From 2020 to 2022, when the market was booming, and lenders were tripping over borrowers lined up at their front door, proactive digital transformation took somewhat of a backseat. Yes, we did see increases in eSignatures, hybrid eClosings and remote online notarization (RON). However, much of that adoption was temporary, as it was done out of necessity to close loans and follow COVID restrictions.
The prevailing conventional wisdom was, “We’re slammed right now. We’ll work on our digital transformation when things slow down.”
Well, things have slowed down, and lenders aren’t moving forward with their digital strategy and utilization. They’re downgrading. We already started to see a decline in usage for several digital processes in 2022, and that trend is growing.
When volumes are down, it is precisely the time to focus on reviewing your digital transformation to drive increased functionality and cost savings. Evaluate your existing platforms that enable digital processes and talk to your technology partners about how you can expand utilization to continue to realize cost savings and efficiencies by leveraging additional offerings.
One lender recently shared with us how NotaryCam has helped them increase productivity, customer satisfaction and overall efficiencies while decreasing costs and errors and missing signatures on closing documents.
We started using NotaryCam during the pandemic when our customers were concerned about leaving their homes. However, we continue to use NotaryCam today because of the various benefits and efficiencies it provides to both our customers and our business. NotaryCam has provided excellent service that offers convenience to our customers and has helped with productivity. It eliminates the inconvenience for many of our customers needing to find a notary nearby. It allows us to work with our customers who reside in different states and execute their documents in one call, eliminating the time and cost of mailing. This convenience specifically applies to our signers outside of the U.S. because it is often challenging to notarize their documents due to notary availability, cost and translation. In addition, NotaryCam allows signers the flexibility to join sessions from different locations and/or time zones. With the ability to provide remote notarizations, we have experienced a higher success rate with receiving complete and accurate documentation.
So, what’s important to you (and your borrowers)? I can’t tell you what’s important to you, but I can share some statistics about what’s important to borrowers. According to the 2023 ICE Borrower Insights Survey:
- Being offered an online application influenced 70% of borrowers in their decision to work with a particular lender.
- Being able to upload documents to an online portal influenced 67% of borrowers when choosing a lender.
- The availability of a mobile app influenced 73% of Millennial and Gen Z borrowers.
- When offered the ability to sign and notarize documents electronically, 65% of borrowers accept, including 71% of experienced borrowers.
And most of that’s just for choosing a lender. The closing has a 70% impact on overall borrower satisfaction, yet 38% of borrowers experience an issue at closing. Those issues resulted in a 34-point decrease in the lender’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) for those borrowers.
To sum it up, borrowers want online functionalities and a problem-free closing. And if it were me, I’d focus on meeting those needs with a streamlined digital process all the way through the closing. I’d also ensure I had the best tools and/or platforms to meet my borrowers’ needs. For example, if I’m looking for an eClose or RON solution, I’d make sure borrowers can utilize them from anywhere, not just on a computer at their title agent’s office.
Personally, I’d also suggest you ask these questions with evaluating eClose and RON tools:
- Does this tool allow co-borrowers to sign in from different locations if necessary?
- Can this tool accommodate not only the signers and the notary, but other interested stakeholders like a settlement agent or real estate agent all at the same time?
- How many successful RON transactions have been executed via the platform?
- Can this tool accommodate international borrowers?
- Does the platform offer both a services model and SaaS model for the greatest flexibility for your workflow?
You have to determine what’s important to you and your specific situation. I’m simply suggesting you focus on the strengths of each component of your digital strategy.
If you want to talk more about your digital strategy or have questions about what NotaryCam can provide you and your borrowers, please email me at brian.webster@NotaryCam.com.