Now that e-signatures have the same legal standing as their handwritten counterparts, insurers are expected to be among the first companies to embrace the new technology."The insurance and financial industries have been eagerly waiting for this law to pass because they are mired in paper-based processes," says Tommy Petrogiannis, president of the privately held Silanis Technology Inc.

The Montreal-based company has developed software, dubbed ApproveIt, that simplifies the process of creating and affixing an electronic signature to a file. For example, with ApproveIt, a customer can use a standard scanner to input a signature into a file.

Although Silanis emphasizes the ease-of-use features of its products, security is the main focus of e-signature technology. "You must be sure that the signature is unique to the user, that the user intended to sign the document and that the document's content has been under the individual's sole control," Petrogiannis says.

When a user electronically signs a document with ApproveIt, the software creates an encoded "approval token" that compiles such information as the public and private key, a digital certificate, the date that the document was signed, and a document authentication code that essentially is a fingerprint of the document content.

When the document is received, authentication software extracts the token and examines the document authentication code. If the content of the document was altered after it had been signed, the document authentication code will not match the original code, and the signature is invalidated.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access