Originally published in MBA NewsLink // February 24, 2020
There are countless arguments that have been made regarding why lenders should embrace remote online notarization, but in my eyes it all boils down to a few questions every lender should be asking themselves. How do I make it more convenient for my borrowers to do business with me? How do I fully realize the benefits of an eClosing? How can we increase loan officer referrals?
At its core and in the simplest terms, RON delivers security, convenience, and quicker closings. RON provides borrowers with the flexibility and convenience to close whenever and wherever they want. Borrowers feel that is 99% of their loans can be completed online, the closing should be digital as well.
For lenders who are embracing RON and are looking for a platform that will allow them to execute eClosings anytime, anywhere, there are several elements that should be considered. To truly be able to close whenever and wherever, lenders need a trusted RON platform that provides 24/7/365 availability. And since this is a leap year, why don’t we go ahead and say you need 24/7/366 availability. Additionally, the platform should allow parties to join the digital closing ceremony from anywhere in the world.
These capabilities can help in several situations, including those where one party is serving oversees in the military as well as buyers purchasing investment properties in a country other than that of their residence. To be effective in situations like these, a RON platform needs the capability to conduct transactions with notaries, closers, attorneys, realtors, buyers and sellers all in one digital room, without requiring any party to physically be in the same location as another. The convenience of being able to close anytime, anywhere makes it easier for lenders to during the origination process because there is no need to worry about who can be present at the closing table since no matter where they are, everyone can be there.
The platform also needs to have a large, professionally trained and experienced pool of eNotaries, who are also trained in how to troubleshoot tech issues in real-time. After all, the closing should not be an experiment. With an in-person closing, there is an expectation that the professionals tasked with executing the transaction are experienced and, consequently, can address any issues that arise at the closing table. That is exactly how it should be in a digital closing room as well. Training and experience go hand-in-hand to allow notaries to quickly troubleshoot any tech issue that arises during a closing, keeping the transaction on track.
Additionally, the platform needs to be easy to understand and doesn’t require a lot of time or effort to learn how to use it. It’s been my experience that with new technology, users will move on the minute it is too hard to understand or takes too long to master. An effective RON platform will also provide users with options on how to use it. Users should be provided the option to choose between using their own notary or one provided by the RON platform. Additionally, title companies often seek the option to use a vendor in the way that best fits their needs; for example, having the choice to license a RON platform, run it in-house and receive training and support from the company.
Our industry has learned the hard way that vendors who do not understand our industry simply don’t know what they don’t know, leaving lenders holding the bag for a solution that simply cannot deliver. Adopting a mortgage-native solution for RON allows lenders to be sure that the technology will meet all their needs; as opposed to technology-native solutions that meet the basic need but lack the robustness and scalability to deliver value in the real lending world.