There are multiple factors to consider the signature that should be used for the document:
The German law has some specific rules that should be respected when choosing a signature type
Handwritten form: the document needs to be signed with a qualified electronic signature since this is the only type that is equal to a classical analogue signature.
No electronic form: it is not possible to sign this document with a digital signature, you need to use the classic analog way
When your document is not covered by one of the above cases you are free to choose any type of signature.
You can use our tool to check which document requires which level. Please keep in mind that we are not responsible for 100% correctness since laws can change. The best way to be sure is to ask a lawyer if you need a qualified signature or an analog signature for your document.
When using a simple electronic signature, the final document is not protected by any security mechanism. This means that any stakeholder is able to manipulate the document after the signature was placed.
In case of an advanced signature or qualified signature a revision is generated after each signature step. The changes like “field was filled” or “signature was placed” by the signer are protocolled and secured with a digital signature. These signatures can be validated for example with the Adobe Reader. It is not possible for anyone to change the inputs from the signers before.
To increase the security level of the advanced electronic signature, we will use a second factor beside the email with the secret:
A TAN is sent to the mobile number of the recipient.
The recipient’s mail domain was verified as a business domain.
Some meta information will be saved in the resulting PDF document that allows the validator to prove the identity of the signer.
When using a qualified signature the level of assurance is higher than the advanced signature. This signature level is required to identify the signer by a certified provider, other parts in the process have to be certified as well.
Since we need external resources for providing the advanced and qualified electronic signatures the price of each is higher. Depending on your use case you should consider what level of security is required.
It is not possible to combine different signature types in the same process.
We support four different types of identification methods. Each of them will is certified by the eIDAS regulations.
It’s like video identification, but much faster and no interaction with a human being is involved. You need a valid passport or German identity card and your mobile phone. After identification, you can use electronic signing for 2 years without repeating the process.
Transfer your already certified data from your identity card to the service, no camera required. You need a German identity card or residence permit with available transport pin or already activated online ID function and a mobile phone with NFC function. After identification, you can use electronic signing for 2 years without repeating the process.
We will use your already verfied data from your bank when you opened your account there. You need a German bank account and your online banking login data. After identification, you can use electronic signing for 2 years without repeating the process.
A call with another human to identity you. You need a webcam, a microphone, an up-to-date browser and a stable internet connection. After identification, you can use electronic signing for 5 years without repeating the process.
After all signatures have been completed, all persons involved receive a confirmation via email with the completed contract attached. While the document is deleted from the TrustSigner dashboard for people with a Free license, it remains saved for a Business or Enterprise license.
The advanced and qualified signatures are included into the PDF document, an interaction with our systems for sharing or verifying the document is not necessary. Therefore there is no vendor looking after your document is finally signed.
After the registration process, every user is automatically upgraded to a free license so that they are not directly confronted with costs. Afterwards, organizations or individual users can decide whether they want to take advantage of a business license. To do this, you can enter your payment methods in the settings and select the license.
Every user can take advantage of a one-time 30-day trial version of the business license when registering an account. No payment methods need to be specified and after the trial period has expired, the user is downgraded to a free license. You will be notified that your trial is running out.
You can switch to a business license during the trial period at any time.
The organization feature allows companies to manage their employees in TrustSigner and structure them for the long term. In this way, the organization can decide which employees actually need which license and continuously correct this if necessary.
An organization can already be set up with a free license. To structure an organization, you can invite potential members to join your organization in the settings under the item “Members”. In addition, as the administrator you decide which licenses these members receive and how long they should be part of the organization.
The administrator can assign licenses and users to the organization via the settings under the category “Members”. The administrator invites the potential users by means of an invitation with the help of the e-mail address. The users then receive an invitation link in their mailbox and thus reach the TrustSigner.
If a user is downgraded from a Business to a Free license, they will no longer be able to access the included features. In addition, all existing documents older than 3 months will be deleted. Furthermore, the user with the Free license can no longer view the documents in the dashboard.
Our main goal is your privacy and security. Therefore we have only chosen providers with a headquarter in the EU. Otherwise there would be a conflict with the canceled privacy shield with the US resulting in a higher security risk for your personal data.