What’s Required for an Electronic Signature to be Legally Binding?

Your liability waiver is an essential part of business in the adventure tourism industry and many other sectors, because it limits your liability and informs your guests about potential risks. Put simply – if you want to stay in business, it pays to cover your behind! 

An electronic waiver solution like Wherewolf makes it incredibly easy to gain these signatures via a direct link, QR code or onsite waiver app. But how can you be sure your waiver software will record a legally binding signature from each guest? 

First up, what is an electronic signature?

Generally speaking, an electronic signature is a visible representation of a person’s mark or name that they place in a document or communication by electronic means, to identify that person and indicate their agreement to the document or communication. 
That might be a fairly wordy explanation, but if you want to see how it works in practice you can fill out this sample digital registration using fake details. The electronic signature is the last step in the process. 

Where are electronic signatures used?

Electronic signatures are considered legally binding and commonly used in the vast majority of countries across the world, including North America, United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. It’s important to note that different locations can have unique requirements for an electronic signature that would be admissible in court proceedings if required. 

What’s required for an electronic signature to be legally binding?

We won’t go through the region-specific requirements for each individual country and region here (because it might take a month!), but there are typically a handful of common requirements, including:

  1. Identification
    The person being able to identify themselves. With an online waiver solution this can be through a direct link to the guest’s phone, or via verification of their previously submitted information. 
  1. Intention
    The person must be able to indicate their intention to agree with the terms or conditions being outlined.
  2. Reliability
    The method by which the person electronically signs must be reliable, appropriate and secure, so that the signature can’t be changed. 
  3. Consent
    Both parties need to consent to the process of electronically signing the document. 

Here at Wherewolf we focus on providing clear, secure and reliable electronic waiver solutions to make it easy to gain signatures for your tours, activities, services and other customer experiences. 

While we always suggest checking in your specific location to check that electronic signatures will be legally binding for your liability or services waivers, you can rest assured that we’ve carefully designed user interfaces to meet the above requirements. We aim to make it easy to clearly share information with your customers and allow them to agree in a smooth, intuitive and secure way. 

If you have any questions about security or personalised solutions, we are always here to help.

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