Legal framework for electronic signatures in the financial sector

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Regulatory aspects

Electronic signatures are an essential part of business processes in the financial industry. Electronic signatures enable financial institutions and customers to sign documents quickly and securely without printing, signing, and sending physical copies. In terms of legal and compliance requirements, there are some essential aspects to consider:

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Legal recognition
In many countries, electronic signatures are recognized, and in the case of a qualified electronic signature, it is equivalent to a handwritten signature. However, the legal effects of the electronic signature must always be clarified in the respective context.
In the European Union, there is the eIDAS Regulation, which regulates the legal recognition of electronic signatures. In Switzerland, it is the ZertES.
Electronic signatures must ensure that the signer is the person they claim to be. This can be achieved through various methods such as passwords, biometric features, or certificates.
Electronic signatures must ensure that the signed document has not been tampered with during transmission and storage. This can be provided by cryptographic technologies such as hash algorithms or digital signatures.
Data protection
Financial institutions must ensure that personal data are processed in accordance with data protection regulations.
Retention obligation
Financial institutions must store electronically signed documents by the legal retention periods. Compliance requirements must also be taken into account.
Risk management
Financial institutions should establish a risk management system to identify and minimize potential risks in the context of the use of electronic signatures.

FINMA (CH), BaFin (DE), and other EU country's Regulations

FINMA (Financial Market Supervisory Authority) in Switzerland and BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority) in Germany are the main regulators for the financial industry in their respective countries. Both have specific compliance and security requirements for financial institutions, including electronic signatures. The requirements may depend on the type of financial service and the business scale. In the EU, there are similar regulations that national regulators implement.

Money Laundering Act, current topics on AML

The Anti-Money Laundering Act (AML) is an integral part of the compliance requirements for financial institutions. It requires them to establish and implement effective systems to identify and monitor suspicious transactions. Regulators are setting increasingly stringent AML compliance requirements for financial institutions. Current topics include the introduction of digital identities and combating money laundering in connection with cryptocurrencies.

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PSD2 (EU Directive) compliance requirements

PSD2 (Payment Services Directive 2) is an EU directive that aims to regulate payment service providers and improve the security of electronic payments. The directive sets stricter requirements for protecting online payments, including using two-factor authentication and more robust monitoring of transactions. Implementing PSD2 requires financial institutions to adapt their business models and IT systems to meet compliance requirements.

Protection of trusted customer data, secure authentications

The protection of customer data and the security of authentication methods are essential for financial institutions. Electronic signatures require secure identification of the signatory to avoid misuse. This can be done through biometric features such as fingerprints or facial recognition, strong passwords, and certificates. Financial institutions must comply with applicable data protection regulations and keep customer data secure to meet compliance requirements.

Products and solutions

Signing Service

  • Cloud-based and easily integrated remote signing service.
  • Enables the legally valid digital signing of contracts in applications.
  • eIDAS & ZertES compliant

Electronic seal

  • Learn what an electronic seal is here
  • Learn what types of electronic seals there are
  • How a company successfully seals electronically


  • Smart Registration Service
  • Legally valid identification and registration solution for electronic signatures.
  • Quick and easy integration
  • The most extensive selection of identification methods on the market, including FINMA-compliant video identification


  • Learn what two-factor authentication is
  • And why it takes an authentication solution for the electronic signature