Among many things that Internet has revolutionized, business transaction is one. With most transactions being made through the World Wide Web these days, electronic signatures are fast replacing their paper equivalents.
The US Code defines an electronic signature as “an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.” But keeping concerns about signature forging in mind, a more reliable form of electronic signature has been developed known as biometric signature. Biometric signature is a signature taken on a biometric device and digitalized throughout the writing process. Instead of replacing a handwritten signature with a scanned version of the paper containing the signature, a biometric signature is digitalized during the signing process itself. The biometric device used in the process is generally a pen pad, an electronic signature pad or a tablet PC.
Biometric signatures find extensive application in banking transactions. They help consumers save valuable time and facilitate processes such as e-banking, e-mortgage, and online loan applications and approval. Moreover to further legalize transactions through electronic signatures, most banks use electronic signature software such as a signature verification system. This ensures that the e-documents containing e-signatures are legally binding.
But in spite of the measures being taken, electronic signatures continue to remain a disputable issue. The problems originate since most existing laws concerning electronic signatures were created in the mid-90s when an electronic signature pad was still unthinkable. But with the growing popularity of e-commerce and the increasing prevalence of online transactions, the need to amend such laws to include issues regarding electronic signatures taken through a biometric device has become imperative. As a result most countries, today, have included laws relating to electronic signature and electronic signature software into their constitution. This has boosted the use of digital and electronic signatures in the banking sectors. Moreover, with advancement in the technology, high-end electronic signature pads ensure the capture of high- quality cryptographic digital signatures. Such electronic signatures have the same integrity, authenticity and non-repudiation of on-paper signatures.