Magazine article Medical Economics

Electronic Signatures Will Let You Do More Online

Magazine article Medical Economics

Electronic Signatures Will Let You Do More Online

Article excerpt

So far, online shopping for loans, cars, and other big-ticket items has amounted to little more than window shopping. You can get price quotes, loan rates, and other information, but completing a deal means downloading an application, signing the paper document, and mailing it. Soon, however, you'll be able to close a mortgage, buy a car, or sign a business deal without pen, paper, or overnight mail. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, which takes effect Oct. 1, gives electronic signatures the same legal status as handwritten ones.

A digital signature isn't a signature at all. It's simply an electronic guarantee that you are who you claim to be when doing business on the Net. Here's how it works: Some personal information is collected from you when you identify yourself in an online agreement. That information is compared with records available from another party, such as a company that verifies credit card transactions or maintains consumer credit histories. …

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