Going green with eezi-Sign

Joanne Carew
By Joanne Carew, ITWeb Cape-based contributor.
Johannesburg, 09 Nov 2012

Convenience is one of the key benefits of using electronic signatures, according to Adobe and eezi-Signcreator, JMR Software, which believes its solution offers users just that.

Virgilio Peneda, a partner at JMR Software, describes the solution as the first locally developed product of its kind in SA that allows users to sign documents quickly and easily, without ever having to physically print the document. The Web-based solution lets users electronically sign a document in seconds, using a Web browser, cellphone and an Internet connection. JMR Software has also developed an eezi-Sign iPhone and iPad app, which allows users to sign documents from any location.

According to Hendrik Strydom, CTO at JMR, the process is simple. He explains that the document that needs signing must first be uploaded onto the eezi-Sign system before those who are required to sign it are notified via e-mail that they have an outstanding document to sign. Strydom explains that the user then logs in, reads the document and can sign once the authentication process has been completed.

Much like Internet banking, when users agree to electronically sign a document, eezi-Sign automatically generates a unique numerical password, which is sent directly to their cellphones, says Strydom. This password needs to be entered to verify that the account user is actually the person signing the document and this completes the signing process.

According to Peneda, there are different levels of identity authentication that one can put in place depending on the importance of the document being signed. "There are so many procedures to keep this process safe and to prevent the information from being tampered with," he says. He adds that because JMR owns the intellectual property for the software, it is able to tailor the solution to suit each customer's unique needs.

For those who are concerned about the legality and safety of electronic signatures of this nature, Peneda asserts that eezi-Sign meets the criteria detailed in the Electronic Communications Act of 2002, which outlines the criteria of the method of signing, the authentication of the user and the data and the intent to sign.

According to Strydom, the idea was to simplify the document signing process and it took more than 18 months of refining to get the solution just right. "For us, the main thing is that it needed to be simple. We had to change things up a few times before we were happy." Strydom adds that the response to eezi-Sign has been positive, particularly among financial institutions.

The makers of the solution believe eezi-Sign not only saves time and reduces risks, but also has various green benefits. Peneda points out that these include saving paper and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as documents no longer need to be couriered all over the world to be signed by the relevant parties.

"We're making signing a document effective and efficient and promoting green ideals and South African products along the way," concludes Peneda.