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e-Signature: Countdown is on, 9 months left before eIDAS enforcement

Opening the way to numerous business opportunities

Interview with Olivier Barette, Partner at Nowina Solutions

Coming into force on 1 July 2016, eIDAS will strengthen the EU digital single market and boost trust and convenience for secure cross-border electronic transactions. A great news for EU citizens, businesses and governments who will be able to enjoy the real value of a truly digital economy.

What is eIDAS?

eIDAS is a European regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market. eIDAS aims to create a single trusted environment for secure transactions across national borders, by enabling the recognition of national electronic identification means and trust services, and therefore fostering the usage of on-line services by  citizens, businesses and public administrations.

eIDAS is a regulation. What does that imply?

As a regulation – and not a directive -, eIDAS will enter in force directly, without the need of a national legislation, with most of its provisions taking effect from 1 July 2016. The regulation will not only repeal the existing eSignatures Directive, it will also automatically replace any inconsistent national laws in Europe.

Local governments, as well as trust service providers will also need to adapt their processes and information systems before July 1, 2016.

What exactly does it cover?

eIDAS covers electronic identification and trust services, the “building blocks” which contribute to the security of exchanged information: authentication, signatures, seals, registered delivery services or time stamps.

What are the opportunities offered by eIDAS?

The opportunities lie in the leveraging of electronic trust services as a key enabler of the Digital Single Market by making cross-border (and national) electronic transactions more secure, convenient, and trustworthy.

eIDAS offers transparency, accountability, market rules certainty and standardisation.

For example, it will be made easier for a company based in Luxembourg to allow a Belgian citizen to sign a contract using his Belgian ID. Also, a signature emanating from a Luxembourgish Trust Service Provider will be recognized across Europe. It will, all in all, become more convenient for citizens or companies to electronically sign documents with legal certainty. This means for Luxembourg, the opening of its digital market to cover Europe.

Are there some specific opportunities for Insurance or Banking?

By enabling trust and convenience on-line, eIDAS offers significant opportunities for both Insurance and Banking, two sectors with a high potential for the use of trust services in this time of digital revolution.

In nine months’ time, European businesses will be able to contract online (e.g. both “onboarding” new customers, as well as offering new products to existing clients). Customers will be able to use their own national eIDs to access services on-line taking full advantage of their rights across the EU, with security and privacy concerns addressed.

In consequence, banks and life insurance companies are urged to prepare for eIDAS, to get a first-mover advantage by offering, with a European perspective, customer-centric experiences. They will gain in terms of process efficiency, cost, business opportunities, security, compliance and corporate image.

How can Nowina help insurance companies or banks in this process?

At the forefront of eSignature implementation, Nowina Solutions is supporting as technical expert the EU eIDAS initiative which defines the new regulatory environment related to electronic identification and trust services.

Building on the latest and most comprehensive insight available, Nowina assists companies in their reflection on how to best seize arising eIDAS-related paperless opportunities, providing products and services ranging from decryption of the regulation to software integration or implementation of eSignature within their business processes.