What type of electronic signature should you choose to simplify your sales process?

In sales, being effective and fast is essential to remain competitive on the market. Adapting a proposal to the needs of a prospect and being ready to close the sale immediately are the key elements to win over the competition. To satisfy increasingly connected and informed consumers, companies have been changing their sales processes by adopting digital solutions. They can eliminate paper, build digital quotes together with the customer and collect the customer’s sign in real time.

Signing a contract electronically often scares the customer. The seller is not always able to answer the customer’s questions: is the contract valid? What is its legal value? How can I be sure that the clauses will not be changed?

The additional benefit of the electronic signature is out of the question. The spread of electronic and digital signatures is increasing both in public administrations and in private companies.

However, the numerous types of signatures envisaged by the legislation create confusion about the differences and their effects.

Let’s be clear

Wanting to tidy up, the reference point is the European Regulation eIDAS, which identifies three categories of “Electronic Signature” and organises them in a hierarchical way.

Let’s see them in detail:

  1. Electronic Signature
    A set of data in electronic form united or connected through logical association to other electronic data and used by the signatory to sign. Examples of Electronic Signature are our email or the set of username and password we use to access our online account.
  2. Advanced Electronic Signature or FEA
    It is an electronic signature that meets the following requirements:

    • it is connected only to the signatory;
    • it is suitable to identify the signatory;
    • it is composed using data for the creation of an electronic signature which the signatory can, with a high level of security, use under their exclusive control;
    • it is connected to the signed data to allow the identification of any subsequent modification of such data.

    Examples of FEA: the graphometric signature affixed with a pencil on a tablet or the OTP that we receive on our mobile phone to confirm home banking operations.

  3. Qualified Electronic Signature or FEQ
    The FEQ, particularly used in public administration, use a device qualified for the electronic signature and is based on a qualified electronic certificate. The IT procedure applied ensures the signatory the exclusive control of the signed data. The devices most used for the creation of the signature are the USB tokens or the Smart Cards that, inserted in the computer, allow to sign documents.

Within the categories described by the European eDAS Regulation, the Italian legislation include other types of signature, provided for in the Digital Administration Code, such as the simple electronic signature, referable to the first eiDAS category, and the digital signature, referable to the third eiDAS category.

What guarantees does it provide?

The legal value of the electronic signature
The effects of the use of the electronic signature depend on which type of signature you choose:

  • if you use a Simple Electronic Signature, the electronic document to which the signature is affixed on the evidentiary level will be freely assessable in court, given its objective characteristics of quality, safety, integrity and non-modifiability
  • if you use a FEA or an FEQ (and therefore also a digital signature), you have an electronic signature with the same legal effects as a handwritten signature and the electronic document is a private writing, with the consequent applicability of the art. 2702 of the Italian Civil Code.

Choose the right solution

With Apparound you can use various types of electronic signatures with legal validity and meet different needs in terms of closing sales contracts. If a simple electronic signature can be the most suitable solution for low value transactions, for more important transactions you can opt for a graphometric signature, able to collect signer’s biometric values ​​(speed, inclination, pressure) and to guarantee the same legal value as a handwritten signature on paper. The graphic effect on the electronic device will be the same to the handwritten signature on a traditional paper document. Once signed, the electronic document will also have the technical and IT features that guarantee integrity and non-modifiability, in accordance with current legislation.

If the contract is not approved at the first meeting, it is possible to avoid further trips and opt for the use of the advanced electronic signature through OTP (One Time Password). A temporary password is sent to the signer’s smartphone and used as an electronic signature to close the contract.

Simplify your sales process – Try it now!

Apparound provides a sales app that can help sellers during the whole sales process, from the first meeting with the customer to the signing of the contract. Much more than a simple CPQ (Configure Price Quote), Apparound is a solution for tablets and smartphones that can be used to present content in digital format (catalogues, brochures, videos, data sheets), configure a quote together with the customer and close the deal in one meeting by collecting the order through the electronic signature. The sales force will be more effective and order processing time will be faster, while the customer’s purchasing experience will be improved.

Request a free trial: one of our consultants will contact you to answer all your questions and explain how to improve sales productivity with Apparound.

Apparound Team
Apparound was founded in Pisa, Tuscany, in 2008 and is Italy’s only IT company offering an innovative solution for the digitisation of the sales process. With its cloud-based technology, the solution assists sellers all through the sales cycle: from pitching the marketing materials as digital contents (brochures, videos, etc.) to offer configuration through to the closing of the deal and the finalisation of the order with electronic signature; all through an extremely simple process, where all you need is a tablet or a smartphone, or otherwise a Web Client.