As the demand
for desktop E-commerce solutions increases, organizations are looking for new
and improved ways to speed up the signature authentication process that is inherent
in relying on FAX machines. Today's choices for authenticating documents include
faxing handwritten signatures or using secure public key infrastructure (PKI)
solutions. With the complexity of installing and administering PKI through-out
large organizations, coupled with fast growing presence of pen-based devices
on the market, electronic handwritten signatures are sure to gain popularity.
Current trends indicate a 90% probability that digital E-Pads will gain mainstream
popularity in the next 24 months.
This past July,
the U.S. Congress became an early adopter of electronic signature technology,
giving its stamp of approval, when they signed the Year2000 Readiness and Responsibility
Act electronically. J. Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, and Strom Thurmond,
President Pro Tempore of the Senate, electronically signed H.R. 775 in order
to present it to the President of the United States. They signed an Adobe PDF
version of the Bill with their handwritten signature, which was captured on
a standard laptop equipped with PenOp Signature
software and a Wacom digitizer.
Penop is a global leader in legally binding electronic signature technology.
PenOp combines biometric and digital signature technology to streamline document
sign-off procedures, reducing the risk of fraud and making the paperless office
a reality. PenOp solutions are currently deployed in more than thirty countries.
Vancouver based Wacom is a developer of graphic, intuitive, input devices. Interlink
Electronics ( NASDAQ: LINK ), another developer of intuitive interface solutions,
and a partner of PenOp, is positioning itself for increased demand of its electronic
signature digital E-pads. E. Michael Thoben, chairman, CEO and president of
Interlink Electronics, Inc. says, " Our new signature pad, ePad, has generated
substantial industry excitement and shows great promise for the E-Commerce market."
experts will still prefer PKI solutions over electronic signatures. Since electronic
signatures are bit and byte representatives of personal signatures, their incorporation
in .jpegs, .bmps, or .gifs are subject to unscrupulous manipulation. Though
we expect this not to slow down the market, electronic signatures that transverse
public networks will be subject to new sorts of electronic fraud. Like PKI signatures,
electronic signatures can be altered during transport, however a key difference
is that once digital signatures have been altered, they are no longer reusable.
Until electronic signatures start getting hacked, don't expect organizations
to worry too much about signature security.
As more and
more technologies converge to form new markets, and as hackers learn to manipulate
electronic signatures, expect PKI and Digital E-pads to join the ranks of other
connubial technologies. Vendors that embrace the merger of E-Pads and Digital
Certificates will command instant market share. Currently electronic signatures
and PKI signatures are not the same thing. PKI gives far more bullet proof certainty
of identity than electronic signatures.
will become mainstream when mainstream PC vendors delivers them built-in on
desktop keyboards. Leading the way is PC and multi-media vendor Sony.
Sony's VAIO 55 SuperSlim Notebok already comes equipped with a pen input for
signatures or drawings.
vendors have seen PC sales shrink in recent years, the birth of an all new E-Commerce
Desktop with digital E-Pads will rekindle revenue streams. Being able to attach
an electronic signature to an electronic credit card transaction is another
level of security for consumers that is sure to become ubiquitous.