Digital Signature Vs Electronic Signature Software- Is there a difference?

Digital Signature Vs Electronic Signature

In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricacies of Digital Signature vs. electronic signature software and determine the optimal solution for your transactional requirements. Electronic signatures, such as Certinal eSign, are a legal means to obtain digital approvals on a document, contract, or group of papers. Electronic signatures can speed up any paper-based, manual signature process by replacing handwritten signatures. 

What is a digital signature? 

An electronic signature, such as the one created by Certinal, is a symbol or other digital data attached to an electronic document and accepted by the “signer” or recipient of the signature request. E-signatures are typically displayed as a picture of a physical signature. Electronic signatures are made and applied to documents via the Internet. You receive an email request for your signature instead of physically signing with a pen. The entire “signing” process takes place online. 

Why use electronic signatures? 

Electronically signing papers saves time, eliminates the need for paper-based processes, and allows you to sign documents from nearly anywhere, on practically any device. Certinal can assist you with: 

  • Streamline processes 
  • Eliminate manual signatures 
  • Execute transactions with confidence 

By minimizing hard costs such as paper, postage, and printing, eco-friendly Certinal saves you an average of $36* for each agreement. (*source Certinal usage data) 

What can Certinal be used for? 

Certinal design can be used for a variety of use cases; here are some examples you can use Certinal for: 

  • Invoice processing 
  • Purchase orders 
  • Expense reporting 
  • Vendor agreements 
  • Internal compliance 
  • NDAs Letters of intent 
  • Sales contracts 
  • New hire documentation 

Digital Signature Vs Electronic Signature Sofware – Is there a difference? 

Although electronic signature and digital signature are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not interchangeable. Digital signatures are electronic signatures that add an extra layer of security to the transaction. Both electronic and digital signatures, such as Certinal, are legally binding. 

Legality of eSignatures 

In practically every country on the planet, electronic signatures are legally binding in most business and personal transactions. 

A variety of documents can be signed with electronic signatures. Documents such as 

  • Permission slips 
  • Rental/lease agreements 
  • Liability waivers 
  • Offer letters 
  • Sales contracts 
  • Financial documents 

Public Key Infrastructure’s (PKI’s) – The key to security 

PKI stands forpublic key infrastructure, a collection of software, hardware, and procedures for securely managing digital signatures. Public and private keys are used in every digital signature transaction. All individuals who must verify the signer’s e-signature will have access to the public key. The signer’s private key is not shared with anyone else and will only be used to e-sign documents. 

PKI also mandates using acertificate authority (CA), enrollment software, a digital certificate, essential management tools, and certificate management. 

Digital Signature Vs Electronic Signature

Certificate Authorities (CA’s) – Making wet and digital signatures equal 

A public and private key are required for each digital signature transaction. Those keys should be protected to prevent tampering with digitally signed documents. Certificate authorities are widely acknowledged as industry-trusted entities that ensure critical security and digital certificates. 


Digital signatures are at the basis of many modern standards, ensuring more significant data and document trust and security. Some are technical standards handled by the IETF, such as the PKCS#7/CMS standards, while others, such as eIDAS and standards groups like ETSI and CEN, meet legal and business demands. 

Book a demo to experience Certinal’s AI-powered eSignature solution. 

Related Read

  1. Guide to Electronic Signatures in 2023 | Certinal
  2. Which industries must use digital signature solutions and why?
  3. 4 Top Uses of Electronic Signature Software for Healthcare World
author avatar
Aritra is an experienced marketing professional with over five years of expertise in various industries. He specializes in brand management, campaign design, demand generation, marketing process optimization, and PR. Aritra holds a master’s degree from Bennett University, and he has actively contributed to several student initiatives during his time there.
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