• 2021-12-08

First in Japan! GMO GlobalSign Holdings and Tokyu Livable Begin Practical Application of Electronic Signatures Verified by Individual Number Cards in Real Estate Sales Contracts

First in Japan!
GMO GlobalSign Holdings and Tokyu Livable Begin Practical
Application of Electronic Signatures Verified by Individual Number
Cards in Real Estate Sales Contracts
~Announcing a business alliance to achieve electronic signatures with the same
validity as registered seals on real estate sales contracts~

 

GMO GlobalSign Holdings K.K. (President and CEO: Mitsuru Aoyama; hereafter "GMO GlobalSign HD"), which is part of the GMO Internet Group, and Tokyu Livable, Inc. (Representative and President: Yoichi Ota; hereafter "Tokyu Livable") are pleased to announce a business alliance effective from this day, Wednesday December 8, 2021. The two companies are collaborating on research and development of methods and applications to make practical use of electronic signatures with the same validity as registered seals in real estate sales contracts by verification of the individual using their Individual Number Card. There is currently no precedent for practical use of electronic signatures via Individual Number Card authentication in real estate sales contracts, making this is the first such case in Japan.

[Enabling safe and convenient real estate transactions using only a smartphone and Individual Number Card]

211208_1_en.jpg

Implementation of electronic signatures via Individual Number Card authentication in real estate sales contracts reduces cost and effort for buyers, sellers, and brokers. Additionally, because this method offers more reliable individual authentication than ever before, it contributes to improved reliability in transactions. - Highly reliable individual authentication using only a smartphone and Individual Number Card - No need for documents to authenticate the individual thanks to an electronic contract with the same validity as a registered seal - Fewer customer contract procedures thanks to eliminating handwritten signatures - Relevant documents can be viewed on the cloud so there is no need to carry around paper documents - Real estate sales contract procedures can be completed even if the other party is in a remote location - No need for real estate sales contract stamp fees

[Framework for real estate sales contracts utilizing the Individual Number Card for individual authentication]

211208_2_en.jpg

The person who receives a signature request can download the smartphone app and scan the Individual Number Card to use the Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems (J-LIS) Public Personal Authentication service to authenticate the individual, and Public Certification Authority GMO GlobalSign K.K. (CEO: Ichiro Chujo; hereafter "GMO GlobalSign"*1) issues the electronic certificate. The electronic certificate can then be signed electronically, with the signature having the same validity as a registered seal. When issuing the electronic certificate, the individual is verified using the Public Personal Authentication service, allowing for identification of the real estate sales contract party. It also simultaneously completes individual authentication stipulated in the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds.  GMO GlobalSign HD and Tokyu Livable are engaging in joint R&D initiatives in line with the digitization of real estate sales contracts, with the goal of implementation by next spring. The two companies are working together to help provide safe transactions for the era of digitization of real estate transactions that is sure to come. Relevant documents are also to be stored on the cloud for even greater convenience and process streamlining, promoting digital transformation in the real estate industry.

(*1) GMO GlobalSign is a GMO GlobalSign HD consolidated company that was certified as a platform operator by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications in May 2016, and is one of the few operators that are allowed to access the Japan Agency for Local Authority Information Systems (J-LIS).

[Background]

With the ban on electronic contracts for real estate transactions to be fully lifted by May 2022, GMO GlobalSign HD is engaged in efforts to streamline the entire real estate industry by digitizing paper contracts via GMO Sign eSignature, a service that it developed and provides. On the other hand, Tokyu Livable is promoting digitization of customer needs first services as part of the digital strategy in its long-term management policy. With this in mind, digitization of real estate sales contract procedures is essential to convenience, safety, and security, and utilization of the Individual Number Card should be useful in this regard.

■ A revision of the Real Estate Brokerage Act allows for the shift to fully online real estate sales contracts by May 2022

Laws related to digital reform which were put into effect in September 2021, stipulate that the revised Real Estate Brokerage Act, which allows for real estate sales contracts to be handled fully online, will be put into effect. The revised Real Estate Brokerage Act was promulgated on May 19, 2021, legally allowing real estate sales contracts to be handled completely online by May 2022 at the latest (within one year from the date of promulgation), which is when the Act is planned to go into effect

. ■ Spoofing concerns in the shift to fully online real estate sales contracts

Conventionally, registered seals were used to ensure the security of real estate sales contract transactions. Even when the ban on fully online real estate sales contracts is lifted, attention to highly secure electronic signatures with rigorous individual authentication are needed in addition to greater convenience. However, the possibility of signature spoofing by a third party cannot be denied in the process of guaranteeing the identity of the individual, such as used in commonplace email authentication.

■ Increased prevalence of Individual Number Cards According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications "Number of Individual Number Cards Issued by Local Governments (as of November 1, 2021)" (URL: https://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000777036.pdf), nationwide, 39% of the population have been issued Individual Number Cards, with nearly one in three citizens having one. With the goal of an Individual Number Card for nearly every citizen by the end of fiscal year 2022*2, it is expected that the cards will be used for various purposes, such as health insurance cards, and for Public Personal Authentication of various other digitized cards (prescription record handbooks, long-term care insurance cards, disability certificates, maternal and child health handbooks, etc.). With this background in mind, GMO GlobalSign HD will be the first in Japan*3 to add and provide My Number Registered Seal functionality for authenticating individuals with the same validity as a registered seal using an Individual Number Card to GMO Sign eSignature, an electronic contract service developed and run by the company. Tokyu Livable is focused on improving and streamlining customer convenience and ensuring safety in private real estate sales contracts through individual authentication in electronic signatures as part of efforts to develop a framework for a digital society. GMO GlobalSign HD and Tokyu Livable are taking this opportunity to form a business alliance and engage in joint R&D for practical application of electronic signatures in highly secure real estate sales contracts. Electronic signatures will guarantee the identity of the individual equivalent to a registered seal in place of printed contracts.

(*2) From the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications 2022 key policy, "Digital Government Promotion ."
URL:https://www.soumu.go.jp/main_content/000766714.pdf

(*3) Japan's first cloud-based electronic contract service through which a contract can be signed by authenticating the individual via their Individual Number Card (Public Personal Authentication) and then using the AATL (Adobe Approved Trust List) certificate issued by the Public Certification Authority.

[GMO Sign eSignature] (URL:https://www.gmosign.com/)

GMO Sign eSignature (previously "GMO Agree"), an electronic contract service developed and provided by GMO GlobalSign HD, is the number one*4 electronic contract service used at companies in Japan as of the end of December 2020, and is used at over 400,000 companies as of November 2021. Not only is this system applicable for witness and concerned party signing cases, but also for hybrid cases that combine the two. This electronic contract service is unique for its convenience and superior evidential power.

■ Government promotion of digital transformation

Not only is this service being adopted by private enterprises, but the Goodbye Seals - 100 Million Document Digitization Project (URL: https://www.gmosign.com/go_dx/) began in January 2021 as a local government demonstration experiment in electronic contracts, with 92 localities (as of December 7, 2021) across Japan participating. With part of local government act enforcement regulations being revised on January 29, 2021*5, GMO Sign eSignature options Operator Signing and Concerned Party Signing were both available for use in such locales. Because of this, in March 2021, the city of Sanjo, Niigata (Mayor : Ryo Takizawa) decided to adopt and introduce GMO Sign eSignature*6, becoming the first local government in the country to introduce private electronic contract services.

■ Quick, easy, rigorous individual authentication thanks to My Number Registered Seal

In July 2021, the My Number Registered Seal service, the first in Japan, was also launched, providing quick, easy, and rigorous individual authentication simply by touching an Individual Number Card to a smartphone. In the future, in place of authenticating an individual in person and using printed certificates, electronic contract services will be expanded even further so that they can be used by both the government and private parties in a wide range of applications for convenient, speedy, and highly reliable individual authentication.

[Tokyu Livable, Inc. Information] (URL: https://www.livable.co.jp/)

Ever since the company's founding in 1972, Tokyu Livable has continued to transform and take on challenges, pioneering in the industry unique services and new businesses in order to always deliver new value. Tokyu Livable is a comprehensive real estate distribution company that works to meet customers' various real estate needs in a diverse range of business domains hinging on real estate brokerage, including real estate solutions, commissioned sales of new construction, and real estate sales.

About GMO GlobalSign Holdings K.K.

GMO GlobalSign Holdings K.K. (TSE: 3788) is a full-service IT infrastructure provider focused on cloud solutions. Established as a hosting company in 1996, the company has managed servers for more than 130,000 businesses and now has 6,700 sales partners throughout Japan. In February of 2011, the company launched GMO Cloud to enhance its focus on cloud-based solutions. Since 2007, the company has also grown its GlobalSign SSL security brand through offices in Belgium, U.K., U.S., China and Singapore. For more information please visit https://www.gshd.com/english/.