What is Aadhaar eSign?

Leegality Media
April 19, 2023
January 14, 2021
what is Aadhaar eSign
  • Digital signatures have existed since 2000 in India. However, because of their format, they were inaccessible to most of India.
  • Aadhaar eSign changed the game for digital signatures. Signers can eSign with just a valid Aadhaar number and an Aadhaar linked phone/email ID.
  • The sheer simplicity of usage of Aadhaar eSign has made it accessible to most Indians. Despite its simplicity, Aadhaar eSign retains the security and enforcement benefits of standard digital signatures.
  • Read this blog for a comprehensive deep dive into Aadhaar eSign

Aadhaar eSign is a method of digitally signing a document using an Aadhaar Card. Documents affixed with Aadhaar based eSignatures have legal and evidentiary value equivalent to that of hand-written signatures

Before the emergence of Aadhaar eSign in India, the concept of eSigning in India was limited to USB-token based electronic signatures known as Digital Signature Certificate Tokens or DSC Tokens. 

But DSC Tokens are a big problem:

  • DSC Tokens are hard to procure
  • It’s hard to sign with a DSC Token
  • Signers have to carry them around
  • DSC tokens don’t work on mobile

DSC tokens were not suitable to scale to 1 billion + people in a country like India. Most citizens either cannot, or are unwilling, to go through these hoops  to procure a digital signature token.

That’s where Aadhaar eSign fills the gap. 

Check our Aadhaar eSign VS DSC blog to understand why the above problems exist with DSC tokens.

Is Aadhaar eSign secure?

As per section 3A read of with Schedule 2 of the Information Technology Act, Aadhaar eSign is completely secure and legally valid to be used in eSigning documents in India. You can affix Aadhaar eSign on almost all the documents with 4 exceptions.

  1. Negotiable instruments (other than cheques)
  2. Powers-of-attorney
  3. Documents that create trusts
  4. Wills and other testamentary depositions

If you want to understand in depth about the legal validity of Aadhaar eSign and what makes it secure to use on documents, you can check our blog on Aadhaar eSign legal validity in India.

Why Aadhaar based eSign is pathbreaking

The Aadhaar eSign process is revolutionary because:

  1. It doesn’t need to be “procured”: Anyone with an Aadhaar and a linked phone/email can eSign with Aadhaar. No complex “ordering” or procurement process.
  2. It’s easy to eSign with Aadhaar: Anyone with basic knowledge of how to use a phone and enter OTPs can eSign with Aadhaar
  3. It doesn’t require a physical device: Aadhaar eSign is remote and device-less. Anyone can eSign from anywhere as long as they have their phone with them
  4. It works on mobile: Most Indians access the Internet through mobile devices. Aadhaar eSign is therefore well tailored for the common Indian’s digital habits

This method is definitely very scalable for 1 billion + citizens - and has the potential to revolutionize the way paperwork is executed in India.

Still have questions regarding Aadhaar eSign? You can check Aadhaar eSign FAQs to get more clarity.

How to use Aadhaar based eSign on a document

Introduced in 2015, Aadhaar eSign is a legally compliant mode of electronic signature in India that allows anyone to sign as long as they have:

  1. An Aadhaar Number
  2. A phone or email linked to that Aadhaar number (biometrics also works if they have access to a biometric authentication device)

Armed with the above, the Aadhaar eSign process becomes a super-easy flow:

  • Signer receives a signing link on phone, email or on an application they are using (e.g Netbanking app, loan app etc.). Signer then views the document and gives consent to Aadhaar eSign
  • Signer is redirected to eSign Service Provider Page where he enters Aadhaar number and authenticates OTP/Biometric/IRIS
  • Upon successful authentication - Aadhaar eSign is affixed on the document.
  • Signer receives eSigned document via email or SMS

The above process can be completed in under a minute

Don’t believe that? Well, try it out for yourself right now

Why is Aadhaar eSign perfect for your business?

For a business to run smoothly a lot of documents need to be signed on a daily basis to develop and maintain a transactional and commercial relationship with clients, merchants or agents. But executing paperwork comes with a lot of challenges - like high turnaround time, man-hour wastage at branch and office level, terrible customer experience, high legal risk and environmental damage. 

Given these high business costs - digitizing paperwork is essential for your business to maintain a competitive advantage in the modern economy. 

The first step to digitizing paperwork is digitizing the key legal event that paperwork seeks to facilitate - the signature. Without digitizing the signature it is impossible to digitize the other steps involved (stamping, creation, storage, security etc.) and, therefore, impossible to digitize paperwork processes as a whole. 

The old DSC Token based system does not fulfill this task. Since the DSC process is so cumbersome and fundamentally inaccessible to 99% of Indians - businesses cannot rely on their customers, vendors and other signatories possessing a DSC Token.

That is where Aadhaar eSign is a gamechanger. All a signer needs to perform an Aadhaar eSign is a) a valid Aadhaar number and b) possession of an Aadhaar linked mobile number/email ID. Businesses can reliably build digital paperwork flows where the customer/vendor signature is an Aadhaar eSign - because they know that the customer/vendor is highly likely to be able to perform this signature.

Because of its simplicity and accessibility, Aadhaar eSign opens up the world of digital documentation for your business. 

Want to use Aadhaar eSign for your business?

Are you interested in integrating Aadhaar eSign into your business processes? Leegality - through our parent company, Grey Swift Private Ltd. - is a registered Application Service Provider for Aadhaar eSign.

However we don’t just stop at Aadhaar eSign. The Leegality Platform also solves for ALL the document execution needs of a modern Indian business like - eStamp, Contracting Compliance, Document Security, Signer Verification and Document Automation

More than 1500+ Indian businesses - like Federal Bank, HDFC, ICICI Lombard, SBI Cards, Bank of Baroda, HDB Financial, Axis Finance and Razorpay among others - are currently using Leegality to digitally transform their documentation.

Will you be next?

Book a call with us now!

If you still have questions regarding Aadhaar eSign, you can check our Aadhaar eSign FAQ page and clear your doubts. Alternatively, you can also check out Digital Stamping FAQ, Virtual Sign FAQ and Section 65B FAQ to get more insights.

Explore Aadhaar eSign for your business.

Book a call with us now!

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