Convenience of signing documents electronically at your fingertips.
Forms completion, distribution and signing becomes more and more challenging? Collecting signatures from people working from home becomes tedious task? Well, this is why OpenSky Digital Signature portal was designed and developed.
The portal allows to submit one document to be signed by multiple people, a “Contract” for example, as well as document template, which is individually signed by various people, this could be “Acknowledgement of changes to company policy”.
The portal supports various document signature types, from manual signing using sensitive device screen to advanced signing using digital certificate. The application also supports signing using dedicated signature pads. To boost security, one can use OTP functionality.
Entire process is fully auditable and the progress is monitored by means of dashboards, graphs and reports. Recipients can be selected from the managed lists or added manually. Comprehensive control mechanisms manage simultaneous signing and progress notifications to document originator.
Multiple parallel jobs
Image enhancements, Barcode processing, Patch code recognition, Batch scanning, Blank page removal, Punch hole removal, Deshade and Deskew, Black – border removal, Basic zonal OCR
API and SDK for integration, Web Services for cross-platform integration
Five types of signatures
Intranet & Intranet access, Cross-browser compatibility, Common document format conversion (PDF)
Comprehensive audit trails
Automated destruction policies
Manual indexing, Automated indexing using barcode & OCR, Line of business data validation, Indexing queues, Exception reporting
Secure protected storage, Multiple access levels, Automated archival, Automated retention schedules, Facility to store any file formats (PDF, Images, Office files, Mail, Audio & Video), COLD / EDI
PDF / WORD / TIFF document type support
Wild-card searching, Cross document class searching, Range searching, B2B integration
Cloud or local deployemt
Bulk export facilities, Data delivery on CD and other removable media
Corporate document templates
Frequently Asked Questions
eSignature & Law
Section 13 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, as amended (ECTA) regulates the use of electronic signatures in South Africa. Additionally, the Accreditation Regulations issued under ECTA regulate the accreditation of authentication products and services in support of advanced electronic signatures.
Electronic signatures and certificate-based digital signatures are widely used in South Africa. However, in most cases, there are no specific requirements for the creation of a legally binding contract and written or signed contracts are not mandatory. Therefore, the parties involved in the contract have the responsibility to decide on the procedures to be followed, including whether electronic signatures will be used to execute the contract.
The Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA) makes a distinction between various forms of signatures:
- An electronic signature is defined as any data attached to, incorporated in, or logically associated with other data, and intended to serve as a signature by the user. Such signatures can be in various forms, including a typed name in electronic format (such as in an email), clicking on the sign button on a website, a manuscript signature signed on a tablet computer, or a scanned manuscript signature transformed into digital format.
- On the other hand, an advanced electronic signature is a signature that has been accredited in accordance with section 37 of the ECTA. This means that it has gone through a process accredited by the Director General of the Department of Communications, who acts as the South African Accreditation Authority (SAAA).
In cases where a document is signed using an electronic signature, and the law does not prohibit electronic signatures, such signatures are presumed to be as enforceable as handwritten signatures.
Under South African law, contracts do not necessarily have to be in written form and signed, unless a specific law or regulation requires it. Certain agreements such as powers of attorney, sales of immovable property, credit agreements, suretyships, and leases for longer than 10 years must be in writing as mandated by legislation.
When executing a contract under South African law, there are three methods available to signatories:
Wet ink signatures - the traditional method where parties sign their names with a pen on a physical document.
Advanced electronic signatures.
Forms of signature
An electronic signature is a method recognized by law that indicates the signatory's agreement to the content of a document. It refers to data that is attached to, incorporated in, or logically associated with other data, and is intended by the user to serve as a signature.
Electronic signatures can take different forms, such as:
A traditional wet-ink signature on a soft-copy of a document.
A name typed in electronic format at the bottom of an email.
An "I accept" tick box on a website.
Signing on a tablet using an e-pen or finger.
There are also software products available that provide more secure methods for electronic signatures and transactions.
A signature is a handwritten or electronic representation of a person's name, initials, or other identifying mark that is used to sign, authorize or authenticate a document, agreement, or other legal or formal record. A signature is typically unique to an individual and serves as a form of identification or proof of consent or agreement. Signatures can be created using a variety of mediums, such as pen and paper, digital stylus, or electronic signature software. In some cases, a signature may also refer to a characteristic mark or trait that is used to identify a particular object or entity, such as a signature scent or style.
In general, electronic signatures can be used in most transactions, unless the law prohibits their use in a specific transaction, requires the use of an advanced electronic signature, or the parties agree to another method of signature.
Electronic signatures are not permitted for executing wills or codicils, contracts relating to the alienation of immovable property, bills of exchange such as cheques, and long-term agreements for immovable property exceeding ten years.
If a statutory requirement for a signature exists, only an advanced electronic signature is sufficient to meet this requirement.
Advanced electronic signatures
The Law Trust Party Services and the South African Post Office are accredited entities authorized to authenticate advanced electronic signatures.
Validity and binding
An electronic signature will be considered valid and binding if the following conditions are met:
A method is used to identify the person and indicate their approval of the information communicated.
Considering all the relevant circumstances at the time the method was used, the method was reliable and appropriate for the purpose for which the information was communicated.
Indeed, electronic signatures have the same legal status as wet ink signatures when the signatory intends to convey their acceptance and be bound by the terms of the document. However, it's important to note that certain specific circumstances may require a wet ink signature, such as executing wills or codicils, contracts for the sale of immovable property, bills of exchange, and long-term leases exceeding 20 years.
Wet ink & electronic
It's not necessary for all parties to a transaction to sign electronically just because one party has used an electronic signature. As both wet ink and electronic signatures have the same legal status, a document can contain a mix of both types of signatures.