FAQ IDnow eSign

Below you will find frequently asked questions (FAQ) about IDnow eSign and qualified electronic signature (QES).

What kind of electronic signature solution does IDnow offer?

With the QES of our cooperation partner DocuSign, IDnow eSign fulfils the requirements for qualified electronic signatures (QES). This highest security level of electronic contract signatures is absolutely compliant with the law and offers the same legal security as a physical signature on a paper document.

How does IDnow eSign work from a user perspective?

Electronically signing contracts via IDnow eSign is a fast and easy way for users to sign a document. The user checks the document to be signed online. Then, the user verifies his/her identity with the help of his/her identity document, for instance, a personal identity card, using the established video identification. Can be signed with a click, upon request also with a personal signature by using the mouse or a touchscreen. The entire procedure takes only a few minutes and the user is guided through the entire process by an IDnow Ident Specialist. In the end, both contract parties receive the electronically signed document as a signed PDF.

Is IDnow eSign legally secure in the European Union?

Yes. IDnow offers the highest standard of security, the qualified electronic signature (QES). The QES guarantees the same legal security throughout Europe as a physical signature on a paper document.

Can IDnow’s eSigning solution be used for contracts with a written form requirement?

Yes. With the qualified electronic signature (QES), IDnow eSign can also be used to sign contracts electronically which require the written form according to the Digital Signature Act. This pertains, for instance, to credit agreements, rental agreements or powers of attorney.

What is the difference between the qualified electronic signature (QES) and the advanced electronic signature (AES)?

Both procedures are options for signing documents online. The difference between the two procedures is in the details:

Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) Qualified Electronic Signature (QES)
Process for signing a document online X X
Signatory is being identified within the process X X
The identification process is officially certified X
The process will be recognised as evidence in court X X
In case of doubt the reversal of evidence applies, meaning that the court accepts the electronic signature as valid. If the signatory wants to challenge the signature, he bears the burden of proof that the signature is invalid X
The process can be used for signing documents that require the written form X
According to the EU regulation eIDAS the process has to be accepted by all members of the European Union X
The process is being offered by us X X

Does IDnow eSign support the qualified electronic signature (QES) or the advanced electronic signature (AES)?

Both. IDnow eSign supports the qualified electronic signature (QES) as well as the advanced electronic signature (AES).

Does the customer need special hardware, such as a card reader, in order to use IDnow eSign?

No. IDnow was the first to offer an Europe-wide procedure that offers the qualified electronic signature (QES) without a card reader or any other special hardware in combination with video identification. Only a conventional computer, smartphone or tablet is required to use IDnow eSign. It is, therefore, possible for the end-user to sign documents via electronic signature.

Do contracts also have to be printed and signed?

No. The contract signed with IDnow eSign is sufficient as a PDF and can be used in court in the same manner as a paper contract with a hand-written signature.

Does identification using the eSign solution also fulfil the requirements in accordance with the Anti Money Laundering Act (AML)?

Yes. The user is legitimized via video identification as part of the eSign solution. This identification process is performed in accordance with national supervisory authorities like the German BaFin Circular 3/2017 (GW) and therefore fulfils the identification obligations in accordance with the Anti Money Laundering Act (AML).

What is the EU Directive “Electronic Identification and Trust Services (eIDAS)”?

The European Union directive eIDAS regulates the use of electronic signatures in EU-wide trade. It came into effect in July 2016.


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