What comes to mind when I say Latvia? Perhaps gorgeous eastern European women and not much else?
Latvia and Estonia are leading the way for widespread use of electronic signatures
It definitely surprised me when I found out that Latvia and Estonia are leading the way for widespread use of electronic signatures in everyday life. All Latvian and Estonian citizens are provided with the means to electronically sign agreements and are given a ‘personal individual signature in electronic environment with legal effect’.
Uses include the more common signing of contracts, but also bills, complaints, applications, and letters and other items you might sign for in person.
In Latvia, laws have set out that eSignature has the same legal effect as paper document. Although it should be noted that a printed eSignature document is not valid because the signature itself can only be confirmed in a digital environment.
“…not a graphic representation of a physical signature. This is special information attached to electric document.”
The Latvian eSignature is “not a graphic representation of a physical signature. This is special information attached to electric document.“
SIGNING IN LATVIA
So you have just signed with a new customer, and you want to check out their signature to see it has been signed correctly.
In Australia, you might do an ASIC search to ensure a Director has signed the document, but unless you see that person sign the document physically (and maybe ask them for ID), you don’t if the signature is actually theirs. Are they who they say they are?
In Latvia however, every time you send a document for signing, you verify within the secure environment the digital details that sit behind the “signed” agreement. This is almost like dusting the document for fingerprints.
» Confirm the document was signed with safe eSignature
» Verify the identity of the signer
» See the document has not been meddled with since sent for signing
» Check the time stamp for the exact time the document was signed.
Both you and your new Latvian customer are certain the document is all above board and legal.
CORRECTLY VERIFIED DOCUMENT
Sounds too good to be true? Add on top of this that all eSignatures are free to verify on a special website www.eparaksts.lv and the cost of “signing” a document is cheaper than postage.
“…the cost of “signing” a document is cheaper than postage.”
But, what is the wash up, has it had a positive effect? Is Latvia seeing an exponential increase in productivity and efficiency?
A quick search of Latvia’s GDP shows it is doing pretty good growth-wise but the jury is still out on the benefits of the eSignature system overall.
Watch this space!
Have you heard of successes or issues with this system? I’d love to know more, comment below 🙂
» The Latvian Government explains What is the electronic signature?
» The Trust Service Authority of Slovenia provides legal explanation about the regulation of electronic signatures
Thanks to Lauren for editing 😀
Editor: Lauren Stephens