The role of Trust Services during and after Covid-19

The Covid-19 created a real revolution, first of all from a health and then a procedural point of view. The inability to leave the house and carry out the most routine operations caused a blockage for less prepared companies, but they found a strategic ally in the IT world.

Just think of those sectors where physical contact has always been essential. How could you get by without seeing each other in person and being able to sign a document? The solution, or rather consolidation, has a term: Trust Services. These are software solutions that enable companies to go beyond their existing dematerialisation processes and give them real legal value. In this way, everything can be managed remotely, regardless of location and time.

Trust Services are essentially based on the use of digital and graphometric signatures. There is also the remote signature, which is made possible by a private key that does not reside on the user’s personal device, but on a remote one, defined as a Hardware Security Module. The advantage is the opportunity to integrate the functions of the Remote Digital Signature with any document management systems already existing in the company, through the supply of the server component. In the case of a property sale, a similar system is already in place for sending a PDF file with definition of signature within the document, particularly useful if you have a large number of agencies distributed throughout the territory, which sign thousands of documents per year usually on paper.

The different types of signature

The digital signature, consisting of a device (smart card or USB stick) and supplemented by a signing certificate, is functionally completed by the De Visu Online recognition mode via webcam, to verify the identity of a specific user and consent to the signing of documents. Practices that usually require trips to the branches and long waits are now carried out in front of a computer, from the comfort of one’s own home or workplace, using digital technology.

The graphometric signature, which requires a terminal to support it, such as a tablet, meets the same flexibility requirements as digitisation of processes. The service allows agencies and their customers to sign in a gesture similar to a handwritten signature on paper at various specific points in the contract. Following this, the document is received and signed by the agency operator and sent to the head office or legal representatives. This closes the digitised process by providing a qualified remote digital signature via OTP Mobile on the app or by text message.

Forget the phisicity

Due to the difficulty of going to the agency or bank to validate documents and contracts, there is a growing demand for the activation of digital signature services and DVO (De Visu Online). In this way, it is possible to enable those activities that normally require the presence of the signatory in person in an office, dematerialising the customer recognition and authentication phase, up to the actual signing of the documents. The use of digital signatures can significantly streamline relations between insurance companies, banks and customers. By minimising the management of documents in paper form, the system is one of the essential enablers of dematerialisation, with significant advantages also in terms of costs and reduced waste of resources.

The versatility in the use of Trust Services is clear with virtually no grey areas. Even if you want to integrate the signing process into existing activities, a lot can be done with the support and customised approach provided by the enterprise team to design the ideal and necessary IT process, preserving business continuity and moreover improving what were the previous flows.

A trend that will last

Technical and technological developments in the area of management software now make it possible to create fully optimised digital pathways, ready to meet the challenges of the future in a streamlined manner, in a market that is making innovation its lever for recovery.

It is worth remembering that, as a rule, to be sure that a provider offering trust services is doing so in a valid manner, it should be a Certifcation Authority. This is a trusted third party, public or private, authorised to issue a digital certificate through a certification procedure that follows international standards and in compliance with the relevant European and national legislation.

Confirming the authenticity, integrity and legal validity of a document immediately while working from home is more important than ever, as is having services that can certify and strengthen the security of the information exchanged. Digital processes are synonymous with market competitiveness: the company that manages all flows effectively takes a strategic step towards lean organisation and value delivery. An important step, therefore, for everyone’s future.

Antonino Caffo has been involved in journalism, particularly technology, for fifteen years. He is interested in topics related to the world of IT security but also consumer electronics. Antonino writes for the most important Italian generalist and trade publications. You can see him, sometimes, on television explaining how technology works, which is not as trivial for everyone as it seems.