Payload partners with PDS to integrate SoftPro

The goal is to offer completely embedded electronic payments for real estate closing disbursements and payouts

Payload, a fintech company focusing on automated payments with API architecture, on Tuesday announced a partnership with technology services provider Premier Data Services, to launch an integration with SoftPro, an escrow and closing software.

The aim of the integration is to offer completely embedded electronic payments for real estate closing disbursements and payouts.

The integration also aims to tackle the payment procedure during a real estate closing, in which several parties receive payments through sources like broker/agent commissions, underwriter fees, title search fees, taxes, payoffs and seller proceeds.

Zach Jacob, vice president of partnerships at Payload, said in a statement that although the title industry is going through a digital transformation with the introduction of RON, e-signature, and electronic content management, the payment structures still depend heavily on check and wire. These pose “multiple inefficiencies” during transactions.

Proceeds are issued through a combination of legacy check and wire payments, according to a statement from Payload. The company says wire transfers are often costly, lack “meaningful” reconciliation data and fall prey to payment fraud.

The American Land Title Association’s (ALTA) 2021 Wire Fraud and Cyber Crime Survey noted in a third of all real estate and mortgage transactions, title insurance professionals reported cyber criminals trying to deceive employees into wiring money to fraudulent accounts. 

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With training and education, the number is now reduced to a little more than 8% in these attempts by scammers.

To boot, check fraud is also on the rise. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), check fraud has increased by 65% since 2015.

In order to avoid such problems and provide a seamless integration into business platforms and streamlining manual payments (ACH, Real Time Payments (RTP) and Card Networks), Payload Payouts uses an API architecture.

The API harnesses Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Real Time Payments to send payments to people and businesses, the company said in a statement. The ACH is also designed to protect transactions against fraud through its “payment traceability and recourse features.” 

SoftPro users will be able to send digital payments on the same day with the help of this integration at a “fraction” of the cost of check or wire payments, Jay Roberts, CTO of PDS, added. They can also avail administrative and reporting features that can automate payment workflows.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the company Roberts is employed at.

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