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  • Writer's pictureBernhard Lermann

Signature platforms simplify signature processes

Short-time work and home offices have made it easier to establish digital signatures in the hotel and catering industry

Photo: unsplash

LegalTech startup sproof allows legally valid signatures to be obtained across Europe for the first time thanks to the integration of all European trust service providers.


Many communication processes must be possible remotely

Companies are currently working hard to digitize essential business processes in order to remain competitive. Many internal and external communication processes should now also be possible remotely. This also includes the digital sending and signing of contracts.

Signature platforms specialize in managing signature processes that were previously carried out in person and with the local presence of the contracting parties, with significantly less effort.


Cloud-based signature platforms offer evidential value and security

Unlike a traditional handwritten signature, an e-signature is generated using complex cryptographic mechanisms to authenticate digital documents and messages, confirm the identity of signers, and protect data from tampering and corruption during transmission. Thanks to cloud-based signature platforms, users can now sign documents more quickly and easily, and with the highest level of proof and security.


The provider sproof is already in use in the hotel industry with its solution. And according to Peter Sigmond, employee at HOGAST - the largest company for the hotel and catering industry in Austria - this cooperation was essential: "In the heyday of Corona, with short-time work and home offices, we would not have been able to sign contracts, invoices and orders at all without a new digital system," says Peter Sigmond.


Securely signing contracts without the hassle of postal mail

In addition to location independence, a particularly important point for him was the time saved by switching to the cloud platform. Instead of waiting weeks for a fully signed contract, the contractual partners are now able to do this with just a few clicks, without the hassle of the post.


Europe is a global pioneer when it comes to digital identities and business processes. The legal basis is the eIDAS Regulation, which has been in effect since 2016 and, among other things, precisely specifies the requirements for a legally valid signature. There are three signature standards: The simple, the advanced and the qualified. Companies with strict security concepts and high contractual risks rely almost exclusively on the qualified electronic signature, as only this type of digital signature is legally equivalent to a handwritten signature throughout Europe.


Interoperability of different eIdentity providers now possible

Qualified signing requires a one-time identification of the signer with an eIdentity provider, such as DTrust or IDAustria. What already works well on a national level, however, has increasingly led to problems with contracts and agreements concluded internationally. "Due to a growing number of eIdentity providers across Europe, it was quite possible that a document could not be signed by individual contracting parties, because until now interoperability of different eIdentity providers was not supported by the digital signing platforms," says Dr. Fabian Knirsch, CTO and Co-Founder of sproof.


Foto: sproof

Clemens Brunner, CEO von sproof, ist bekennender Datenschutz-Enthusiast. “Für uns ist Datenschutz kein Add-On. Es braucht europäische Lösungen für sensible Digitalprozesse”


Users of sproof can now choose between different eIdentity providers recognized throughout Europe for internationally legally valid signing - this is unique so far. Other providers will be integrated into sproof's system by the end of the year and can also be integrated at the request of customers within a short period of time.


The Salzburg IT company has set itself the goal of establishing the most efficient all-in-one solution for issuing and obtaining digital signatures in Europe. According to the vision of the company's founders, contracts or other everyday agreements should be processed "easily, quickly, securely and completely DSGVO-compliant". Top companies such as Kyocera, Linde, Maschinenring and Salzburg Airport already rely on the digital signature solution from Salzburg.


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