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Technophile: Signiflow

Technophile: Signiflow

By Peter Moran

Practice & Procedure Practice Management Technology 

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This signing system provides robust evidence to prove identity of the signing party.

Snapshot
  • What is Signiflow?

Digital signature workflow software

  • What type of technology?

Software platform that can be delivered as a cloud (SaaS), hybrid cloud (bespoke virtual server) or on-premise system. There is also a mobile app function.

  • Vendor

Signiflow (Pty) Ltd

  • Country of origin

South Africa

  • Similar tech products
Docusign
Hello sign
Adobe Sign
PandaDoc
Concord
  • Non-tech alternatives
Wet ink signing of hard copy documents
  • More information

https://signiflow.com/

Which practitioners would find this technology useful?

Lawyers requiring remote verification of parties and electronic execution of documents.

How does it work?

Signiflow is an electronic document signing system that adds additional layers of functionality to the process.

Many esigning systems simply allow the signing party to apply an electronic signature in a variety of ways, such as uploading a picture of their signature, having first entered the signing process through an emailed hyperlink without any verification. With Signiflow, one of the additional layers of functionality is requiring the signing party to create a genuine digital signature which sits underneath their electronic signature. This means that in addition to the visual electronic signature, the signing party must also provide a validated digital signature, also known as an advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature.

Signiflow uses a third party system, Global Sign, which provides a verification process for the signer at the time of signing and then certifies that the person who signed actually was the person that signed. Two-factor authentication is required to verify the identity of the signing party which prevents the possibility of the signing party simply forwarding on their hyperlink to the document via email. 

The digital signature is then embedded in the agreement and a audit trail sits behind the electronic signature. Global Sign provides long term validation of the digital signature ensuring its integrity for 30 years.

Each time the signed document is opened, the digital signature can be validated and that validation can be relied on in enforcing the agreement and ensuring the electronic signature has not been tampered with. Signiflow provides more robust evidence to prove the identity of the signing party and their genuine authentication of the document.

Another added functionality is that Signiflow enhances the workflow process of creating and managing the execution of electronic documents. Templates can be created and used. A variety of text fields can be used, including drop down options for the signing parties to select. There is also the option of automated and form fields which allow some of the functionality of precedent and document management systems to be incorporated into the electronic signing process.

Signiflow allows folios of documents to be created enabling better organisation of esigned documents, for example according to client or transaction. It can be a document management system through securely storing the executed versions of a client’s documents.

The flexibility of the on-premise or hybrid server options allows firms to have the benefit of the software while still keeping the documents and data “in-house” (notwithstanding that the circulation of the document for esigning inherently requires it to move via the internet). Even where the SaaS option is used, Signiflow provides the option for all data to be held on local servers within a defined jurisdictional boundary.

Benefits

Witnessing and face-to-face signing can occur whereby two different parties can electronically sign the document from the one device. The system requires each party to verify their identity and ensures a signing party is not simply purporting to witness their own signature.

Groups of people can be allocated for a signing process whereby, for example, a board of directors would all receive a document but once the first two directors have signed, the process would finish. Parties can also attach other documents as part of the signing process. 

Signiflow has a form building system which allows the swift creation of forms and could thereby provide a further functionality for firms in electronically gathering information from clients without having to use additional survey software.

Risks

While the legalities of electronic signing have been significantly advanced by state and federal governments during the COVID-19 period, such advancements are only temporary and practitioners need to be aware, beyond the expiry of those regimes, of the legal risks underpinning some types of electronically executed documents: for example the common law requirements for deeds to be in a paper form.

Where the SaaS option is used, practitioners should seek the usual undertakings regarding ensuring privacy and confidentiality obligations are maintained by the cloud provider.

Downsides

Signing parties need to be comfortable using electronic platforms. Practitioners also need to be aware that documents can’t be amended and re-signed once signed. Therefore, the hard copy practice of adding in and initialling a hand-written amendment after the execution is completed is not possible with Signiflow. ■


Peter Moran is a principal at Peer Legal and founder of the Steward Guide, an online technology guide for lawyers (www.stewardguide.com.au).


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