The qualified “electronic signature” is one of the core components at the heart of Austria's e-Government approach and it is carried out electronically.
An electronic signature is not just a scanned signature on paper. A mathematical algorithm is used and determined by the sender and recipient, each of them holding their own "signature key". Together, these two keys form a unique pair of keys. The following aspects are important for electronic signatures:
- Authenticity: The message originates from the given sender and the sender can be uniquely identified.
- Integrity: Manipulation of the signature or the signed document can be detected immediately.
With the invention of the Handy-Signatur (mobile phone signature) or card-based citizen card, tools were designed to sign electronically legally binding documents, invoices and contracts. It is possible to add an electronic signature to PDF documents quickly and securely, which is the legal equivalent of a handwritten signature. The authenticity of the signature and genuineness of the transmitted data can be verified at any time by the sender or recipient.
Information: Expiry of the e-Card as a citizen card
The new generation of the e-Card can no longer be activated as a citizen card. This applies to all e-cards issued from 1 October 2019 (in addition to the issue date, you can recognize the new e-Card by the fact that it is usually equipped with your photo). e-cards already activated as a citizen card remain valid until the signature certificate expires or revokes or until the card is replaced.
Handy-Signatur and Citizen Card
are electronic identification concepts for the Internet.
The citizen card is available in two different formats, since it does not depend on a particular type of technology and does not require one specific type of card. It is available as:
- a mobile phone (Handy-Signatur/mobile phone signature) or
- a chip card.
Both are electronic identification concepts for the Internet. Users can identify themselves to public authorities by digital means. These allow them to be uniquely identified and authenticated where required by law.
The citizen card as well as the Handy-Signatur constitute a qualified electronic signature, which make it possible to sign forms or contracts usually requiring a personal and handwritten signature.
Handy-Signatur as citizen card
Your electronic ID and signature on the Internet: With your Handy-Signatur (mobile phone signature), you can easily and quickly identify yourself on the Internet as well as sign forms and documents electronically. Your electronic signature with authorities or in business is just as valid as the handwritten signature. Activation and use of the Handy-Signatur are free of charge. All you need is a mobile phone ready to receive.
Since the end of 2009, citizens have been able to take advantage of the practical mobile phone signatures (Handy-Signatur). The Handy-Signatur is very simple: No more software installations and additional hardware (card reader) are required. Instead, a TAN code is sent to the activated mobile phone via SMS after registration by access ID (mobile phone number) and PIN. Entering the TAN code triggers the qualified electronic signature.
The mobile signature app – Handy-Signatur App
Users can enter a TAN code received via SMS as in the web-based application or scan the QR-Code on the screen in order to complete the signature.
Use Handy-Signatur in the "Digitales Amt" app
With the introduction of the "Digitales Amt" app in 2019, it is now also possible to use the mobile phone signature via this app on a smartphone (iOS and Android). For security reasons, the mobile phone signature can only be activated with fingerprint (fingerprint, touch ID) or face recognition (face ID) in the "Digitales Amt" app.
If the "Digitales Amt" app is installed and connected to the mobile phone signature, users receive a push notification on their smartphone when triggering the mobile phone signature in a procedure. Then they can sign in the app and complete the process using fingerprint or facial recognition.