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Qualified Electronic Signature
Qualified Electronic Signature

A guide to explain what Qualified Electronic Signature means and how it works

Updated over a week ago

Qualified Electronic Signature (QES) is the highest level of signature Regulation nº 910/2014 (eIDAS).

Here are the properties described by eIDAS, Section 4, article 25:

  • A qualified electronic signature shall have the equivalent legal effect of a handwritten signature.

  • A qualified electronic signature based on a qualified certificate issued in one Member State shall be recognized as a qualified electronic signature in all other Member States.

A QES can be used almost anywhere where a traditional pen-on-paper signature would be required. For example, in Sweden, it could be an Annual Report or a financial document or contract for the purchase of real property. Other examples are Belgium and Poland, where all employment contracts have to be signed with QES. There are many use cases where QES is explicitly or implicitly required.

GetAccept currently supports only PAdES-LT.

We are planning to add support for XAdES in the near future


A guide on how it works

Introducing QES Signing

QES signing is the most advanced way of digitally signing documents today. The good news is, that we've made signing digitally with QES easy, fast, and secure.

QES is available for your entire organization. To activate it on your entity, simply navigate to the settings page and set QES signing to enabled.

Simple Digital Signing

QES makes digital signing simple, no matter where you are in the world. Are you signing a document in Sweden and need to send it to your customer base in Germany? We make it easy - just select your local signing option from the current list of nearly 30 QES options.

EIDAS and Signature Validation

QES signing is fully EU compliant and adheres to the eIDAS regulations. It will also pass the EU's signature service and validate it as a valid QES.

Ready to Sign Digitally?

Check out this demo on how this works and you will also see a written step-by-step guide below in this guide

How to activate QES

We offer QES as a yearly, recurring add-on for our Enterprise customers.

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Select Signing under Document Settings

  3. Toggle ON Enable QES signing (Qualified Electronic Signature)

Once the add-on and the setting have been activated, the customer now has access to QES on Documents.

The setting looks like this when creating a document send out:

Important to note

Sign with QES

When working with Qualified Electronic Signatures in our product, these are the restrictions:

  • You need to toggle OFF Sender will sign this document to activate QES signing on a document

  • All signers must sign with QES. If you as the sender want to sign the document, add yourself as the first recipient before sending out the document.

  • We recommend that all input fields that require input from recipients are populated before the first signer signs. If you need signers to fill out input fields, add these persons first in the signing order.

  • You will have 25+ QES methods available when signing, you can choose the one that is the most convenient to you. Please keep in mind that every QES signature bears an extra cost.

  • eID is not recommended to be used in combination with QES

How to de-activate QES on a sub-entity

Once you have purchased the add-on, you will have access to it from all your sub-entities.

You might opt out of it by disabling the option in Settings:

  1. Go to Settings

  2. Select signing under Settings and Toggle OFF Enable QES signing (Qualified Electronic Signature)


How it looks on the Signing page

  • Once the recipient lands on the signing page, the flow looks very similar to our current one.

  • Once the recipient clicks the "Sign now" button, the following dialogs will show:

Preparing

This step might take around 5-10 seconds, depending on document size. The PDF is being prepared for QES.

Signer Country Selection

We offer many countries and
signing options for QES.

After the customer selects their method of choice, the modal above will handle all the methods.

There are two possible paths:

  • The customer does all interactions in the modal, i.e. a QR code might appear, prompt to plug in their device, etc.

  • The customer will be redirected to an external page, i.e. a QR code might appear, or some other interaction will happen. Once the customer completes the flow, they will get redirected back to the signing page.

Please Note: All of this is method-specific (i.e. BankID or CertEurope) and we are not in control of deciding if we show data in the widget or redirect the user.

What more?

That's it! After the document has been signed by all parties, the final PDF will not contain the signing certificate. This is due to the strength of QES - it is not needed.

This is how a fully signed PDF with QES looks in Adobe:


Available QES Methods

These are the different QES methods that we offer

Name of method

Supported countries

Austrian Handy-Signatur

Austria

Belgian ID card

Belgium

Croatian ID Card

Croatia

Denmark MitID

Denmark

Estonian ID card

Estonia

Estonian Mobile-ID

Estonia

Smart-ID

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Evrotrust

EU-wide

D-Trust sign-me

EU-wide

Finnish ID card

Finland, Åland Islands

CertEurope USB token

France

Yes.com

Germany

Audkenni*

Iceland

SPID

Italy

Latvian ID card

Latvia

Latvian eParaksts Mobile

Latvia

Lithuanian Mobile-ID

Lithuania

Lithuanian ID card

Lithuania

SimplySign

Poland

Chave Movel

Portugal

certSIGN USB token

Romania

CertSIGN WebSign

Romania

Halcom

Slovenia

Uanataca

Spain

Swedish BankID

Sweden

Freja eID Sign

Sweden

Swisscom

Switzerland

* Not supported right away, but can be added on demand


Frequently Asked Questions

How is BankID or MitID QES different from the current ones we offer?

The BankID eID package we have, where the recipient is added to sign with eID is an Advanced Electronic Signature (AdES), not QES.

The method we offer in the QES package is 100% qualified, due to combining the BankID certificate with a qualified certificate from our partner.

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