Electronic and digital signatures have long been the convenient choice of signature solutions in Malaysia, and the question of which is more effective is often hard to answer.
This is mainly because both are used by various organisations for different purposes.
Electronic signatures, commonly known as e-signatures are governed by the Electronic signature Act (ECA) 2006, whereas digital signatures are governed by the Digital Signature Act (DSA) 1997 in Malaysia.
In an obvious sense, digital signatures carry plenty more benefits, particularly in relation to document validation, document workflow, quality checks and technical deployment issues.
This is because they’re far more secure and utilise more intricate technology in its backend to ensure integrity of the signatures are maintained. Although e-signatures do not have a strong set of advantages relative to digital signatures in terms of security and safety,, they nonetheless have numerous have benefits that organisations can consider when deciding which option it should go for:-
- Immediate acknowledgements of receipt
- Reduced paper usage
- Reduced cost of operations especially when it comes to printing, distributing and using certificates as well as the requirement to maintain records.
- Improved workflow management (immediate acknowledgements) allows for better management of documents that are currently in progress, reducing the need to print out documents that are submitted but yet to be acknowledged by the supplier. Digital signatures can also be easily used for automated distribution of documents within an organisation to different departments or even suppliers
- Improved security risks, with less likelihood of document leakage due to the use of encryption
- Better access to documents that are currently in progress, with rapid response times. This is further improved by the ability to track progress on documents that are in queue rather than relying on a human manager to be the middleman between the supplier and customer.
Digital signatures are the perfect go-solution for companies that want to go paperless and save costs while still maintaining transparency and security in their transactions. In Malaysia, this would work best when combined with e-commerce systems where both parties can verify each other’s information easily.
E-signatures in general are also cost effective when it comes to the printing of documents. With e-signatures, it is also easier for a supplier to distribute a document to different departments or even send a document out for validation.
The use of encryption also prevents the likelihood of unauthorised access and allows for better security overall. One disadvantage of e-signing and digital signing is the lack of increased control over the workflow management.
For example, if a supplier has not sent any copies to the customer yet, there is no way to monitor the progress. This becomes even more difficult when both parties are geographically distant or in different time zones. It is also necessary that both parties are using an interoperable system in order to be able to monitor documents in queue.
That being said, the benefits of implementing e-signing services in the organisation – be it simple electronic signatures or digital signatures – overshadow any downsides. If your business or organisation is looking for simple yet effective digitised solutions, give it a go!