How it works

  • What type of electronic signature does Closd offer?

    Three types of signature are available on Closd: Simple and Advanced electronic signatures, and Handwritten “wet-ink” signatures.

    Simple and Advanced electronic signatures are equally valid under the eIDAS EU regulation. They vary in the level of authentication required for signatories, hence in the probative force, or body of proof of the signatory’s identity, of the signed document in time.

    The high level of security for Advanced signatures is attained through the following steps:

    • Integrating the technologies developed by DocuSign et Certeurope, providers certified by the European Commision. On each project, users can choose between the two technologies and keep the same interface and signature workflow.
    • Combining these technologies with a strong three-layer authentication.

    Handwritten scanned signatures are valid for signature in counterparts, for the most part used in common law countries. Closd automatically extracts signature pages and allows compliance with UK Mercury case law, which requires that the full document be sent along with signature pages.

    You can use and combine different signature technologies and types in one signing session.

  • How are signatories authenticated?

    “Advanced” level electronic signatures require strong authentication of signatories, providing a high level of security when signing more sensitive documents. This consists of a three-layer authentication process:

    1. Personal account protected by a secure password chosen after receiving an invitation to Closd;
    2. Automated ID verification: Before their first signature on Closd, signatories must upload a picture or scan of a valid ID document. Users are guided through this quick and easy process at their first login. This verification only has to be done only once, provided the given ID does not expire;
    3. One-time password sent by SMS.

    “Simple” level electronic signatures require a basic level of authentication for signatories (a link sent by email) making them faster to perform, generally used to sign less important documents.

    Handwritten signatures also require a basic level of authentication. Signatories are sent a link by email; they then print, sign and scan the signature pages and reupload them to Closd.

  • How can you prove that this authentication has been carried out?

    An authentication certificate is issued and archived by Closd upon each ID verification and electronic signature. This document gathers technical information relating to the ID verification (for Advanced signature) and to the electronic signature (envelope number, signatory’s email address, IP address, time and date, technology used, etc.).

    This authentication certificate is provided to users along with the original signed document. This process complies with legal requirements and ensures the validity and full probative value of the electronic signatures, while maintaining a simple user experience.

  • What is the technology behind electronic signatures?

    An electronic signature is composed of electronic data and leaves no graphic representation on the document. Electronic signatures’ validity and probative force lie in the digital data incorporated into the document, which guarantee its integrity and the signatory’s identity. This is done through the issuance of:

    (1) A digital certificate that proves that the signatory’s identity has been verified; and

    (2) A unique fingerprint of the file that ensures that the document has not been modified since it was signed.

  • How can you check that a document has been validly signed and has not been subsequently modified?

    A PDF reader (such as Adobe Acrobat Reader) can verify the validity of an electronic signature. When the document is opened, the PDF reader automatically performs two operations:

    • It calculates the document’s fingerprint to see if it matches the fingerprint of the document that was signed;
    • It checks the digital certificate to ensure its validity (therefore the authentication of the signatories).

    If the reader recognizes one of these elements as invalid, a message will warn the user that the electronic signature is invalid. This removes the need to initial the document on each page.

  • Should documents be initialed?

    No. Electronic signature technologies play the same role as notarial binding (thanks to the document’s digital “fingerprint”). Therefore, any modification of an electronically signed document subsequent to its signature is automatically detected by the PDF reader in which it is opened. If the document was modified, a message appears warning the user that the affixed electronic signatures are no longer valid.

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    Closd in now available in German!