Difference between E-signature & Digital signature

Nowadays, almost all aspects of the workforce are moving towards digitisation due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the ensuing pandemic.  

This also applies to managing and signing documents.

When it comes to signing documents electronically, you’ll hear some familiar words that are always being thrown around. Words such as ‘digital signatures’; and ‘e-signatures’. and you’ll notice that they’re often used interchangeably.

But did you know the differences between them?

Differences between Electronic Signatures and Digital Signatures

  • Digital signatures use an algorithm and cryptographic process to validate a sequence of data to verify the origin of a signature and the authenticity of a document. E-signatures use symbols that are associated with a contract to verify the origin of a signature.
  • Digital signatures, under section 2 of the Digital Signatures Act, are defined as ”transformation of a message using an asymmetric cryptosystem such that a person having the signer’s public key can accurately determine whether the message had been altered since the transformation was made.”
  • E-signatures, as per Section 5 of the Electronic Commerce Act, are defined as “electronic signature as any letter, character, number, sound or any other symbol or any combination thereof created in an electronic form adopted by a person as a signature.”
  • Digital signatures are based on public-key cryptography, also known as asymmetric cryptography. E-signatures do not rely on cryptography and they can be generated as raw, generic electronic data.

To summarise, the type of signatures that best suit you depend on your needs, be it security, convenience or affordability.

The bottom line is, if you need something more secure, then digital signatures would be the ideal choice. If security isn’t a top priority for you, you could always opt for electronic signatures which are easier on the pockets.

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