Norway Post establishes electronic signature services, which will simplify digital signing of any kind of agreement or contract. The solution is chosen by the Norwegian government, but can be used for any type of contract or agreement that needs a signature in both the private and the public sector.
«There are still way too many areas where citizens still depend on paper and pen for agreements», says Thomas Mathisen, director of Digipost in Norway Post. “A simple solution is needed, which can be used for any type of contract, for example selling a car, renting an apartment or taking up a loan, as well as confirming a place in kindergarten or school. The solution can be integrated with Digipost, which is the digital mailbox for all Norwegian citizens, so that each party can store their own copy of the signed agreement. There are multiple solutions for electronic signatures, but most of these are niche solutions for various industries. Norway Post has seen the need for a national solution for digital agreements,” says Mathisen.
There are multiple solutions for electronic signatures, but most of these are niche solutions for different industries. Norway Post has seen the need for a national solution for digital agreements
– Thomas Mathisen, director of Digipost in Norway Post
Norwegian Post has already acquired its first customer by winning the contract to deliver a electronic signature solution and service to the public sector in Norway. The contract was awarded by the Agency for Public Management and eGovernment (Difi), following a public procurement process. The contract includes development of a portal for signature services, as well as an API solution for integration with any portal. For government use, Norwegian Post will use ID-Porten, which is a central gateway for communication between citizens and the Norwegian government.
«Electronic signatures are a central element in any digitalization strategy, as this will remove the need for manual processes, and increase self-service. A secure, user-friendly and modern solution for electronic signatures will improve and simplify central processes, both for central and local government», says Mathisen.
It is a challenge that decisions from a municipality to a resident, which is currently sent by e-mail, do not have a verified electronic signature of the sender. Lack of digital options for signatures results in more paper and more manual processes.
– Arne Vidar Haug, director of business developments at Signicat.
Norway Post uses Signicat as supplier of digital identity and electronic signature solutions. Signicat specializes in this area, and has previously delivered solutions to government institutions, such as the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Statens Lånekassen) and the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (Statens Pensjonskasse). The government agreement will boost the usage of electronic signatures in many areas.
“In fact, this is about digital accountability and efficiency when interacting with the user. Today, it is a challenge that information which is sent from a municipality to a resident, currently sent by e-mail, do not have a verified electronic signature. Lack of adequate digital options for signatures results in more paper and manual processes. This is something that will be simplified when processes are digital. Just take a look at the efficiency gains of banks have achieved by using electronic signatures”, says Arne Vidar Haug, directory of business development at Signicat.