Traditionally people have signed documents with a pen, or other writing instrument. In 2000 it became legal for people to use a mouse click (or other electronic process) to create an electronic signature.
The benefits of electronic signatures over traditional signatures are enormous. Transactions and deals can be executed in a matter of minutes, regardless of the distance between the parties. Travel, shipping, and administrative costs are eliminated.
The problem with conventional electronic signatures is the potential for fraud. Some e-signature providers try to minimize fraud by requiring signers to log in to a document with a user name and password, and/or by recording the signer’s IP address. If fraud occurs, however, none of these methods provide a means to discover the identity of the actual signer.
This problem is eliminated with Vignature. In the event that fraud is suspected, the signed record can be accessed, and the image of the signer can be analyzed. The image provides a greater reference for the identification of a signer than an IP address.
- What is a vignature?
A vignature is a verifiable electronic signature. It is a legally binding signature that provides an image of the signer.
- Are vignatures legal?
Electronic signatures were made legal in the United States in 2000 by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN). According to the act an electronic signature is
an electronic sound, symbol, or process logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
Under that definition a vignature is a legal signature because it is a process adopted by a person with the intent to sign the document. Also, the image is stored with the document, satisfying the requirement that a signature be logically associated with a record.
- What prevents someone from capturing an image other than a person?
Vignature uses face detection technology to ensure a human face is in the frame before the Vignature is accepted.
- What if the picture is of someone other than the signer?
This is what differentiates Vignature from other electronic signatures. It is easy for the document originator to view the image of the document signer before accepting the signature. It also provides an easy audit trail for forensic analysis in the event of fraud. It is easy to prove or disprove that a picture is of a particular person. This can't be done with traditional electronic signatures that just record parameters like IP addresses and computer names.
- What are the software/hardware requirements?
The signer needs a computer or smart phone with a web browser and a webcam.
- What prevents someone from just uploading a picture of someone else?
Vignatures are taken from the live video feed of a computer or cell phone webcam. Therefore it is not possible to upload a file.