Like many digital solutions, remote online notarization (RON) became a key technology in 2020 as the housing industry scrambled to keep real estate transactions moving despite limited in-person interactions with customers.
“Almost every business has been forced to redesign every customer interaction. It’s no longer possible for someone to safely pop in to sign something,” Notarize CEO Pat Kinsel explained in an interview. “If the industry can continue to reimagine how they serve their clients and rewire how they work, RON should and will be further implemented.“
According to Kinsel, Notarize has seen 600% growth in 2020, highlighting the growing demand for the social distancing-friendly technology. Even before the recent boom in RON adoption, Notarize has been helping home buyers sign and notarize real estate documents remotely from any device and was selected as a HousingWire Tech100 Mortgage winner in 2020. HousingWire’s Tech100 recognizes the most innovative and impactful companies in the real estate and mortgage industries.
This growth and innovation has been noticed and is creating big opportunities for Notarize. In October, FinLedger reported that the startup has formed a partnership with Adobe to integrate Notarize’s RON capability into Adobe Sign, Adobe’s e-signature platform. At the time of announcement Kinsel told FinLedger that when Adobe looked to close the gap in its capabilities and add RON to its platform, it could have “either built, bought, or partnered to make that happen.” And as Adobe looked at the desired timeline, a partnership with Notarize made the most sense. Kinsel added, “It’s a massive win for their enterprise customers, and available immediately, which is key.”
Just last week, Fortune writer Robert Hackett made a bold call that the company may be a desirable acquisition target for a big tech company seeking “to keep ahead of rising rivals”.
HousingWire reached out to Kinsel to see how RON technology is changing the future of remote closings and what adoption will look like in 2021.
HousingWire: Do you think RON will it take off in 2020?
Pat Kinsel: 2020 was the year RON went mainstream and we’ll only continue to see rapid adoption in 2021. The genie is out of the bottle for digital transformation – there’s no going back to the manual, slow, in-person ways of the past when RON closes the ‘last mile’ of many transactions and saves people time and money, all while offering elevated security and fraud protection. At Notarize, we’ve seen 600% growth in 2020 as we’ve all been forced to reimagine how we work. Almost every business has been forced to redesign every customer interaction. It’s no longer possible for someone to safely pop in to sign something, identify themselves, or to drop something off, but those things are all still required.
HW: What do we need from the housing industry to see more implementation of RON?
PK: The real estate industry has been pushed five years into the future in 2020, and that will only continue in 2021, as RON has accelerated to become an essential offering in every industry. Overall, the housing industry needs to stay on the track 2020 has put it on to digitize how it transacts. If the industry can continue to reimagine how they serve their clients and rewire how they work, RON should and will be further implemented. RON is best when integrated into a business process and embedded within the tools people love.
Additionally, Notarize has driven the passage of RON laws in 29 states, with more in the works, including a ground-breaking bill at the federal level. A federal bill will enable a 50-state solution for RON transactions that would create online notary legislation across the U.S. Continued support from the housing industry will help make that a reality more quickly.
The Tech100 2021 nominations run through December 1 to December 18, 2020, click here to nominate your company.