The Electronic Signature and Records Association (ESRA) celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act with a free webinar that featured key ESRA leaders who contributed to the development of the ESIGN Act. They discussed key components of the Act, how it provides a national legal framework for electronic signatures and transactions, what has changed since 2000, and how ESRA works towards a trusted digital economy for all.
You can watch a recording of the webinar below.
The ESIGN Act was signed by President Clinton on June 30, 2000. Ten years later, Congress passed a resolution to observe June 30 as National ESIGN Day to raise awareness about electronic signatures and promote its advantages in electronic commerce.
While the ESIGN Act does not apply for every type of document, it laid the foundations for the conversations we’re having today. The public’s desire for electronic signatures to be accepted on more documents has recently spiked. States across the country are proposing bills and regulations for eWills, eRecording, remote eNotaries, and more, while Congress is working on addressing these issues on a national level.
Stephen Bisbee, eOriginal
“For 20 years, the ESIGN Act has been the legal foundation for the electronic execution and management of agreements in an expanding digital economy. The ESIGN Act has enabled businesses and consumers to have trusted, enforceable contracts and loans in a fully digital, remote environment. With the COVID-19 pandemic and its need for contactless social distancing – the lending engine for financial services would have collapsed without this capability and its participants would have been at greater, deadly risk. The Act allowed for business continuity despite the lack of available physical facilities. The ESIGN Act has been an accelerant for digital adoption, providing for the speed, reduced costs, and efficiencies of digital transactions, as well as the ease of the digital consumer experience expected today. Withstanding the test of time, the ESIGN Act has served the judiciary, business, consumers, and the evolution of technology for over two decades. An amazing feat.”
John Levy, IMM
“June 30, 2020, marked the 20th anniversary of the historic ESIGN Act signed by Bill Clinton on June 30, 2000. What continues to amaze me is the mainstream acceptance in 2020 is so very different from 2000 where we spent a vast amount of time justifying the legality and enforceability of eSignatures. Fast forward to our current state in 2020 where eSignatures has (have?) become a necessity and staple (defacto standard for conducting friction-less business transactions in the digital era.) for businesses to compete effectively to maintain business continuity.
Kudos to all of those 20 years ago that paved the way for the future.”
Michael Magrath, OneSpan
“Happy 20th ESIGN! It’s been quite a journey since the passage of the law as electronic signature has become mainstream while providing secure, reliable and auditable efficiencies to just about every industry and has changed both business and consumer expectations whether it is opening a bank account, buying a car, signing a contract or a purchase order. Additionally, electronic signatures have had a positive impact on our environment as we reduce paper and preserve trees to combat climate change. This year as we cope and hopefully soon put COVID-19 behind us, the technology has literally saved lives by enabling secure transactions to take place while adhering to the social distancing guidance provided by public health officials.”
Larry Torri, Wacom
“It was obvious in 2000 that the ESIGN Act would change the way humans execute agreements, however, it was not clear how organizations and individuals would learn about the viability, legality, usage of the emerging enabling technologies. Led by evangelists of eSign law like ESRA and its members, today you can sign electronically to purchase a house or a car, sign a contract or file your taxes. Thanks in no small part to the flexibility and forward-thinking nature of the ESIGN Act, this industry has been able to grow rapidly and keep pace with rapidly shifting technologies and business practices.
“I am fortunate to have been associated with ESRA for the last 12 years. As a member through an eSign vendor in the early years and now a Board Member, I have leaned-on, and learned from, the most knowledgeable experts. I watched and participated as ESRA established and influenced policy, helping drive a multi-billion-dollar market. On the 20th Anniversary of the ESIGN Act and the 10th Annual National ESIGN Day, Wacom and I are proud to be working with organizations like ESRA to continue to push the eSign industry forward and continue adapting electronic signing technologies for the challenges of the next twenty years.”
Daniel Zollman, DocuSign
“It is hard to believe that June 30th marked the 20th anniversary of the ESIGN Act, landmark US federal electronic signature legislation. As we celebrated National ESIGN Day, which commemorates the signing of this Act, for the 10th time (another key milestone), it was important to recognize Congress’ invaluable contribution to furthering modern technological solutions that have helped propel advancements in our increasingly digital world.
ESRA, its board, and its members have played a critical role in helping further our world’s digital journey by advocating for the easy, secure, and impactful use of electronic transactions. These modern digital solutions have helped accelerate the adoption of online commerce across our global economy, a transformation that has become increasingly critical during the current pandemic crisis.
It is equally important for all of us to continue to advocate for the continued progress of such solutions – there definitely is more work to be done by our business and technology leaders, legislators, regulatory bodies, and other government organizations, to continue our vision.
With that in mind, please join us here at ESRA and support our continuing efforts in building a trusted digital economy for all.”
Brian Pannell, DocMagic
“Here’s to 20 years of Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce! We all remember repeating the mantra that “electronic signatures are as legally binding as wet signatures.” It took time and industry leadership to move the eSignature “needle” from being a convenience to a necessity — from the exception to the minimal expectation. Today, if you’re online, you’re eSigning. Any kind of consent—from clicking the “Buy Now” button to ticking the Terms & Conditions checkbox to accepting a website’s cookies—is defined as an eSignature. eSignatures continue to be one of the most impactful technologies, providing secure, reliable, safe, and remote transactions for millions.”