Smartphones can already be accessed via fingerprint recognition, which by extension gives approval to then access banking, personal data and simple business agreements.
However, the technology has not yet been extended to mortgages, discretionary agreements and more substantial documents.
The Law Commission’s newly-announced consultation into e-signatures – part of an initiative to “boost Global Britain and help enhance the UK’s competitiveness as we leave the EU” – concludes they are already capable of satisfying the legal definition.
The commission is now seeking views on its plans, which include setting up a working group of lawyers, technology experts, insurers and businesses to provide guidance and best practice on the practical issues around electronic execution of documents.
The consultation documents says there are still some outstanding issues that need to be addressed relating to security and reliability, trust and identity, the compatibility of different e-signing systems, and the archiving of information.
Wills, which are part of a separate commission project, and powers of attorney will continue to need a wet ink signature because of additional requirements.
Responses to the Law Commission are required by 23 November 2018.