The New Norm

E-Signatures vs. Digital Signatures: Understanding the Differences


In the digital age, signing documents electronically has become increasingly common, driven by the need for speed, convenience, and security. While terms like “e-signatures” and “digital signatures” are often used interchangeably, they are distinct concepts with different applications, technologies, and legal implications. This article aims to clarify the differences between e-signatures and digital signatures, exploring their unique features, legal standing, and use cases.


What is an E-Signature?


An e-signature, or electronic signature, is a broad term that refers to any electronic process that indicates acceptance of an agreement or document. E-signatures can be as simple as a typed name at the end of an email, a scanned image of a handwritten signature, or clicking “I agree” on a digital form.


The technology behind e-signatures varies, but they generally involve a combination of electronic methods to capture the signer’s intent. This could include the use of secure websites, authentication processes (such as email verification), and the storage of digital records to provide evidence of the signing process.


What is a Digital Signature?


A digital signature is a specific type of e-signature that uses cryptographic techniques to provide a higher level of security and authenticity. Digital signatures are created using a public key infrastructure (PKI), which involves a pair of keys: a private key (known only to the signer) and a public key (available to anyone).


When a document is digitally signed, a unique cryptographic hash is created using the signer’s private key. This hash is then attached to the document, along with a digital certificate issued by a trusted certificate authority (CA). The recipient can use the signer’s public key to verify the authenticity of the signature and ensure that the document has not been altered.


Key Differences Between E-Signatures and Digital Signatures


Security and Authentication


E-Signatures: Vary in security depending on the method used. Basic e-signatures (like a typed name) offer minimal security, while more advanced methods (such as biometric signatures) provide better security and authentication.


Digital Signatures: Offer a high level of security due to the use of cryptographic technology. The involvement of certificate authorities ensures the authenticity of the signer and the integrity of the document.


Legal Assurance


E-Signatures: Legally binding but may require additional evidence to prove authenticity and intent, depending on the jurisdiction and context.

Digital Signatures: Provide stronger legal assurance due to the use of cryptographic techniques and trusted certificate authorities, making them more suitable for high-stakes transactions.




E-Signatures: Can be created using various electronic methods, with no specific technology required.


Digital Signatures: Rely on public key infrastructure (PKI) and cryptographic technology, requiring the use of private and public keys and digital certificates.


Leveraging Signulu for Enhanced E-Signature Experiences


Signulu offers advanced e-signature solutions that cater to both e-signatures and digital signatures, ensuring a secure and user-friendly signing experience.


Generative AI Features


Document Summarization: Signulu’s Document Summarization feature provides concise summaries of lengthy documents, enabling users to quickly understand key points and make informed decisions.


GenAI Chatbot: The GenAI Chatbot offers real-time assistance, answering questions and guiding users through the signing process. This interactive support enhances the user experience and reduces the likelihood of errors.




Understanding the differences between e-signatures and digital signatures is crucial for choosing the right solution for your needs. E-signatures offer flexibility and convenience, making them ideal for everyday transactions, while digital signatures provide enhanced security and legal assurance for high-stakes scenarios.


Signulu’s comprehensive e-signature solutions cater to both needs, offering advanced features like Document Summarization and the GenAI Chatbot to enhance the signing experience.


To explore how Signulu can transform your document management processes, take advantage of our free 14-day trial. Experience the future of digital transactions with Signulu and ensure a secure, efficient, and user-friendly signing process.