Why Electronic Signatures in Indonesia Are Really Necessary
Indonesians are finding it difficult to compose documents that are valid and legally binding because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Professionals like corporate executives and lawyers need to convince third parties to accept documents without a ‘wet signature‘. This is because document signatories may be unable to visit offices to sign documents due to fears about the pandemic. Instead, these professionals rely on electronic signatures to create valid and legally binding documents for various transactions.
An electronic signature is a reasonable facsimile of the signature of a person. A real person provides the real “wet” signature as a basis. You can then use a facsimile in place of a “wet” signature to show the signatory agrees with the document’s contents. The signatory renders the “wet” signature with a pen on a hard-copy document. It is tangible.
Who Creates Electronic Signatures in Indonesia?
You can create an electronic signature of your own with some kinds of computer software. You can then apply this facsimile to an actual document, under the name of the signatory. Some third-parties consider the electronic signature valid and legally binding. But others who are more scrupulous may contest this, and even question the validity of the document it appears on. To these, the electronic signature is less convincing proof of the assent of the signatory, compared to a “wet” signature.
There is merit in this, because if the electronic signature is saved in a computer then it is easy to use and apply on any document. Those who intend to use these documents as evidence, such as during court proceedings, may be contested by opponents. To solve this, the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics suggested tagging “locally-certified” sources of certified electronic signatures in Indonesia. The word “certified” indicates that the original wet signature is definitely the source of the certified electronic signature. This would do away with all doubt about the legality of any documents where the certified electronic signature is used.
Three Confirmed Sources of Electronic Signatures in Indonesia
The Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics designated three companies as certified sources of electronic signatures in Indonesia. These three are:
Anyone who wishes to use electronic signatures may register first with these companies to be able to use their system. Foreign electronic signature systems should register first with the government to also offer this service in Indonesia.
Despite this development, many government offices and courts do not accept electronic signatures in Indonesia as being legally valid. They still require “wet” signatures on documents, particularly these:
- Human resources documents
- Deeds and contracts for real property transfer
- Transfer of intellectual property rights documents
- Documents required to be in notarial deed form (such as a share acquisition deed)
- Corporate documents (such as shareholder resolutions which should be in notarial deed form)
Indonesian law paves the way for the entry of foreign and local private companies as providers of electronic signatures in Indonesia. But it seems it will take time for such electronic signatures to be accepted, especially for those important documents mentioned. Professionals and the public alike will either be satisfied with the use of electronic signatures or insist on “wet” signatures. This will persist until the government can convince everyone to use electronic signatures instead, despite fears of forged signatures.
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