Status January, 2023
The e-signature standard qualified electronic signature (QES for short) has the same legal validity as a handwritten signature in both Switzerland and the EU. However, before a person can affix a QES, he or she must undergo a certified identity check. The identity check ensures that a person is really who they say they are. This prevents the creation of false identities or fraud.
In the face-to-face identity verification procedure, the person to be verified goes to a registration office and presents his or her identification document (identification card, travel, or similar) to the staff in charge. On the basis of the identity document, the staff member visually checks whether the photo matches the person and whether the identity document is genuine. A copy of the identity document is deposited with the registration office with additional information about the person.
For online procedures, the procedure has been adapted to the challenge. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has standardised video identification as an online method for identity verification.
The legal framework for QES identity verification is regulated in Switzerland and the EU by the respective laws (ZertES, eIDAS) and their implementing regulations but also by international standards (ETSI). The laws are equivalent, but the implementing provisions vary in part. For example, certain online procedures for identity verification are not permitted in Switzerland.
With the Registration Authority App (short RA), Swisscom offers companies the option of handling the presence procedure for in-house qes identification. Employees of the HR department who have been trained as RA agents can enable new employees for the QES within a few minutes during the onboarding process. Swisscom’s RA app is available to companies in Switzerland and the EU.
Thanks to our technology partner Swisscom Trust Services, the leading Swiss IT company and trust provider in Europe for electronic signatures, we can offer you a variety of identification options including in-house identity verification.
We have also trained some of our employees as RA agents and are therefore an official registration office. You are also welcome to visit us and have yourself identified directly by one of our registration agents.