Earlier this week, Docutech announced an integration with NotaryCam that will enable borrowers to execute a complete RON eClosing ceremony in Docutech’s Solex eClosing platform by remotely connecting to the other parties (the eNotary, the closing agent, an attorney, etc.) via NotaryCam’s virtual audio/video connections.
We sat down with Rick Triola, Founder and CEO of NotaryCam, to spotlight their mission in creating a more widely accepted and regulated RON process, the future of the industry and the benefits of adopting a RON solution.
You introduced Remote Online Notarization (RON) to the industry in 2013. How has the industry and environment changed since then?
Over the last six years, the tide has really turned in regards to both digital mortgages and RON, but back in 2013, lenders were still gun shy about going all in on any digital mortgage process because they had been burned in the past, especially during the boom years of 2005 and 2006 when eMortgages were “just around the corner.” We knew that we had to get all the major players on board with RON so, in January 2013, we set out and were able to get an endorsement from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for RON. From there, we then tackled the objections and concerns from various secretaries of state by presenting a live demo of our Virginia-approved RON platform at the National Association of Secretaries of State annual summer conference in Alaska in June 2013. Since then, we’ve worked closely with the Notary Public Administrators (NPA) section of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) to draft recommended uniform language and requirements for RON bills and help drive adoption. Now, we’re starting to see the fruits of that labor with the dramatic increase in RON legislation and the state level, as well as in our own numbers. Our new user growth increased by 140 percent in 2018 as we served our 150,000th user, and in just four years, we’ve gone from adding 10,000 new users a year to roughly 10,000 each month. Additionally, we’ve completed nearly 300,000 RON transactions in all 50 states and more than 146 countries so the demand for RON is certainly increasing.
What developments are you excited or hopeful for in the next 5 years?
The momentum behind the adoption of RON legislation is definitely encouraging. It took us 6 years of “convincing,” but most title underwriters are now on board with insuring RON closings. Nearly 4 years passed between when Virginia legalized RON on 2011 and when the next state, Montana, adopted RON in 2015. Now, RON is legal and fully implemented in 12 states, with an addition 10 set to do the same by the end of 2020. As such, we are rapidly reaching the point where RON will be legal for all notaries in at least half of all U.S. states, and I think once we reach that point, nationwide legalization of RON will not be far behind. Thus, although today 99% of closings are done physically in-person, we strongly believe that in the next 3-4 years everyone will be attending closings virtually.
What are some benefits for lenders who adopt a RON solution?
There are obvious benefits that RON delivers lenders. For example, borrowers and notaries alike are less likely to make errors in executing the closing package, which ultimately helps speed up post-closing review and delivery to investors. In addition, the convenience factor for borrowers cannot be overstated. But there are some less obvious – but equally important – benefits, especially for LOs. STRATMOR Group issued a report back in early 2018 illustrating the importance for LOs to attend their closings. With all other factors taken into account, a lender’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) can drop anywhere from 11 to 35 points when the LO is not present at the closing ceremony. Furthermore, LOs can potentially lose 1 in 3 to 1 in 10 business referrals by not attending their loan closings. The reason many LOs don’t attend all their loan closings is that, logistically, it’s often impossible to attend multiple closing ceremonies in a single day, and that’s assuming that the LO is in the same location as the borrower. Furthermore, closings conducted using the traditional paper-and-ink method can take several hours, which also makes attending all their closings next to impossible for LOs. RON eliminates these barriers by allowing closings to take place at any time in any location and streamlining the closing ceremony down to as little as 30 minutes, thus enabling LOs to attend more of their loan closings.
How will your partnership with Docutech help deliver an outstanding experience to consumers?
Consumers crave convenience, and the ability to conduct their mortgage closing at the date, time and location of their choosing is incredibly attractive for today’s mortgage borrowers. In fact, we’ve achieved an industry-leading 98% customer satisfaction rating and an 88 NPS, which is higher than some of the better-known companies like Amazon (62) and Apple (72), so we know that consumers are highly satisfied with the process, and by integrating our RON platform with the Solex system, we can further delight consumers by delivering a seamless, easy-to-use and convenient method for conducting their closing ceremony digitally.
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