Frequently asked questions 

Have more questions? Check out our FAQs

FP Sign can be used to digitally sign PDF files, a.o. in the formats PDF/A-1b and in other PDF/A-3 formats. This ensures legibility for a storage period of up to 110 years, and by means of the signature the documents immediately show up any subsequent change (integration protection). Documents signed with FP Sign can then be archived with full audit and in compliance with the German Basic Principles on the Proper Keeping and Storage of Financial Books, Recordings and Documents in Electronic Form as well as Data Access (GoBD) and meet all statutory requirements for the storage of documents.

There are various different options to provide a document with an advanced or qualified signature via FP Sign:

a) The qualified electronic signature (qeS)

The qualified electronic signature is the highest and safest signature level in Europe. If users already have a qualified electronic signature unit, the FP Sign Client App can be used which creates the signature by means of the qualified key material including certificate (this is issued by a Trust Center as an eSeal or personal certificate). Mentana-Claimsoft provides consultation support for companies with the procurement of the qualified electronic signature material at a Trust Center.

If users do not yet have their own qualified electronic signature, they can contact an intermediary like Mentana-Claimsoft and issue a power of attorney. Based on this power of attorney, signature experts of Mentana-Claimsoft are allowed to generate an intermediary signature in accordance with the German signature law SigG on behalf of the user.

b) The advanced signature

Users that do not yet have an advanced signature certificate can acquire this at Mentana-Claimsoft. The advanced signature assures the same integrity (unchangeability) for sender and recipient as with the qualified electronic signature - but at a lower safety level, for example by means of a simple password verification. For the majority of documents the advanced signature is legally effective in Germany.

Recipients have various different options.

a) They can refuse to sign a document and at the same time also transmit the reasons for this refusal.

b) If, for instance, subsequent changes are to be inserted into a contract, the recipient can insert corrections into the document to be signed and upload the new PDF, sign the same and return the same to the sender for a renewed signature.

c) Via FP Sign it is also possible to exchange writable PDF files such as are used - for example - as questionnaires by health insurance funds. The questionnaires completed in advance can be edited by the recipient in the document, signed and returned to the health insurance fund via FP Sign.

The qualified signatures in FP Sign are created with the Mentana-Claimsoft products AutoSigner or OfficeSigner and both programs have been manufacturer-declared to the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur - ABnetzA). The legal basis for the manufacturer’s declaration is Sect. 17 Paragraph 4 Sentence 2 of German Act on Digital Signature (SiG) in conjunction with Sect. 15 Paragraph 5 Sentence 1 of the German Digital Signature Ordinance (SigV). In addition, when qualifying according to eIDAS, the AutoSigner has also been taken into consideration as a qualified delivery service for electronic registered mail, and been deemed to be suitable. As a final security feature the signed document can be checked/verified, and the associated record shows the security suitability.

FP Sign meets all the requirements of eIDAS, which has been in force since 1 July 2016, for the PaDES signatures used (ETSI TS 119 142-1 or DIN EN 319 142-1:2016-08). eIDAS offers users the major advantage of a Europe-wide legal protection. For example, cross-border business relationships are concrete applications. In addition, FP Sign also meets the requirements of the German Act on Digital Signature (SigG).

The security level and thus the proof effect and legal validity of a document can be determined by users themselves when selecting the signature type of the document. In order to be able to present a valid, legible, non-manipulable document to a court of law, in many cases an advanced signature suffices that has been created by FP Sign. The reason: FP Sign saves the entire activity log for each document. The history confirms the validity and thereby the integrity of the signature.

The sender specifies at what signature level the recipient is to sign. Recipients open the link to the document, transmitted to them. and can then sign the same by just one click. In order to sign a document in an advanced manner, recipients do not need to be registered with FP Sign, neither do they need to have a licence for FP Sign or a special software.  

Using FP Sign, documents can be signed with the advanced signature at any time and from a wide range of different mobile devices.

FP Sign was developed in Germany by the FP Mentana-Claimsoft GmbH, a subsidiary of Francotyp-Postalia Holding AG. Since its establishment in 1996, FP Mentana-Claimsoft has specialised in the development of electronic signatures. For its services such as FP Sign, FP Mentana-Claimsoft uses data centres in Germany that are certified by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). In addition, the customer’s own storage infrastructure can be connected.

The identification of the recipient can be effected via a mobile TAN procedure as well as via a video identification procedure. In both cases, the sender must know email address and mobile telephone number. In the case of a video identification procedure the recipient needs a valid identity card or passport. In this way, it is doubly ensured that this is the correct recipient.

In order to be able to sign and exchange documents electronically with FP Sign, the sender must have an FP Sign account. In connection with an Enterprise solution this can already be integrated in existing CRM or ERP programs. Alternatively, users can register directly via the portal www.fp-sign.com and set up an account.