On Diffusion and Confusion – Why Electronic Signatures Have Failed

  • Heiko Roßnagel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4083)


Even seven years after the directive was enacted the market share of EC-directive conforming signature cards is disappointingly low, failing to meet any involved party’s expectations. Also the lack of customers discourages companies from investing in signature products and applications. As a result almost no commercial usage for qualified electronic signatures exists. Consequently no customers seek to obtain signature products. With this contribution we examine, if economic principles are responsible for the missing adoption of qualified electronic signatures in Europe. We show that their attributes related to the rate of adoption are far from optimal. We then take a look at efforts being undertaken to increase the adoption of qualified electronic signatures. We conclude the contribution with some recommendations on how to structure a future signature market in order to speed up the diffusion process.


Critical Mass Relative Advantage Technology Acceptance Model Early Adopter Electronic Signature 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heiko Roßnagel
    • 1
  1. 1.Chair of Mobile Commerce and Multilateral SecurityJohann Wolfgang Goethe- University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany

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