2019 is the year of the first signaturiX deployments with our customers in various areas. For example, we can mention the financial sector, the health service or the largest Polish courier company. We try to listen carefully to their expectations, resulting in new versions of the solution containing many improvements. Here are some of them - in our and our customers' opinion the most significant.
Electronic document signing should be simple and intuitive. In the case of a handwritten electronic signature, we want the reception to be as similar as possible to the traditional signing of a document on paper. Hence the idea of the simplified signing mode - a minimalistic, intuitive interface, where the place for signing is visible directly below the document. The simplified mode is perfect for mass documents (e.g. a payment order at a cash desk) or all kinds of consents (including RODO) - wherever we want to sign a simple document quickly, efficiently and conveniently.
Signing a document in a simplified manner.
However, we expect more from a handwritten electronic signature than from a simple paper signature. On the one hand, as I described above, we want the signature to be as easy and fast, on the other hand we want to get something extra. Something that an ordinary or even an electronic pen on a piece of paper will not do for us. We expect a fully electronic solution to help us eliminate mistakes typical of filling out paper documents.
Responding to the needs of our customers, at the beginning of 2019 we released a new version of signaturiX containing an advanced validation system for the fields of the signed form. With signaturiX we can not only specify the required fields (without which the document cannot be signed), we can also specify the type of field to be filled in and depending on it impose e.g. date format, number range, number of characters and other validation parameters.
Simple validation - field completion required.
The new solution also allows the order of signatures to be determined. Combined with the ability to bind form fields to corresponding signature fields, we get a solution which ensures that the document has been signed in the correct order and that each signatory has accepted their part of the form - while blocking other signatories from unauthorised modification of its content.
Determining the order of signing.
Focusing further on the simplicity of the solution, it should be noted that in some processes we do not need the use of qualified or advanced electronic signatures. Due to the RODO regulation, companies may have concerns about collecting biometrics, in processes that do not require it, e.g. for some internal processes. While the use of a handwritten biometric signature in the case of signing an employment contract is perfectly legitimate, a simple electronic signature (without biometrics) would suffice in the case of, for example, accepting holidays or business trips. To meet these expectations, in the first half of 2019 we have made it possible in signaturiX to provide a signature without biometrics. This means that once signaturiX is implemented, we can decide in which processes to use a biometric signature and in which processes to use a regular signature - some documents can be signed by hand on dedicated signpads/tablets and some can be signed with a mouse on a regular computer screen. All this in one solution and one licence!
We have also introduced many new features regarding the display of a document before it is signed. As an example, we support the display of annotations, comments added in popular PDF viewing programs (e.g. Adobe Reader). When signing a document in signaturiX, you know exactly what you are signing. Should you nevertheless decide to sign on paper - the document can be downloaded or printed directly from signaturiX and signed on paper before signing.
Since the beginning of building the signaturiX solution, we have focused on the security of not only the signing itself, but also the access to the biometrics of the signature. In 2019, the process was reviewed by lawyers and several improvements were made, making our process the unique, most advanced and most secure solution on the market. As an additional service, we securely generate and store the biometrics encryption key. We also enable government bodies such as courts and expert witnesses to use dedicated software to decrypt and export biometrics from a document, as well as software to analyse biometric signatures. This process is designed in such a way that the private key needed to decrypt the biometric signature data never leaves the HSM device, and therefore is not transmitted anywhere and is not compromised.
signaturiX is a tool for securely signing PDF documents. The solution has been designed to make the integration of this tool into existing systems as easy as possible. Our universal API (SOAP or REST) is responsible for this, allowing us to easily send the document for signing and receive the signed document. Integration is very simple, and our experience so far shows that it is also very fast - just a few days of developers' work and we have a complete, integrated solution. Sometimes, however, our customers, due to provisions in contracts with other software providers, cannot modify or integrate the systems they use or it would be too expensive for them. Nothing lost!
Just use the Client module of the signaturiX solution, which has been significantly developed in the past year. The basic task of the Client module, which has not changed, is to feed the signing module with the relevant document and to download it after signing - i.e. to simulate the operation of a domain system. What is new this year, however, are the new capabilities related to the management of templates, thanks to which we are able to configure a template so that submitting a document for signing is as quick and easy as possible - just by clicking one button! And all this while maintaining the previously described functionalities such as defining the signing mode, type of signature, validation of fields or the order of signing.
In addition we introduced the possibility to configure graphic themes for the signaturiX signing system, as well as for the described Client module of this solution. This allows each organisation to set its own look for the whole solution (e.g. logo, button colours, backgrounds, fonts) quickly and pleasantly using a simple configurator.
Themes - set the appearance of the application.
I have described above a situation in which we enable the implementation of signaturiX without integrating it with existing systems in the organisation. However, there are cases quite the opposite, i.e. when an organisation already has a system in place for handling, displaying and sometimes even signing PDF documents (without biometrics). In such cases, it would be natural to integrate a biometric download window into our own application or into an application from another supplier. This is where the biometrics module signaturiX comes in! It allows you to create signatures from within your own web application. Just a few extra lines of code and we can arm your system with a handwritten signature solution. Of course, the appearance of the signature window can be easily modified, so that it fits into your application - the user will have the feeling of working in the same application all the time.
Biometrics module - window for downloading biometrics of the signature in the external system (of the client).
Of course, the development of a secure solution also means the continuous development of its security features. There are many of them, most of which (for security reasons) I do not want to mention here anyway. I will only mention that we have introduced additional security mechanisms to protect the documents displayed in signaturiX, as well as additional notifications - so that the external system receives information about what is currently happening with the document in signaturiX.
Finally, the new way of licensing is also worth mentioning.
While the licensing model based on the number of users (document signing stations) has not changed, a new alternative licensing model based on the number of signatures has emerged. In a nutshell, it means that a signature pack is purchased and the solution can be used by any number of users. The package is valid for one year, and the more signatures it contains, the cheaper the single signature. We settle with our customers on a monthly basis - for the number of signatures used. This is a very convenient and increasingly popular approach among our customers.
As you can see, 2019 was full of many new developments. We look forward to a new year, new opportunities and challenges.