Electronic Signatures and Digital Trust Services: Catalysts For Financial Sector Evolution [Whitepaper]

Signatures and personal identities have been intertwined for nearly as long as people have been entering into written contracts. At a high level, signatures can be thought of as an abstraction of the signing entity’s authority to enter into an agreement. Signatures need to be relied upon not only by the contracting parties, but also by third parties, typically public or private institutions, for verification, fraud prevention and dispute resolution purposes.

At LHoFT, we are of the view that actors in the financial sector are presented with a significant opportunity to leverage trust services in order to drive digitalisation and automation at large within their organisation. The fulsome implementation of electronic signature (eSig) solutions and their potential integration with electronic identity (eID) has the potential to enshrine lasting gains in efficiency and transparency all the while leading to an improved customer experience.

The present white paper has ambitions to be thought provoking as well as pragmatic. It presents readers with a discussion of:

  • The critical attributes of modern trust services
  • Their regulatory backbone in the EU
  • An overview of relevant solutions providers

This document seeks to help decision makers in financial services consider their strategy to upgrade and modernise their processes in order to meet evolving client needs and drive their satisfaction while lowering costs and improving overall efficiency.



  1. Electronic signatures represent a natural evolution of the way individuals and institutions enter into written agreements, however adoption by financial institutions has been slow due to perceived complexity and lack of consistency across the EU relative to investment requirements.
  2. Near-universal adoption of computers and mobile devices, combined with shifting customer preferences and the reality of cross-border business, make the adoption of eSignatures and associated services, such as remote onboarding, inevitable, and first movers are likely to gain competitive advantage through enhanced customer onboarding and data analysis.
  3. The EU-level legal framework under eIDAS, international standardisation of technical aspects and the availability of regulated service providers means that there are few, if any, real obstacles to a transition towards electronic signing and electronic archiving in the financial sector.
  4. A 2015 Luxembourg law on electronic archiving, in conjunction with eIDAS, presents an additional opportunity for Luxembourg businesses to gain a competitive edge.
  5. Portable/reusable eID would allow for the elimination of redundancies and for more seamless cross-border business in the EU internal market. A proposed update of eIDAS, published in June 2021, addresses this unmet need.


The LHoFT Foundation

The LHoFT Foundation is a not-for-profit initiative supported by the public & private sector to drive innovation for, and digitialisation of Luxembourg’s financial services industry. The LHoFT is the national platform and central hub for Fintech, working to connect the domestic and international community to solve challenges and address opportunities that will ensure the Financial Industry’s continued competitiveness.

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