31 January, 2013
On the 17th January 2013, the E-Signature Summit for Banking Executives took place in New York with close to 200 top leaders who examined primary digital strategies in the banking industry. Penny Crosman (from the acclaimed publication American Banker) wrote that at the conference, “both bankers and lawyers testified to an emerging legitimacy of e-signatures in the world of banking” with examples like the Royal Bank of Canada that makes extensive use of the technology, and the US Bank that has already extended e-signatures to its 3,000 branches.
In the quest to eliminate the last remaining paper and reduce time and costs for mortgage income verification, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - in a move that sees an entire loan process completely automated - recently allowed for electronic signatures to replace the traditional wet-ink signatures,. “The current process for requesting a borrower’s tax return transcript is labor intensive and time consuming, “ said Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) president and CEO David H. Stevens in a statement on the company’s website. “With this announcement, the IRS is making this process much easier and more efficient...allowing for electronic signatures will save time and reduce the likelihood of errors or loss of documents. This is a win for consumers and lenders alike.”
The IRS recently published (22 January, 2013) Announcement 2013-8, seeking recommendations to formally identify an e-signature set of standards for the tax industry. In its release, the IRS suggests five essential signing requirements that relate to the type of electronic signature: signer’s intent, association of signature to electronic record, ways to recognise and authenticate the signer, and the intention to keep the integrity of the signed document.
Secured Signing service, market leader for advanced electronic signatures, provides all the above, and much more! On a daily basis, our worldwide customers experience the compliant and most secure user-based PKI digital signature technology for filling-in forms and online signing of documents - complete with individual digital certificate for user’s authentication, proof of ownership and intent, and exclusive verification tools.
And, as Greg Anderson once said: “The Law of Win/Win says, let’s not do it your way or my way; let’s do it the best way”.
Till next time,
20 December, 2012
The festive season is almost here, and in its spirit, I decided to dedicate the last blog of 2012 not to recent research of advanced electronic signature developments, but rather to the invaluable human element and interactions that are both the outcome and the fundamentals for any company that wishes to achieve success or business growth in the online world.
John Naisbitt once said: “The most exciting breakthrough of the 21st century will not occur because of technology, but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human.”
Naisbitt’s conscientious phrase can be interpreted in the commercial world in several ways: in association to interactions with our online users, work associates, and employees, or simply in accordance to the understanding that identifies and recognises the considerable importance, change, and challenge presented in the wake of the latest advanced technologies.
A while ago in a radio interview, Noah Arceneaux, Media Studies Professor at San Diego State University, explained that the new electronic communications raise similar questions and trials to those that once arose concerning the telegraph and the telephone. He sees this phenomenon as a positive latest iteration of an ongoing continuum.
So, what the past has taught us? Have we already figured out best practices and acceptable rules to apply when we are working in the electronic environment? Well, I think the correct answer lies in this continuum as well, and is an ongoing process.
While scholars, theoreticians, and business experts are continually working hard to provide us with evolving best solutions, our focus - particularly when communicating and building working relationships is to:
- Offer trust, confidence, and fair dealings
- Be truthful with our solutions and answers
- Be open to hear / learn new ideas, and flexible to consider and adapt them
- Acknowledge, accept, and respect diversity
- And above all, treat others the way we would like to be treated.
Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Festive Season and a Happy New Year,
Till next time,
12 October, 2012,
Ronald Reagan once said: “Trust, but verify.”
How true and applicable to so many areas in our lives today! Obviously, I am not going to examine this theme in connection to the relationships between people or social groups, but rather to showcase some latest cases that explore trust between people and technology and more specifically, in relation to electronic and digital signatures.
In the first case, a dispute between a professional couple and a real estate agent over the validity of their contract was brought up in the Court of Appeals in Arizona. This argument raised the question of what qualifies as an electronic signature, and whether an e-mail could be legally equivalent to a signature on a contract.
The second one involves Macmahon Holdings, a construction and mining contract company in Australia. Macmahon management called in its lawyers to investigate internal e-mails that were supposedly written by their chief executive and board of directors about an alleged takeover offer at a generous premium by a Chinese company, which resulted in a trading halt (5 October, 2012).
The above is relevant to our discussion as it again questions the trust we can/should have in online written professional or official information, and what can be done about it. Peter Moon, a Melbourne lawyer who writes a weekly technology column for the Australian Financial Review, referred to the latter and questioned whether Macmahon “directors, or their lawyers, or the regulator they complained to, are digitally signing their mail” (9 October, 2012).
Moon follows it with a clear message on how to avoid these situations, and why digital signatures (not simple electronic signatures) provide the best possible solution: “A true digital signature, on the other hand, is the product of the same complex bit of mathematics that underlies data encryption. In fact, it’s just the other side of the encryption coin. It calculates a virtually unique string of text for any document, including an e-mail, that can validate both who authored or authorised it, and that it hasn’t been tampered with. Change as much as a space in the text and it won’t validate.”
Couldn’t agree with him more! These are well known, irrefutable facts that are implemented daily by the worldwide online signing users of the Secured Signing PKI digital signature service that authenticates each user with digital certificate, provides ownership approval, and grants this much-needed assurance and verification.
Till next time,
5 September, 2012
Gartner’s recent Hype Cycle annual report (August, 2012) for the assessment of more than 1,900 technologies and IT maturity and trends in information security highlighted a variety of related directions. The leading IT research company determined that organisations will champion a faster purchase of Software as a Service (SaaS), and predicts that by 2015, more than 50 percent will include it in their business approach, and beat their competitors “by 20 percent for all existing financial metrics.”
SaaS applications are attractive to businesses and customers alike, so the report came as no surprise to those who engage or provide the exclusive advanced technological solution that combines the following plentiful advantages:
- Higher accessibility – from any computer or device, anywhere, anytime.
- Increased business profitability – a result of savings of potential operational expenses. SaaS eliminates customers’ need to buy, manage, and maintain the IT infrastructure including hardware or software. Allows redistribution of bu dget, and focuses on core competencies.
- Simple adoption – shorter learning curve due to product simplicity and user familiarity with the Internet.
- Seamless integration – scaling ability, flexibility, and customisation capabilities (including APIs) meeting customers’ specific needs.
- Instant use of latest technology – businesses of all sizes are able to use latest innovations that were previously inaccessible e due to budget or infrastructure constraints.
So SaaS gets the ol’ thumbs up for a good reason! Yet, it is up to the service provider to successfully implement this for its clients. This is where Secured Signing delivers as the market leader of secure and compliant digital signature solutions for e-Forms and online signing. Secured Signing continually provides and maximises irreplaceable operational, financial, and environmental benefits to its worldwide customers.
And as a Henry Ford once said – “Wealth, like happiness, is never attained when sought after directly. It comes as a by-product of providing a useful service.”
Till next time,
24 August, 2012
I would like to share with you my recent article:
“Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.” Niccolo Machiavelli
We are living in a fast-tech era, consuming fast-tech products. The life we live, and the business we run (or work for), our social interactions, work environment, and daily behavior are all changing and reshaping constantly by new technological developments. Before we continue with our justified hail for progress, let’s go back for a brisk moment in time. The birth of first computer took place with the invention of ENIAC - Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator. The world’s first electronic digital computer (patent was filed in 26 June, 1947) was invented as a result of the great demand of war to “reduce the time required for arriving at solutions to problems which might have required months or days by older procedures.”
Fast forward sixty five years, the revolution of the ENIAC endures. The majority of us carry our individual portable devices for communicating privately or for work purposes, struggling to keep in pace with the latest gadget, or surrendering / fighting the desire to have the latest model. What surprising is the fact that regardless of what devices we use to implement it, the principals who differentiated more than half a century ago the ‘new’ outcome from the ‘old’, is astonishingly similar: the workload of recruitment companies and their consultants reduces from days to minutes!
A typical recruitment process requires a candidate to fill-in and sign adequately dozens of essential paperwork in order to meet employment, legislative and occupational health conditions. The process is lengthy, tiresome and frustrating for all parties involved: the candidate, who desires to find a job promptly but accidently omit a signature somewhere, the employer who needs to see new employees onsite as fast as possible, and for the recruitment consultant, who communicates with both and often waste time chasing the forms and missing items while trying to provide professional customer service that complies with industry’s regulations.
The introduction of eForms that incorporate digital signature technology has distinguishably transformed this situation altogether. Recruitment consultants are now able to sign and invite candidates and employers to fill-in and sign brand electronic forms from anywhere any time, to manage and oversee the signing process, and view in real-time progress reports. The user-based PKI digital signature innovative technology complies with worldwide regulations for the online signing of electronic documents (ETA’s, ESIGN, EU VAT Directive, UECA, UETA, ECA’s and many more), and offers highest level of security. The signed form is sealed, and any changes made to the document invalidate the signatures.
Abardeen Group, a leading provider of business research, published its Human Capital Management Trends 2012 Report. The study reveals that HR companies and line of business respondents who show results in top industry performance, Best-in-Class, have implemented successfully recruitment technologies as one of their core business strategies. Secured Signing’s service that offers to fill-in and signing of electronic documents follows the trend. It boosts efficiency, ensures costs cut, meets market labour demands, and as mentioned above, plays an essential role in the recruitment industry’s timely change of conduct.
Till next time,