Difference Between Handwritten Signature & Digital Signature

Handwritten signature have been used for decades as the only way of document verification along with seals. However, in a modern world, where cyberspace controls most of our daily interactions, digital signature have been invented to provide more authentication for documents in the digital world.

This blogpost will demonstrate the difference between handwritten and digital signatures in detail.

What is a handwritten signature?

Handwritten signatures, also known as “Wet Ink signatures” are the scripted name or the legal mark of an individual on paper documents to verify that document and authenticate their approval to be involved in that contract, agreement, deal, or any legal binding agreement.
It is called wet signatures because it is conducted with an ink pen and usually takes time to dry.

What is Digital signature?

Digital signature, also known as “electronic signature –  e signature” is a digital code protected by public key encryptions and attached to digital documents to verify the authenticity of its content and the identity of the signer.

Comparison between written signature and electronic signature:

Although written signature have been used for decades, they have become outdated and unsuitable for modern business transactions.

Company image

In the time of digital transformation, it is imperative for companies to reflect a modern image with its customers and partners. Adopting digital signature technology to corporate workflow is a huge step towards sustainability and will convey a sophisticated corporate agenda.

Company Expenses

Handwritten signatures require the use of a numerous amount of paper, not to mention the significant amount of time wasted in mailing the paper documents to the signers.
Digital signature, on the other hand, eliminates the use of paper completely and reduces the signing time to a few minutes, which results in a significant cut in company expenses.

Forgeries and Alteration

The forgery of handwritten signatures is undetected until someone suspects its authenticity and reports it to the authorities. On the other hand, any forgeries of a digital signature are immediately detected and reported to the document’s verifiers due to the protection of the public key encryption.

Process Workflow Transaction

The traditional form of paper signatures requires a lot of related procedures including paper and ink purchase, printing, packaging, mailing, retrieving and storage. In addition to the overwhelming amount of manual work which consumes time and results in many errors due to the human factor involved.
Digital signatures require just a few simple steps to create a digital document, send it for the signing parties, retrieve it and final storage within just a few minutes.
No need for costly tools or a large number of employees, no need for storage cabinets that occupy a lot of office space and errors are reduced to a minimum due to process workflow automation.

Legality and security

In terms of security, digital signatures provide more security for the signed documents against any signature forgeries and against alteration of document’s content after signing. In addition to the safe storage of the signed documents over the cloud in a safe and protected cyberspace, contrary to written signatures, which needs to be physically stored and protected against thieves.

In terms of legality, a digital signature is legal to use in Saudi Arabia and documents signed digitally are legally binding infront of the Saudi courts same as handwritten signatures.
However, there are some types of documents that still require to include handwritten signatures in order to be valid such as wills, some types of power of attorneys, adoptions documents, marriage and divorce agreements.

Digital signatures are predicted to have a huge impact on international trade since the invention of money. It facilitates and accelerates commerce agreements and connects traders around the world. Saudi businesses have to choose a reliable local provider of digital signature software that can be able to provide an easy to use platform that is legally recognized in Saudi Arabia. Indorse is a locally hosted digital signature transaction platform that is designed specifically to suit Saudi businesses and abide by Saudi laws. Contact our customer support team now for more information about the product.

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