Uses of electronic signatures and seals

Common areas of application for electronic signatures are in e-government and online banking. The qualified electronic signature is suitable for both areas of application.

Equally common are electronically transmitted invoices, in which case an electronic signature represents one of several ways of ensuring the authenticity of the origin and the integrity of the content.

A qualified electronic signature is required especially where the signature has to correspond to the signatory’s own handwritten signature in electronic form (e.g. with written contracts and certain other legal transactions under civil law). A qualified electronic signature is also required in public tenders.

The table below gives a summary of the areas of application for the various types of signatures.

  simple advanced qualified
Online banking     X
E-government     X
Public tender     X
Electronic transmission of invoices   X X
Contract in simple written form (Art. 886 General Civil Code)     X