ELECTRONIC SIGNATURES - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Environmentally sustainable, convenient, legally recognised, secure and smart - these are just some of the reasons why Bellingham Wallace use Adobe Document Cloud eSign services to electronically send out documents for secure electronic signing. Please find below a list of commonly asked questions:

 

  1. What are Electronic Signatures?
  2. Are they legal in New Zealand?
  3. Are electronic signatures safe and secure?
  4. What will change?
  5. Why are electronic signatures better than paper, scan or fax signatures? 
  6. How do I receive documents to electronically sign?
  7. How do I electronically sign the document?
  8. Can the document be altered once I have electronically signed it?
  9. But my signature doesn't look anything like this?
  10. Could anyone electronically sign my document?
  11. What are the benefits of signing electronically?
  12. Do I need to have an Adobe Document Cloud eSign services account to sign a document electronically?

What are Electronic Signatures?

An electronic signature - also known as an 'e-signature' - is a simple and legally recognised way to indicate consent or approval on a digital document or form. Bellingham Wallace Limited uses a system called Adobe Document Cloud eSign services to deliver all documents for electronic signing.

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Are they legal in New Zealand?

With only some exceptions, the Electronic Transaction Act 2002 (Act) makes electronic signatures legally admissible in New Zealand.

Some communications or transactions that the law requires to be in writing cannot be in electronic form and require a hard copy signature. These include:

  • Wills
  • Powers of Attorney/Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Affidavits
  • Notices that are required to be given to the public
  • Cheques and other negotiable instruments, and Bills of Lading
  • Court documents
  • The Property Law Act 2007 requires that some property contracts be physically signed including
    • Deeds
    • Agreements for the sale and purchase of land
    • Trusts that relate to land
    • Contracts of guarantee.
  • Warrants of search or seizure

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Are electronic signatures safe and secure?

Yes. Adobe Document Cloud eSign services incorporates the most advanced security solutions, providing the same level of data protection and redundancy as an online banks

The signing of a document via Adobe Document Cloud eSign services takes place over a secure connection which is both legal and auditable. 

All document transactions are performed over a secure HTTPS channel utilising 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) encryption. Adobe Document Cloud e-sign services comply with industry security standards, including HIPAA and PCI v3.0 used by the payment card industry.

For further Information on Adobe Document Cloud eSign services and how it works, please visit the website by clicking here.

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What will change?

Documents and agreements that require a signature will be emailed and electronically signed, rather than posted or emailed and then manually signed.

 

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Why are electronic signatures better than paper, scan or fax signatures? 

  • Electronic signatures are more secure - and get the job done faster and cheaper - than paper-based signatures. 
  • Electronic signatures are more direct. When documents are mailed or faxed, the intended recipient is rarely the only person who gains access to the document; co-workers, family members, and neighbours can often come between you and the intended document for signing. This risk is considerably reduced via the use of electronic signatures. 
  • Electronic signatures apply to the entire document.  If a paper contract has two or more pages, and the signature is only applied to a single page - unsigned pages could be changed without anyone's knowledge. With Adobe Document Cloud eSign services, a cryptographic binding is applied to the entire document when a signature is applied, creating a certified document. If any information changes on any page - Acrobat and Acrobat Reader software display a notification that the document's certification is no longer valid.
  • Electronic signatures can't be duplicated with a copier or scanner.  It's too easy to forge a paper signature by copying it, scanning it, or tracing it with a pen. With eSign services, a signature is bound to a specific instance of the document and tracked as part of a multi-step signature process.
  • Electronic signatures can't be backdated. With paper signatures, signers are free to enter any date or time they choose, making it possible for one of the parties to change the "active" date of the signing without notifying other parties. With eSign services, the time is centrally managed by the hosted service and backdating is not allowed.
  • They are much easier to authenticate. Authenticating a paper signature requires another handwritten signature from the same signer for forensic comparison. If additional signature samples aren't available, authenticity can't be proven. With eSign services, multiple authentication methods can be applied to guarantee the identity of people signing documents. All of the events are tracked and IP address records are included in a detailed audit log.
  • They are similar to using a notary, but without the hassle.  Paper signatures can be made more secure if you work with a trusted third party like a notary, but the in-person signing ceremony adds costs and delays to the signing process. Document Cloud eSign services make it possible to build efficient electronic signing processes that can verify user identities in a number of ways. Typical deployments verify the signer's identity using an e-mail ID and a one-time password.
  • Prevent documents from being defaced. Paper documents can be defaced when signers cross out text in the document. Electronic signature processes driven by Document Cloud eSign services protect the integrity of the original document so information cannot be hidden or removed.

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How do I receive documents to electronically sign?

You will receive an email in your inbox providing you with a link to the document.

You will receive a password separately (via text, phone or separate email) as a means to further validate your identity.

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How do I electronically sign the document?

View the video

Adobe Document Cloud eSign services will guide you through the document and will inform you what is required at each step.

Please read the instructions that are given to you at the top and bottom of the screen. After reviewing the document, you can sign by clicking into the signature box and simply typing your name and completing any other relevant fields such as your job title and company.

Adobe Document Cloud eSign services will direct you to complete all the mandatory fields so that no information is missed or left incomplete. To find the next section that needs completing, you can simply click the "next section" button that appears on the left of the page.

Once all mandatory sections have been completed you will then be able to submit the document.

Those signatories with touchscreens are able to provide an electronic signature (biometric) with their finger or stylus.

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Can the document be altered once I have electronically signed it?

The document is secure and cannot be altered by anyone.

You will also receive a copy via email of the document you signed instantly after submitting to prevent any disputes.

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But my signature doesn't look anything like this?

Electronic signatures are based around the acknowledgement of a document and not the signature itself. A document can be acknowledged in various ways such as tick boxes or by simply typing out your name. In this instance, we request that clients type their name in the field provided, it does not matter that this auto-signature does not match their actual written signature. The record of the Adobe Document Cloud eSign process and post-execution lock provides third-party verification for robust, defensible agreements. 

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Could anyone electronically sign my document?

Bellingham Wallace Limited only send documents to the private and confidential email addresses that have been validated.  The document will also be locked by a one-time password which is unique to the signer - this is sent separately via text, phone or separate email and acts as second level of authentication. 

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What are the benefits of signing electronically?

  • Reduce environmental impact. Electronic signatures help eliminate  the use of paper, printer toner, couriers, envelopes - all help reduce our impact on the environment.
  • Transform customer experience. People love e-signatures because they're convenient. By signing online, you don't have to take time away from work or family, and you don't have to spend time and petrol driving to a branch -  you can electronically sign from anywhere. 
  • Improve compliance/ auditability. Through electronic signatures, electronic transactions can be controlled by workflow rules to ensure that each transaction is executed correctly, the first time. Adobe Document Cloud eSign services ensure mandatory fields are populated and the signature blocks are completed. So if you forget a signature, you will be alerted and directed to where you need to sign. 
  • Reduce risk of repudiation. Adobe Document Cloud eSign captures a record of everything that transpires during the online signing process. This electronic evidence reduces risk related to disputes over "I wasn't shown that disclosure," or "I didn't opt out of that coverage."
  • Eliminate inefficiencies. No more time wasted chasing faxes, printing paper, re-sending documents, re-keying data or storing paper documents.

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Do I need to have an Adobe Document Cloud eSign services account to sign a document electronically?

No. There is no requirement to have an Adobe Document Cloud eSign services account in order to electronically sign documents.

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