Making a mark

E-signatures could bring the paperless office from fantasy to reality if businesses can overcome their distrust.

07 June 2011

The paperless office is a myth. The evidence of this is in plain sight: e-mails that are printed out, agendas, minutes and documentation for meetings, hard copy contracts required to process employment, business agreements and so on. Electronic signatures could go a way towards reducing these paper piles. Some South African companies are already embracing the technologies that make this possible.

According to Preeta Bhagattjee, National Practice head: Technology, Media and Telecommunications at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer, an electronic signature is data that is attached to, incorporated in, or logically associated with other data and is intended by the user to serve as a signature. This means that it does not have to be a signature in the conventional sense but can include other means of identification such as a PIN or biometric ID.

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