Signiflow

Overview

SigniFlow is a core workflow and cryptographic electronic signature engine that works, either on its own, or fully integrated with existing core business systems.

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

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 Non-tech alternatives

Wet ink signing of hard copy documents

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 a number of additional layers of functionality to the electronic signing 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, and 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 (AES) or Qualified Electronic Signature (QES).

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 and 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 detailed audit trail sits behind the electronic signature. Global Sign provides a long term validation of the digital signature ensuring its integrity for 30 years.

What this means is that each time the signed document is opened, the digital signature can be validated and that validation can be relied upon in enforcing the agreement and ensuring the electronic signature has not been tampered with.  In other words, Signiflow provides much more robust evidence to prove the identity of the signing party and their genuine authentication of the document than might be the case with other esigning systems.

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 also allows folios of documents to be created which then enables a better organisation of esigned documents, for example according to a particular client or transaction.  Signiflow can itself be a document management system through securely storing the execution versions of client’s documents.

The flexibility of the on-premise or hybrid server options allows firms to have the benefit of the software whilst 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

Some further benefits of Signiflow include:

  1. Witnessing and face-to-face signing can occur whereby two different parties can electronically sign the document from the one device. The system will require each party to verify their identity and ensures a signing party is not simply purporting to witness their own signature.
  2. Groups of people can 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.
  3. Parties can attach other documents as part of the signing process. For example, if an additional form needs to be added or an annexure that was not available when circulating the document.
  4. 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, such as Survey Monkey.

Risks

Whilst the legalities of electronic signing have been significantly advanced by both the Victorian and the Commonwealth 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 with using electronic platforms, for example downloading software and using passwords/logins.  Practitioners also need to be aware that documents can’t be amended and re-signed once parties have 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.