The Digital India initiative is making leaps and bounds in ensuring that India enters the digital age in all aspects and everyone is on board with the whole idea. Although rural India has not seen the complete benefits of digitalization, the government is working on the same. A new initiative in this regard is E-signatures using Aadhar card.
For all the novices out there, Aadhaar number is a twelve digit number that is unique to each and every citizen of India issued by the UIDAI or the Unique Identification Authority of India on behalf of the Indian Government. This number is proof of the holder’s address and identity.
What exactly is e-sign and how does it work?
E-sign is a relatively new concept in India and as the name suggests it refers to electronically signing a document.
Electronic signature and digital signatures are two concepts that are generally confused with each other.
An electronic signature can be a scanned image of the customer’s signature, mark made on computers using their voice, initials, stylus including the tick mark that is checked against an ‘I Agree’ option. It is a mark that is digital.
A digital signature on the other hand is another aspect of electronic signature. A digital sign is a proof of the customer’s identity and is unique to them, similar to their fingerprint. A digital signature is completely encrypted for security purposes.
Digital signatures are not very easy to procure, however. Customers will have to fill certain forms and will then be issued a data card with their digital signature in it along with the relevant certificate and so on. But those with Aadhaar cards have it easier.
Certain companies and services offer the e-signature option, especially those that require a lot of forms such as banks, insurance companies, government offices and so on.
For example, Axis Bank opened this service for their customers so as to move towards paperless banking. There are provisions for customers to e-sign all their documents. Axis Bank has tied up with a certain provider of e-signature and once they receive the customer’s Aadhar card details they will verify it and will request the e-signature provider to issue a digital signature to that customer. This entire procedure happens within minutes. Once customers receive their e-signature, they can sign their document digitally. This e-sign can also be used to access Digital Lockers as well which allows them to save all important documents online.
Benefits of E-Signatures:
- It is time saving and completely safe due to the fact that it is encrypted.
- These signatures cannot be leaked by anyone nor can it be misused by anyone else. In addition to this, each signature comes with its own set of certification and key.
- These signatures are legally acceptable by banks and many other institutions.
This e-signature service is the new way to go and is one of the initiatives introduced to ensure that the entire country, both rural and urban, enter the digital age seamlessly.