An Post in electronic signature deal with Adobe

1 Feb 2010

Electronic signatures enabling trustworthy paperless transactions will now become a reality for many Irish businesses through an alliance struck between An Post and software giant Adobe.

A new deal signed by An Post’s Certification Services Provider (CSP) subsidiary, Post.Trust will enable businesses to create electronic documents embedded with legally binding digital signatures.

These electronic documents can replace paper documents which rely on a physical handwritten signature. This development also seamlessly provides the dual benefits of author identity and document integrity verification, meeting a growing and increasingly essential requirement for Irish business.

Post.Trust has become a partner in the global Adobe Certified Document Services (CDS) Program. Post.Trust is launching its desktop electronic document signing solutions Post.Trust I.D and SpeediSign.

Two versions of Post.Trust

Post.Trust I.D. is targeted at the ‘Lite user’ with a low volume requirement to digitally sign Adobe PDF documents while SpeediSign is targeted at the higher volume ‘power user’.

“More and more businesses are seeking to deploy electronic document workflows in a bid to reduce costs, enable operational efficiencies and enhance security,” said John Cronin, managing director of Post.Trust Ltd.

“Using Post.Trust document signing solutions for Adobe CDS individuals or companies can undertake contract execution, invoice generation or even just general business correspondence, entirely by electronic means,” Cronin said.

A customer’s digital credential is stored on a personal cryptographic hardware device. The cryptographic hardware device which stores the customer’s unique Post.Trust digital certificate for Adobe CDS on a conveniently sized portable USB key, compliant with the FIPS 140-2 security standard.

Any intended recipient can automatically rely on the integrity of both the Adobe PDF document and the identity of the author because it is automatically validated within the universally available free Adobe® Reader.

Adobe Reader is supported on every major operating system and more than 700 million copies have been distributed worldwide.

The trust is automatically built into Adobe Reader and Acrobat, therefore no additional software download or certificate installation is required by the recipient to validate a document’s authenticity. A key benefit therefore is the ease and simplicity of use for end recipients.

“Adobe welcomes Post.Trust into the Adobe CDS program. Post.Trust’s relationship with An Post, the national postal services operator combined with its position as the leading Certification Services Provider in Ireland is viewed as an ideal partnership to enable Irish businesses to create, manage, and deliver information in a trustworthy and efficient way in this evolving digital communications era,” said John B. Harris, product manager, Electronic Signatures and Security Alliances.

“Post.Trust document signing solutions for Adobe CDS combine the essential attributes of security, integrity, authentication, time stamping and trust and provides customers with a unique digital credential to digitally sign Adobe PDF documents,” he said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: An alliance between An Post and Adobe will enable trustworthy paperless transactions via electronic signatures

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years