In The News: eSignatures reach their 15-year anniversary in the British Virgin Islands

NEWSWIRE: September 15, 2016
DATELINE: British Virgin Islands

Electronic signatures (e-signatures) provide efficiency and flexibility in cross-border transactions, are virtually accessible from anywhere in the world, and provide great security with the advancements in digital signature technology. The British Virgin Islands passed e-signature legislation 15 years ago, becoming one of the first territories to recognise the validity of e-signatures and electronic records. The benefits were immediate and substantial.

E-signatures can take on a number of forms in practice including: (a) bitmap signatures (ie scanned images); (b) biometric signatures which require a special writing pad that records stroked and pressure; and © digital signatures which utilise cryptography technology the most advanced and widely used form of e-signature.

The legal requirement for a signature under the ETA is satisfied by an e-signature if: (a) the electronic record adequately indicates the signatory’s approval of the information to which the signature relates; (b) the e-signature adequately identifies the signatory; (c) the e-signature is as reliable as is appropriate given the purpose and circumstances in which the signature is required; and (d) the “recipient/counterpart” of the e-signature consents to receiving the e-signature and the e-signature of each witness.

There are also a number of instances in which the use of wet-ink signatures may be more appropriate. These include: (a) where documents need to be notarised; (b) where the document has to be filed with an authority or registry which requires wet-ink signatures; or (c) where parties prefer to exchange wet-ink signatures at a formal closing.

Read the full article here.

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