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Introduction of E-Signature in Cyprus by the End of 2017

Introduction of E-Signature in Cyprus by the End of 2017

At the end of 2017 and onwards citizens in Cyprus will be able to use electronic signatures (e-signature) while doing business with the public sector as well as some private companies, the Cyprus News Agency reports.

It is estimated that the introduction of e-signature will bring about significant reductions in administrative costs in the public and will simplify the transactions that nowadays are way too complicated and need a great deal of paper work and bureaucratic procedures.

The electronic signatures, which replace handwritten signatures, will pave the way in processing secure electronic transactions that currently require both the handwritten signature of the persons and their physical presence.

In the context of e-governance it is estimated that by the end of the year the tender documents will be prepared through which an assigned company will do the work and provide the electronic signatures and authentication certificates.

Cyprus has a legislation that allows the use of e-signatures, however discussion have been carried on for many years as to who is supposed to be the provider of the electronic signatures and related certificates. The Undersecretary to the President and his associates have managed to speed up the process and give an end to what has been described as a never ending discussion.

Decisions were also taken for more electronic services that will enable the use of e-signature by the citizens.

But how does the e-signature work? Each service will make the appropriate modifications to its system to accept electronic signatures. When the public will submit its application for ie the Land Registry will use a doken (a medium key which will be stored as electronic signature) and thus will be able to sign electronically the application and submit it.

This doken could be a separate card, a sim card, usb, or a cloud application, but basically the whole process is extremely simple and convenient for the public and will resemble much the money transfer in bank transactions with the use of the digipass.

On-line applications with the use of e-signature include, inter alia, the application for GMI (Guaranteed Minimum Income), application for child allowance and single parent and the application for criminal record certificate.

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