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MeSign Contract Locally E-signature Automation SolutionsLocal signing tool, end-to-end encryption, global legal effect.

1. Demand Analysis

MeSign E-signature Service provides users from different industries a variety of electronic signing application solutions, such as APP Local Signing, HASH Cloud Signing and e-Signature System for batch signing locally, which meet the various needs of electronic signing application scenarios. Contract E-signature Service is one of the popular electronic signing services that have been widely used and have increasing demand. However, there are two serious issues existed in the contract eSigning services in the current market. First, almost all Contract E-signature service providers require users to upload the contract file to be signed to the Contract E-signature platform which is not conductive to contract confidential information protection. Second, the digital certificates used for PDF document signing is not trusted by Adobe, so the users can see the warning ‘At least one signature has problems’ when opening the signed document by Adobe Reader. With these two issues, how can users believe the signed contracts is trusted?

MeSign Technology innovatively developed a e-signing tool software to complete the e-contract signing in user’s computer, enable users do not need to rely on electronic contract signing service providers; instead, they can use this signing tool software to complete electronic contract signing independently. In addition, the contract is signed by Adobe Global Trusted PDF Signing certificate, so when the user opens the signed document by Adobe Reader, it will indicate ‘Signed and all signatures are valid’. Therefore, this solution completely solved the above mentioned two security issues, meets the increasing demand of the majority of users for the protection of the personal privacy and business secrets of the contract, and the demand of intuitively validating the signed e-contract. MeSign firmly believes that using client software locally in the computer or deploying e-Signature System on premises to realize global trusted and global legal effect Contract E-signature must be the future trend and the inevitable trend.

2. Introduction to MeSign Contract E-signature Service

Before introducing the contract e-signing solution, we may wish to review the traditional paper contract signing method in order to design the same process and management model as the traditional contract signing. In the traditional way of contract signing, the contract content must be written on a computer with a document editor such as Word and be sent to the other party via email for confirmation. If both parties agree to sign, the initiator prints out the contract and signs or stamps it, then ship it to the other signatory by carriers. After receiving the original contract, the other party signs or stamps the two original contracts (assuming only two parties have signed the contract), then the one of the signed contracts will be sent back to the initiator by carriers. If the contract is signed by multiple parties, the original contract signing process must go through every signer as a circle before the original signed contract been returned to the initiator. The signatories of the contract shall archive the original contract and execute the contract in accordance with the terms of the contract. If both parties believe that notarization is necessary, they need to go to the notary office to go through the notarization procedures and then to archive and execute it. If you need to invalidate or terminate a signed contract, you need to re-initiate a new supplementary contract signing process that invalidates or terminates the previously signed contract. If there is a contract dispute requires litigation, both parties have to bring the original contract so that the court can verify the authenticity of the original contract. After the contract is executed, the contract will be archived and managed. This is the full life cycle management of traditional paper contracts, including five sectors: contract finalization, contract signing, contract archiving, contract execution and contract filing, as shown in the following figure:

Electronic contract, also known as e-commerce contract, according to the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce and other electronic transaction laws promulgated by countries around the world, electronic contract is defined as “an agreement between two or multiple parties through electronic information network to establish, change, or terminate the relationship of property civil rights and obligations”. An electronic contract is a contract that is created and signed electronically. You may have written the contract in Word, but you did not print it out for signing, stamping and delivering it; instead, you send it to the other party via email, then the other party will sign the contract electronically and send it back to you by email. As shown in the following figure, this is a schematic diagram of the full life cycle management of e-contracts demonstrating the MeSign Contract E-signature Solutions.

The full life cycle management of the electronic contract still has five sectors, and only the contract signing sectors use the e-signature services provided by a third-party platform, like MeSign Contract E-signature Service. Adopting MeSign Contract E-signature Service not only requires the signer of the contract to be validated by an authoritative CA to prove that the signer’s identity is credible according to the requirements of the initiator, but also means that the third party notarized the true identity of the signer. Furthermore, it uses certificate to digitally sign the contract, and it uses cryptographic technology to ensure the non-repudiation of contract signing behavior, ensuring that the contract documents cannot be tampered with and guaranteeing integrity of the contract. At the same time, the timestamp digital signature is signed after the e-contract is signed, ensuring the credibility of the contract signing time. In this way, the signing of the electronic contract can have the same legal effect as the handwritten signature of the paper contract in accordance with the related electronic signature law from most countries worldwide. Not only that, due to the use of high-tech digital signing technologies, it can effectively solve the issues of the fraud signatures or fraud seal stamps on the traditional paper contract, effectively solve the issues of the unrecognizable fake counterfeit signatures and official seal stamps, and effectively solve the contract signing time being counterfeited problem, also effectively solves the problem that the content of the contract may be tampered after signed. These are because digital signatures using cryptographic technology cannot be counterfeit and cannot be tampered with.

Comparing to the life cycle management of the traditional paper contract, the life cycle management of electronic contract completed by MeSign Contract E-signature Solution uses emailing the e-contract to replace mailing the contract by carriers and use electronic signature to replace handwritten signature or the physical stamps. While the other processes in the management lifecycle are still the same to the processes in the traditional lifecycle management. Therefore, MeSign Contract E-signature Solution doesn’t change the process on managing the contract lifecycle. In addition, we don’t provide contract archiving and filing services, so these works are still managed by the users, and no any necessary to purchase the e-contract verification services additionally because MeSign Contract E-signature Solution uses the Adobe global trusted signing certificate to sign documents, so that the signed documents will be verified instantly when user open it in Adobe Reader. Therefore, if there is a contract dispute and a lawsuit is needed, then either party just need to provide the signed e-contract to the court. It is because the authenticity of the signed e-contract can be verified automatically once it be opened by the Adobe Reader. Therefore, with MeSign Contract E-signature Solution, no addition proof will be needed (except the court has other requirements).

MeSign Contract E-signature Service provides two types of services to global users: first one is to manually sign the e-contract using the MeSign APP, and the second one is to deploy the e-Signature system or call E-sign API to automatically sign the e-contract in batch. MeSign Contract E-signature Services only provide digital signature method to sign the contract that all signer’s identity must be validated. The signed contract files are Adobe Reader global trusted, LTV support and global legal effect.

3.Use MeSign APP to Sign e-Contract

For small and medium-sized enterprises that only need to sign a small number of electronic contracts every day, it is recommended to use the MeSign APP to manually sign electronic contracts. Users need to purchase the Contract E-signature Service and complete the identity validation as required. MeSign Contract E-signature Service uses digital signature and does not provide electronic signature method to sign contract that only validate the signer's email address. Not only the contract service user (contract initiator) needs to validate the authentic identity, but also the contract signing party needs to validate the authentic identity. After completing the identity validation, MeSign Contract E-signature Service will automatically configure Adobe global trusted PDF signing certificate for each contract signer for free to digitally sign the contract.

MeSign APP (an email client) integrates Contract E-signature functions, providing global users with a one-stop e-contract signing service based on email transmission, which ensures that the entire process of e-contract signing is encrypted, and the signed contract file are encrypted stored in the user’s mail server. The contract signing initiator must use the MeSign APP to initiate the contract signing, all contract signatories also must use MeSign APP to sign the contract, to guarantee the entire process of contract signing can be encrypted, ensuring the security of personal privacy and commercial confidential information in the contract. The contract e-signing service is completed by the MeSign APP on the user's computer, and it do not upload the original contract to the e-signature platform, protecting the confidential information in the contract effectively.

The following left figure shows the user interface of the MeSign E-signature service. Click “Contract Signing” to initiate contract signing. After the signing party receives the notification email of the contract to be signed, right-click on the email attachment to complete the contract signing, as shown in the right figure below.

Using MeSign APP to sign the electronic contract, the signing process is the same as the paper contract signing process, which provides duplicate or multiple copies as well (Global Originality). Each signer holds one copy, and each signed contract file has its own email address watermark to prevent the contract from being leaked by captured screenshot or photo. Therefore, if the contract has been leaked, the email address watermarks can effectively track the path of the contract leakage, which reduce the risk of the contract leakage. This protection measure makes the e-contract signing more secure than the traditional paper contract signing, and effectively solves the risk of the paper contract being leaked by photocopying.

The process of the e-contract signing by using MeSign APP is proceeded based on the email transmission, as long as all signatories can receive email, the contract signing can be done by themselves. This solution is especially suitable for the users who use emails for business communications. These users can complete the e-contract signing instantly by clicking the contract files attached on the email. MeSign Contract E-signature service is not only suitable for the signing e-commerce contracts, but also very suitable for cross border trading and cooperation contract and agreement signing with China partners, to achieve global business contract signing and global legal effect.

MeSign Contract E-signature Service only charges the contract initiator for the annual contract signing service fee and does not charge according to the contract signing quantity! If the contract signing party does not purchase the MeSign Contract E-signature service, the identity validation cost shall be borne by the contract initiator, and the contract signing party shall sign completely free of charge. When purchasing Contract E-signature service, users need to purchase the contract signer identity validation service package at the same time.

Users can not only use MeSign APP for signing various commercial contracts manually, but also can use it for signing employment agreements. As long as the organization finish the organization validations and the employee finish the employee validations, then all employees can use MeSign APP to finish the employment agreement with encryption for the entire signing process.

4. Deploy E-sign API Call System or MeSign e-Signature System to implement automatic e-contract signing in batch

Using MeSign APP to sign e-contract manually. If enterprises have a large number of contracts need to be signed automatically, they can integrate E-sign API to realize contract e-signing and PDF document signing. If the enterprise doesn’t know how to do PDF signature programming, then they can choose to purchase the MeSign e-Signature System to realize the PDF document signing and the process control of e-contract signing, supporting various e-contract signing scenarios, such as business contract signing, employment agreement signing and other types of document signing, to achieve trusted paperless application.

As shown in picture on the below, users only need to add one server used for calling E-sign API or used for deploying MeSign e-Signature System software for docking the business management system. The business management system is responsible for contract signing, contract management, and responsible for posting the generated PDF contract file to be signed to the e-Signature System to complete the digital signature on contract file.

The enterprise internally completes the final draft of the contract through the email system or the internal business system and sends the contract to be signed to the enterprise’s contract signing approver. The contract approver preview and click ‘Agree to Sign’, then this contract is marked as approved to be signed contract.

The business management system also sends the contract to the contract signers by email. After the contract signer click ‘Agree to Sign’, MeSign e-Signing Service will send the signer a verification code for signing. After receiving the verification code, the signer can enter this code into the online e-contract signing page of the business management system and click ‘Agree to Sign’, the business management system will post the document to be signed and the verification code from this signer to the e-Signature System. The e-Signature System will post the enterprise (Party A) identity information and the Party B’s verification code to MeSign e-Signing Service. The MeSign e-Signing Service will complete the signing approval verification and return the signed data to the e-Signature System for completing the digital signature. If there are multiple signatories for this contract, then just repeat the above process until all signatories finish the contract signing.

As states the signing process above, the contract signing process added a contract approval step. This step can reliably ensure the proper control of the Contract E-signature or e-seal during the contract signing process. Therefore, the electronic contract signing process is the same as the paper contract signing process which ensures the compliance and control of the internal approval. Enterprises can also set up to sign a single contract or a batch of contracts for approval with one-time approving.

Considering that the enterprise prefers to deploy as few systems as possible without too much transformation and investing too much money on the internal business system for e-contract signing, so with this solution, the enterprise only needs to buy the e-Signature System software, which is used to call the E-sign API and MeSign e-Signing Service to implement the contract signing process control and the applications of digital signing. Users do not have to purchase the expensive cryptographic hardware security model (HSM) and build the supported infrastructures and the key management measures.

If users want to deploy and manage the PDF signing certificate locally, you need to purchase a cryptographic hardware security model (HSM) and you have to build the supported infrastructures and the key management measures that support the secure deployment of the HSM. In addition, you have to purchase MeSign e-Signature System Pro (Software) and timestamping service. Please feel free to contact us, if you are interested in this service.

MeSign Contract E-signature Service can not only be used for signing business contract, but also can be used for signing the employment agreements.

5. Advantages Analysis on MeSign Contract E-signature Solutions

MeSign Contract E-signature Solutions not only provides a cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for SME who has a small number of contracts to be signed to manually complete e-contract signing by MeSign APP without spending the expensive fees on e-contract signing service, but also provides an automatic local signing solution for large enterprises who has large numbers of contracts to be signed by deploying a system calling E-sign API or deploying the e-Signature System locally to facilitate the automation of the e-contract signing in batch. More importantly, with this solution, users don’t need to post the original documents to the third-party e-contract signing platform. All contract signing will be completed by the user’s APP locally or by the on-premise deployed system, which can protect the business confidential information effectively.

MeSign Contract E-signature Solutions has 10 exclusive advantages as follows:

  1. Integrate with the email client seamlessly: This solution completely integrated the two traditional paper-based office tools, letters and documents into one paperless tool, which means there is no gap between signing the document and sending the signed document with encryption by email. We integrated these two critical parts of office digitalization into one APP. This solution can meet the requirements on major business process for business office and administrative office. This solution is unique worldwide.
  2. Two signing methods meet different needs: Users can use MeSign APP to manually sign the e-contract. Users can also choose to deploy the e-Signature System on their premise to dock their business management system to achieve automated e-contract signing. Two signing methods can meet the different needs from all kinds of enterprises.
  3. Combination of local signing and cloud signing: Local signing can protect the confidential information in the contracts, because it is not required to upload the original contract to any e-signature platform. Cloud signing process management can greatly reduce the cost on enterprises’ e-contract signing, because the company doesn’t need to purchase the expensive hardware and software system, build and maintenance the supported infrastructures. The enterprises can have an effective and reliable contract local signing system by purchasing the e-Signature System software for docking their business management system.
  4. Contract signatory’s identity is trusted: Use digital signature to sign contract that means the authentic identity of each signer must be validated by an authoritative third-party CA. Not only is the signer's identity trusted, but also the PDF signing certificate used for digital signing contains is Adobe global trusted with signer's identity information, to ensure the signed contract to be global trusted.
  5. The signing behavior is auditable, traceable and non-repudiation: Whether using MeSign APP to sign the e-contract or deploying e-Signature System to automate the e-contract signing, all contract signing parties are required to expressly agree to sign before completing the contract signing process, not only with the signing audit report, but also adopting digital certificate technology and timestamping signing technology can guarantee the behavior of the agreement on contract signing is auditable and non-repudiation.
  6. Global legal effect: Due to the contracts are signed by the Adobe global trusted signing certificate for digital signature, it ensures the signed contracts have the legal effect in the world. At the same time, MeSign e-Signing Service attached the reason for signing in each contract file automatically, clearly declared that all contract signatories recognize the legal effect of this contract signing.
  7. Protect the contract confidential information: No matter users use MeSign APP or deploy the e-Signature System, we DO NOT upload the original contract to MeSign e-Signing Service system, protecting the business confidential information of users. However, currently, most of signing service provider ask users to upload the original contract file to the signing platform, which is a huge security risk. At the same time, we do not provide contract management and contract archiving services which also pursue to protect the contract confidential information of users. Users store the signed contract file in local computer or in the internal business system, ensuring the signing platform do not have users’ contract files.
  8. Validate the signed contract instantly: The signature validation has been completed instantly when the user opens the signed contract file by Adobe Reader, and the Reader will display "Signed and all signatures are valid" on the first line of Adobe Reader. It greatly facilitates the signature validation process for all relevant parties (contract signatories and relevant relying parties). However, the contract signed from some e-contract signing service providers will show ‘At least one signature has problems’, therefore, if the user question this signed contract or need to verify this signed document, they need to upload the signed contract file to the verification system to verify the e-signature. This not only bring trouble to users, but also require user to upload signed contract documents to the verification system which leaks the confidential information in the contract to the external.
  9. Add watermark protection automatically: When the contract is initiated, the email address of the signatory is attached to the copy of the contract for each signatory as an anti-screenshot and anti-photograph protection for them. This can effectively track the path of leakage of the confidential contract information to reduce the risk of the leakage. This protection measure makes MeSign Contract E-signature Solution more secure than the traditional paper contract signing, and effectively solves the risk of the paper contract being leaked by photocopying.
  10. Auto-configure the signing certificate: The digital certificate signing technology is used for completing the digital signature on the contracts, and users do not need to apply for a PDF signing certificate from a CA. They can complete the digital signature of contracts automatically by using MeSign e-Signature System. MeSign e-Signature System will auto-configure the PDF signing certificate for each user for digital signing. The PDF signing certificate use 2048-bit SHA-2 signature algorithm. The signed contracts are attached with Adobe global trusted timestamp signature, proving the trusted time of each contract signing. In addition, the signed contracts support Adobe LTV (Long Term Validation) to ensure that the signatures of the signed documents are still valid for a long time even the signing certificate has expired.

In summary, MeSign Contract E-signature Solution uses PKI cryptographic technologies to implement digital signatures and timestamp signatures for e-contract signing. It supports manual signing and automatic batch signing. This is a one-stop e-signing service which meets the different requirements from the users around the world, and completely realizes the trusted paperless for all businesses. Welcome to choose the MeSign Contract E-signature solution.