SigningHub is a global leader in Advanced and Qualified Remote Signing. To help ease your business’s transition from traditional signatures to electronic signatures, the experts at SigningHub have compiled a series of blogs to help you understand the software’s features. This blog, the third in the series, goes in-depth on how to use SigningHub’s advanced features.
High Trust Electronic Signatures
With the implementation of eIDAS in 2014, qualified e-signatures became the legal equivalent to handwritten ones across the EU. Since then, the use of remote advanced and qualified e-signatures (AES and QES) has risen steadily. If your business requires high trust e-signatures, the SigningHub platform makes it quick and easy to set up workflows, assign security protocols and implement required signature types.
How to sign a document with an advanced or qualified e-signature on SigningHub
Setting up a document to use an Advanced or Qualified e-signature is done the same way as a standard, basic digital e-signature. In this series’ previous blog, you can find the steps to set your document up for high trust signatures.
Before a user can sign a document using advanced digital e-signatures, they must first be securely vetted and their qualified signing key needs to be created inside the hardware security module (HSM) and Signing Certificate issued by the Trust Service Provider’s (TSP) Certificate Authority (CA).
Once those measures are in place, the signer will receive notification of a document that needs their signature via email. The notification will have information about the identity of the document’s owner, and a secure link to the document. Clicking on the link will direct the signer to a secure login page.
Logging in is relatively easy and only requires a simple username and password with an additional option for two-factor authentication. Once logged in, the signer can review the document and request it to be signed.
The request will initiate SigningHub’s Authorisation Request (ARQ) message. The message includes:
- Document name and ID
- Hash of the document
- SigningHub instance and user IDs
- The user’s Qualified Certificate alias
A message will pop up asking the signer the open the SigningHub app on their registered mobile device. Once the SigningHub app is launched, the ARQ will automatically be loaded into the user’s mobile device. This will trigger a pop-up on the mobile device showing the document name and ID. The user can then authorise the signature through a biometric fingerprint, where supported. If on an iOS device, the signer can use their SigningHub account password to authorise their signature on the document.
Once SigningHub has authenticated the signature, the mobile app creates an Authorisation Response (ARP). It signs the document using the private authorisation key stored in the mobile device’s secure element, which is then returned to SigningHub’s server. Once within SigningHub’s server, another round of authentication takes place. SigningHub ensures the ARP was signed from an authorised, registered device and uses its certificate to authenticate the ARP signature.
Once validated, the user’s private key is passed to the HSM and used to create the Qualified Signature on the document. This action triggers a secure log entry containing the signed ARP that can be downloaded and independently verified.
For more information about SigningHub for Advanced and Qualified e-signatures, view our guide.
How to use SigningHub for Document Legalisation
Whilst SigningHub is an incredibly useful tool for businesses of any size; it’s also ideal for high trust industries such as enterprises and government. Together with a GlobalSign AATL Certificate, SigningHub provides automatic trust within Adobe Reader®.
What is legalisation?
In order for specific documents, typically issued by a recognised authority, to be considered ‘legal’ outside their native country, they must first be legalised. These can be birth and death records, diplomas, education certificates, company formation certificates or certificates of origin for product export.
What is the process of document legalisation?
To begin the process, we’ll provide a specific example. In this example, a company needs to have its incorporation certificate legalised. The process begins when the company provides its document to a Certified Notary Public. Once the Notary has the document, they need to:
- Upload the client’s scanned document into SigningHub.
- A cover sheet is added to the document, which the Notary signs to confirm the document’s authenticity and ensure the integrity of the electronic copy.
- Once the Notary has signed the document, it is sent to a Competent Authority Representative via a SigningHub workflow.
- The Competent Authority Representative verifies the Notary’s identity and signature.
- If identity is confirmed, the Competent Authority appends an e-Apostille sheet to certify the document digitally.
- The fully certified document is returned to the Public Notary and the client.
Automating High Trust Processes
For both Advanced and Qualified e-signatures and document legalisation, users can set up templates to automate these processes in the future. Setting up a template is a one-time process that only takes a few minutes but allows users to implement any settings they wish all future high-trust documents to have.
To begin, navigate to the ‘Enterprise’ settings, which you can find in the upper right corner of the SigningHub platform. Once there, click on ‘Templates’ in the left-hand navigation. To the right of the ‘Locked’ column, click on the ‘+’ to create a new template. To create a new template, you’ll need to:
- Upload an example document
- Add recipients or recipient placeholders
- Position the signature fields
- Allowing the merger of coversheets (for processes such as legalisation) can be configured in the template.
- Click ‘Done’ in the upper right corner to save the template for future use.
Templates provide efficiency to the document signing process and ensure that documents are signed in the user’s order. Additionally, SigningHub can be tailored to your business’s specific requirements. Contact the team to learn more about how we can meet your needs.
Keep your eyes peeled for the final blog in our ‘How to Use SigningHub’ series, featuring information on incorporating SigningHub into existing applications or CRMs.
Contact our team to find out more about how SigningHub’s advanced features can benefit your business.