown of your business can depend on how well you keep track of and organize your financial records. Keeping track of and protecting signatures is an important part that can take time and effort. A digital signature and software for managing documents can help you speed up and improve processes.

Audit trails and keep track

E-signature solutions come with several features that let you see where your documents are in the process at a glance. With Smallpdf eSign, for example, you can see who had signed a document, when they signed, and who else needs to sign. This makes it easy to follow audit trails.

Safety and Privacy

Another great thing is that security is better. Digital signatures are hard to change or fake and can be checked and confirmed anytime. This is important when working with sensitive and private documents, like most financial paperwork.

In terms of privacy and security, digital document management solutions have also come a long way. Smallpdf is compliant with both GDPR and eIDAS, and it also has ISO/IEC 27001 certification. Our servers use TLS encryption to ensure that processing documents is safe, and our site uses HTTPS to ensure that network communication is safe.

Digital Document Storage

Digital document storage is the most important part of a digital document management system for keeping financial records. Digital storage in the cloud is much better than traditional paper filing systems. You save time and money and prevent tampering, water damage, and human error.

Finances Online says that if a financial institution uses an e-signature solution, it can cut the number of scanning errors by 92% and the number of missing files by 66%. You also have complete management over who can see which documents, and teams can take their files anywhere to work on the go.

Check out eSign if you want to know if an e-signature solution is right for your financial institution.

How is a digital signature different from an electronic signature?

Electronic signatures (eSignatures) are a broad term that includes many different types of electronic signatures. Digital signatures, a type of electronic signature that uses a specific technology, are in this group. Digital signatures and eSignature solutions make it possible to sign documents and verify who signed them. But there are differences between digital signatures and other eSignatures in how they are used, how they are implemented technically, where they are used, and how they are accepted legally and culturally.

Especially, the use of digital signature technology for eSignatures is very different between countries that have open, technology-neutral eSignature laws, like the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, and those that have tiered eSignature models that prefer locally defined standards that are based on digital signature technology, like many countries in the European Union, South America, and Asia. Some industries also support standards that are based on the technology of digital signatures.

What is Infrastructure for Public Keys (PKI)?

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a group of rules that make it possible to make digital signatures, among other things. Through PKI, each digital signature transaction includes two keys: a private key and a public key. As the identity suggests, the private key is not shared; only the signer uses it to sign documents electronically. The public key is out in the open and can be used by anyone who needs to verify the signer's electronic signature. PKI imposes additional criteria, such as the Certificate Authority (CA), a digital certificate, enrollment software for end-users, and tools for maintaining, renewing, and revoking keys and certificates.

CA stands for "Certificate Authority."

Public and private keys are utilized to make digital signatures. These keys need to be kept safe so that they can't be copied or used in a bad way. When you forward or sign a document, you need to know that both the document and the key were made safely and with valid keys. CAs, a form of Trust Service Provider, are third-party organizations generally recognized as trustworthy for assuring key security and may issue the required digital certificates. To use a certain CA, both the person sending the document and the person signing it must agree to use it.