What Is eSign?
eSign enables an Aadhaar holder to digitally sign a document from anywhere and at any time in an easy and secure manner.
eSign authenticates the identity of an individual through Aadhaar eKYC information.
An Aadhaar holder can sign a document upon his/her request and eSign facilitates issuing a Digital Signature Certificate.
To avail of any eSign service, an individual must have a valid Aadhaar ID. Electronic Signature or Electronic Authentication Technique and Procedure Rules, 2015 were introduced by the Government to facilitate eSign through Aadhaar eKYC services.
Electronic signatures facilitated through eSign, are legally valid in India under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (Second Schedule) to help promote the growth of E-commerce and E-governance in India.
This makes electronic signing (eSign) a legally valid way of signing in India.
How Does It Work?
Any Aadhaar holder can digitally sign a document with eSign without the need of a cryptographic device or a physical digital signature dongle.
In fact, eSign can be integrated into several service delivery options via an Open Application Program Interface (API).
Application Service Providers or ASPs can integrate eSign into their existing applications and platforms to enable Aadhaar holders to digitally sign documents and electronic forms.
eSign issues the following classes of Digital Signature Certificates:
1. Aadhaar eKYC OTP
A One-Time Password generated is used to authenticate the identity of the subscriber through Aadhaar eKYC. At the time of verification, the physical presence of an individual is not required.
A person is required to enter his or her Aadhaar number online followed by an OTP verification post which an individual can use his digital signature.
2. Aadhaar eKYC Biometric
Based on the biometric authentication of an individual subscriber (via fingerprint or iris scan) the identity of the individual subscriber is authenticated through Aadhaar eKYC.
An individual is required to be physically present at the time of verification to scan his or her finger or iris through the biometric device.
Aadhaar-Based eSign And Public Services
Several Public and Private services can be migrated online to provide paperless transactions through Aadhaar-based eSign. Some of the Departments that use eSign for paperless delivery of services are listed below:
|1||Digital Locker||Self Signing|
|2||Income Tax||PAN Issuance|
|IT Return Filing|
|3||Financial Sector||A/c opening in Banks|
|A/c opening in Post Offices|
Why Choose eSign And Go Paperless?
Apart from saving paper, handling costs, storage of documents and efficient retrieval of documents, the basic advantages of going paperless using eSign are:
- Aadhaar based eKYC authentication and verification saves cost and time for the parties involved by removing any physical contact in the process.
- eSign is flexible and can be quickly integrated into an existing application which helps improve user convenience.
- A customer can easily apply his or her digital signature through Aadhaar based OTP (through the Aadhaar registered mobile number) or biometric-based IRIS scan or fingerprint scan authentication.
- The mandatory requirement of Aadhaar as Identity proof serves as an authenticator for the signatures and the signatory.
- eSign is completely legal and is considered a valid signature under the Information Technology Act, 2000. A complete audit trail can be traced because all information is stored securely online.
- eSign is compliant with all privacy laws and policies stipulated by the Indian Government. An individual’s consent is required and a digital signature is only accessible upon initiation by the user.
- eSign is suitable for startups, businesses, individuals and Government departments.
- Digital Certificates are generated for a few minutes and the keys are then destroyed ensuring the short validity of the certificates to prevent fraud, signature theft or misuse.
Aadhaar-Based eSign For Businesses
Any organization that wishes to use digital signatures can contact SignDesk.com (a leading eSign Service Provider or ESP) to avail eSign services within their framework.
Private Companies, insurance companies, banks, startups, telecom companies, Government Departments, etc. can use eSign as part of their application to digitally sign documents and forms.
A company or organization can incorporate eSign into its existing services to onboard customers, clients and/or vendors.
Customers or vendors can sign a form or document remotely and this enables a company to onboard more customers and at a lesser cost.
These companies can use eSignDesk.com to avail of digital signature to sign agreements and contracts, self-attestation, etc
It is important to note that electronic signatures in India do have some restrictions because they are not applicable to negotiable instruments, power of attorney, trust, will, sale of immovable property, etc.
Basically, these documents cannot be electronically signed.
Will eSign Replace Paper-Based Signatures In India?
The offline mode of manually signing a document will continue to exist alongside eSign.
With eSign, an individual can apply his/her signature from any location, at any time, involving any number of people and the digital signatures will be authentic and validated by Aadhaar.
This will enable businesses and service providers to have an edge over the competition, if they do decide to deliver services through eSign.
The manual process will be replaced eventually in a few years or so, and digital signatures will become the norm in line with a complete Digital India.
Want To eSign A Document?
SignDesk.com, a product launched by LegalDesk.com, is an authorized Application Service Provider (ASP) that enables electronic signing services for businesses and consumers.
SignDesk packages are available for individuals, small and medium business as well as enterprise. Try our service.