Electronic signature: what is it and what is the difference to digital signature?

Electronic signature



  1. Don’t confuse electronic signature with digital signature
    • Electronic signature: use and benefits
  2. And how does the digital signature work?
    • Digital signature: use and benefits
  3. What is an electronic contract?
    • Electronic contract: use and benefits
  4. What does the law say
  5. More productivity, more sales: does your company live in the present or the past?

The use of electronic signature has grown within the context where technology has evolved and companies need agility to achieve good results.

Therefore, surrounding yourself with everything that helps in the task of selling more and better is what any business needs to look for. And the electronic signature fits this context perfectly.

Also because, with increasingly demanding customers and time is always scarce, it is necessary to find solutions in the business world.

Reducing costs, accelerating processes and boosting growth is what your company is looking for, isn’t it?

But, do you know exactly what electronic signature is, how it is used and how you can implement it in your company?

More than that. It is crucial to understand that electronic signature and digital signature are not exactly the same thing.

We spoke with Dr. Letícia Batistela, an expert lawyer who provides consultancy in corporate technology, who clarified important topics covered in this article.

Below, understand the advantages, the differences and everything that involves electronic signature and digital signature.

Also, find out how the electronic contract works and how your company can benefit from these technologies.

Come on? Good reading!

Digital signature, electronic signature and electronic contract: there is already jurisprudence for them.

Don’t confuse electronic signature with digital signature

A digital signature is an electronic signature, but an electronic signature is not necessarily a digital signature.

Complicated? We explain: The digital signature is one of the kinds of electronic signature.

In other words, electronic signature is the genus to designate all kinds of documents produced by electronic means.

However, digital signature is a little more bureaucratic, as it requires the use of a digital certificate that needs to be approved by an official institution.

Electronic signature, however, does not require a digital certificate. This type of signature is used only in cases where the parties accept and trust the evidence collected.

In other words, electronically signed documents may be legally valid in some cases, only if everyone agrees on their validity. However, this is not always guaranteed.

Electronic signature: use and benefits

The electronic signature can be used for various documents, such as:

  • subscription to internet and cable TV services;
  • rental contracts;
  • purchase and sale contracts;
  • labor forms;
  • banking operations.

When we talk about benefits, the electronic signature covers important issues such as

  • Sustainability : it will not be necessary to print each contract, form, report, among others;
  • Agility : it is much faster to collect digital signatures than handwritten signatures;
  • Security : technological barriers and cryptography remove the risk of fraud and unauthorized access;
  • Mobility : access to documents anywhere with any device with internet access.

And how does the digital signature work?

The digital signature is a form of signature made electronically.

It is performed by a set of data that is logically associated with an encoded digital message that can be used to certify the document’s author.

The digital signature is linked to the electronic document written, thus, if any modification is made to it, the signature becomes invalid.

Therefore, it ensures the integrity of the digital document, as the signature is linked to that specific document.

If you change a word, for example, that signature will no longer be valid and the electronic document was sent for nothing.

It is noteworthy that digital signature is not the same as digitized signature.

The latter  is a copy, an image made by a scanner, for example, of the signature made by the hand itself.

Because of that, it doesn’t have the same guarantee as the digital signature, after all, it can be easily copied and inserted in another document.

Digital signature: use and benefits

There are many applications for digital signatures.

  • In the governmental sphere : judicial and administrative proceedings in electronic media; facilitate popular initiative in the presentation of bills; signature of income statement and other services provided by the Internal Revenue Service; obtaining and sending notary documents; SPB; Official Electronic Journal; identification of websites on the Internet.
  • At the corporate level : various types of electronic documents, such as emails, web forms, contracts, powers of attorney, reports, images, mandates, notifications, balance sheets, statements, petitions, examination results, reports, certificates, medical records, proposals and insurance policies and electronic files transferred between companies (EDI).

When we talk about benefits, the digital signature includes important issues such as

  • process optimization and bureaucracy reduction;
  • issuing documents and contracts more easily;
  • greater security compared to manual signatures;
  • adoption of sustainable practices, among others.

But calm down: not everything is roses

However, it is important to point out that, unlike electronic signature, there are disadvantages that need to be taken into account.

Security is one of them, as it  depends on the private key held by the issuer.

If it is, for any reason, used by unauthorized individuals, the security of the digital signature will consequently be compromised.

What is an electronic contract?

The name is self-explanatory, of course, but the term needs to be expanded. Electronic contract is, rather, a contract made by electronic means similar to that made on paper.

However, for legal validity, the file must have an electronic or digital signature.

Electronic contract: use and benefits

This sending of an electronic document can occur, among many possibilities, in

  • service contracting agreements;
  • purchase of products;
  • emails;
  • certifications;
  • financial statements;
  • medical records;
  • service policies.

The benefits are in:

  • Security : both electronic and digital signatures have reliable resources to prove the authenticity of documents, not offering legal loopholes for their contestation, therefore, they prevent files from being accessed and modified by non-interested third parties;
  • Mobility : Storing and sharing an electronic contract is much simpler than handling multiple paper pages. It is possible to have access through any electronic device;
  • Cost : it is not necessary to worry about purchasing paper, ink for the printer and its maintenance, displacement to send a physical document, among others.

What does the law say

According to art. 10 of MP 2200-2 of 2001, documents signed electronically within the scope of ICP-Brasil (Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure) have the same validity as a document signed by hand.

Documents digitally signed through certificates issued outside the ICP-Brasil plan will also have legal validity.

However, it is noteworthy that this will depend on the acceptance of both parties, as written in §2 of art. 10 of MP 2200-2 of 2001 . To learn more about what the law says, click here .

More productivity, more sales: does your company live in the present or the past?

If you’ve come this far, you’ve already realized that the electronic signature is essential for those companies that want, more than to sell more and better and reduce operating costs, to be a reference in what they do, in the area in which they operate.

In an increasingly competitive market, time is a rare commodity – but technology exists to help businesses. That’s why your sales CRM needs to be aligned with your needs.

You can have within PipeRun your document templates, confidentiality terms and contracts to send to customers through the platform.

So they can electronically sign and PipeRun performs data validation. Simple for your customer, fast for your company. After all, the rule here is practicality, right?

So, how can we help you?

If you have any questions about how to electronically sign or how to make a digital signature, talk to a consultant today.

Enjoy and read two articles that may be useful for you.

The first one talks about what CRM is and how important it is for companies.

The second covers why sending emails through the PipeRun CRM Sales funnel.

Good sales!

You may also like...