Securing Remote Online Notarizations (RON) with eSignatures

Remote Online Notarizations

Before the wave of digital transformation dawned upon us, the authenticity of a signature appended to any document was witnessed and given legal attestation by an agent of the government called the notary public. But why go through this tedious process involving an external agent? 

Sometimes, it is a legal requirement, like in cases of transfer of ownership and power of attorney. When the notary public, a neutral third party, certifies the authenticity of a signature, it makes the document legally binding. 

Notarization is not a legal requirement in many cases, yet when third-party witnesses attest to the authenticity, it increases confidence. Also called witness signatures, notarization has many uses spanning different industries such as insurance, real estate, etc. Traditionally, the notarization of documents has been done in person. 

The notary signing agent verifies the signer’s identity information and provides legal attestation. In today’s fast-moving world, where business transactions happen globally, the volume of documents processed daily has exponentially increased, and opting for in-person notarization is no longer an efficient option. 

When in-person notarization becomes an inefficient way to verify the authenticity of signatures, what is the alternative? Remote Online Notarization (RON) enabled by secure and compliant eSignatures. 

This blog post will explore how eSignatures facilitate Remote Online Notarization (RON) by providing advanced security features for signature attestation. 

Remote Online Notarization (RON)

What is Remote Online Notarization (RON)? 

Traditionally, a notary public notarized documents in person. The signings by the parties involved in the transaction are done in the presence of a third-party witness. The witness, an agent trusted by the government, verifies the signer’s identity and provides attestation. 

Businesses today operate on a scale that transcends international borders. In-person verification is no longer a convenient option. In Remote Online Notarization (RON) o, the signing and the verification happen digitally in real time with the help of video conferencing. 

All the parties, including the witness, connect on a trusted video conferencing platform, and the document is signed digitally using an eSignature. But why use an eSignature when video conferencing can verify the identity? 

Rising Threat of Identity Thefts 

In the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, there may be better ways to verify the signers’ identities than video conferencing. Scammers now use AI to manipulate video and audio transmissions and assume the identities of trusted parties. 

The technology may not be perfect, but it has already claimed many victims across the globe. There are methods to identify video manipulation, but everyday AI is advancing and may soon become closer to reality. How do you remotely attest to a signer’s identity when unauthorized individuals or institutions can manipulate audio and video? By using secure eSignatures. 

Five Benefits of using eSignatures for Remote Online Notarization (RON) 

1. Remote Witnessing: eSignatures in remote online notarization facilitate witnessing documents from anywhere, eliminating geographic constraints. It enables parties to sign and notarize documents remotely, ensuring convenience and accessibility. With eSignatures, documents can be signed and notarized anytime, allowing flexibility and convenience in a fast-paced world while reducing the need for in-person appointments.

2. Authentication of Identity: eSignatures and digital certificates employ advanced verification methods, ensuring the signers’ identities are authenticated securely and accurately, mitigating risks associated with fraudulent activities.

3. Security of Information: eSignatures utilize robust encryption and security protocols to protect sensitive information, safeguard documents against unauthorized access and data breaches, and bolster trust in online notarization.

4. Enhanced Compliance: eSignatures adhere to legal and regulatory requirements, improving compliance in the notarization process, reducing errors, and ensuring documents are legally binding and enforceable.

5. Bulk Signing: eSignatures in RON allow for efficient bulk signing of documents, streamlining processes for businesses and organizations. This benefit simplifies large-scale document management, reducing time and administrative burdens while maintaining the security and authenticity of each signature.

How do eSignatures facilitate Remote Online Notarization (RON)? 

Singing documents using eSignatures is about more than just replacing wet signatures. They provide varying levels of security features that help verify the authenticity of the identification information of the signer. 

Depending on the compliance requirements of your local and federal government, you may choose to use a Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) or Advanced Electronic Signature (AES). These eSignatures are embedded with Digital Certificates issued by an authorized Trust Service Provider (TSP) such as Intesi Group. 

A Digital Certificate issued by a TSP contains the verified identity information of the signer. The signers must verify their identity using different methods before receiving a certificate. Certificates ensure the authenticity of the identification information. 

The digital certificate can be used when the signature impression is placed on the document. eSignature uses advanced cryptographic modules and algorithms to seal the signature information and the digital certificate to protect it against security threats. 

Conclusion 

Remote Online Notarization (RON) is the future of notarizing documents, and eSignatures make it secure. eSignatures used in RON must be compatible with all trust providers and have a higher level of security and authentication. 

To legally bind the eSignature, it must meet the global and local compliance requirements. RON of documents has challenges, such as workflow inefficiency or security threats. Therefore, secure and compliant technology is necessary to notarize documents remotely. 

Certinal eSignature is TSP agnostic and offers AES and QES to ensure flexibility and security. Certinal eSignature also guarantees 100% compliance with global and local compliance requirements. 

Experience the advanced security features of Certinal eSignature that enable RON and the signing of other crucial documents to be secure. Request a Demo. 

author avatar
Author
Lokjith is a marketing content writer, and he writes about eSignature technology to raise awareness and help enterprises make informed decisions. Before discovering the SaaS industry, he organized Offline Marketing campaigns campaigns. He has a master’s degree from the Institute of Management Technology, specializing in Marketing.
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