How To Get an Electronic Signature

by Cameron Easey

An electronic signature is a means of indicating that a document has been acknowledged by providing a signature digitally. Electronic signatures were authorized for use in commerce with the passage of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) in 2000 (see Resources). Electronic signatures can be obtained using a variety of methods, depending on the software or hardware that is used.

Provide a user agreement as part of an online registration process. Require the user to read and accept the terms of the online user agreement before continuing. This agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of the web site and the user.

Use a hand-held organizer or signature pad to record and store electronic signatures. A hand-held device is used to inventory items that are to be delivered and to store signatures for acknowledgment of delivery.

Use an electronic pad for purchases that are made with a credit card. These electronic pads have a stylus that is used by the consumer to sign their name and authorize the purchase. The information is sent electronically to the computer, which then stores the information and prints a receipt.

Provide an End User License Agreement or EULA with the installation of software products. These agreements require the user to read and accept the terms before installing or using the software. This information can then be sent electronically over the Internet.

Provide a web form online for a user to complete and acknowledge. A web form can be provided as an online order form as well as an an application for purchases such as an insurance policy. A customer needs to complete the from and then type in their name for an electronic signature.

Tip

  • check Research the legal and technical issues before including a user agreement or EULA for a customer to sign.

Warning

  • close Online forms and applications require knowledge of web page design and coding.

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About the Author

Cameron Easey has over 15 years customer service experience, with eight of those years in the insurance industry. He has earned various designations from organizations like the Insurance Institute of America and LOMA. Easey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Western Michigan University.