Two laws were passed with the intention of making electronic signatures valid as a regular means of validation. These two laws are the ESIGN Act and the UETA, both of which made a lot of positive changes possible for e-commerce. Both laws have expanded the functions of electronic signatures, ushering in many new ways for companies to do business in the modern world. E-commerce is now alive and well, thanks to the passing of both laws which particularly support new business practices geared towards online business operations. Both the UETA and the E-sign Act are there to support and protect electronic signatures and the documents they are in, and have provided many benefits for e-businesses in the process.
The E-sign Act is officially known as the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, and is one of the United States laws that facilitate the use of electronic signatures and records for legal electronic contracts and documents both for interstate and international transactions. The E-sign Act makes sure that electronic documents are made legal and scrutinized under similar legal effects as regular paper documents. Nowadays, electronic records and signatures are considered just as valid and effective as regular paper contracts and documents thanks to the E-sign Act. Because of that, these e-documents are also under similar regulations as those imposed on paper documents.
The UETA (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) is an act that was originally proposed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws. The NCCUSL has since then influenced the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and 47 local states into absorbing similar regulations within their own laws. The UETAs purpose works hand in hand with the E-sign Act as a means of having a governing law that concerns the retention of paper records and the use of electronic processes to validate e-documents as an alternative.
Prior to the UETA, physical copies and printouts of many documents were required by most states. This presented a problem with regards to storage and production of waste, especially in the case of banks, where every check had to be kept in storage for processing. The UETA made it possible for these companies to use paperless processes instead of handling physical paperwork all the time. Keeping everything in electronic data form not only makes storage a lot easier and less space consuming, but also supports the green movement by eliminating a lot of paper wastes and the need for carbon production via paper production.
The E-sign Act and the UETA have both contributed to the now widespread use of electronic signatures in many industries. Companies have seen the many benefits that these laws offer, and are looking at other ways to maximize the convenience present in using electronic signatures and records. The ease of use has helped many companies in wrapping up even the most complex transactions and business deals within a day. With the ongoing trend of businesses going towards web site-driven operations, these laws have definitely made the future of e-commerce a lot brighter.