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Fintech Market Overview

This article does not constitute legal advice.

Client identification in Spain

Fintech Software

Digital identity is recognised in Spain. Different types of digital identities are regulated under Spanish Law 6/2020 of 11 November 2020 on aspects of trust services (the Spanish Electronic Signature Law) and Regulation (EU) No. 910/2014 of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (jointly known as the Electronic Signature Laws).1

Digital identity certificates can be issued by any state or private entity that complies with the regime established in the Electronic Signature Laws. However, the most widely recognised certificates are issued by public institutions (the Royal Spanish Mint and the Tax Agency). Electronic identity is accessible to all national and non-national persons.1

The Electronic Signature Laws set out the different categories of electronic signatures depending mainly on their security features as well as the probative effects corresponding to each category, as well as regulating the characteristics and effects of each of them in Spain. In particular, there are three categories: simple electronic signature, advanced electronic signature and qualified electronic signature, in order of the simplest (with fewer security features) to the most complex, based on a recognised certificate and created by a trustworthy signature creation device, which will entail the use of the highest security features.1

The three categories of electronic signature are recognised in Spain as being valid to enter into any contractual relationship or transaction. However, the Electronic Signature Laws only recognise the 'qualified electronic signature' as having the same value before a court as a handwritten signature on paper. This does not mean that other types of electronic signature do not have any legal effect. Indeed, an electronic signature may not be denied legal effect and admissibility as evidence in legal proceedings solely on the grounds that it is in an electronic form or that it does not meet the requirements for qualified electronic signatures. However, the evidential value of each signature will depend on how rigorous the different steps of the contracting process are and on the security measures used to ensure the identification of the signatory throughout the contracting process.1

The Electronic Signature Laws also provide for a regulation in Spain of additional trust services, allowing fintech not only to improve the services they may provide but also to build certain fintech businesses around these concepts with an appropriate legal framework. During 2021, there were certain relevant judicial rulings and resolutions from public registries in Spain questioning the validity of certain e-signature models and platforms and whether they met the requirements for validity in Spain.1

Digital onboarding in Spain

Fintech in Spain

Fintech in other countries

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Spanish Fintech Lawyers

Viacheslav Losev

Viacheslav Losev

Legal support for FinTech and Blockchain projects

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Notes
  1. https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-financial-technology-law-review/spain
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