Written by triSearch

The 5 things you need to know about electronic settlements

Here are the 5 ways electronic settlements have changed Property Law.

What is an electronic settlement?

Settlement is the final stage in the conveyancing transaction. Prior to the introduction of electronic settlement, this involved the physical exchange of documents and cheques between the buyer and seller, usually completed by a representative of each. While this is still the process, the introduction of electronic settlements (eSettlements), around 12 months ago, has meant that all of this now takes place in an online workspace. Both parties join the workspace, upload their documents, electronically sign and exchange. Besides the obvious efficiencies, eSettlement is being used increasingly across the country as the government starts to mandate its use. Victoria has already been mandated with New South Wales and Queensland expected to follow. Here are the 5 ways electronic settlements have changed Property Law.
  1. PEXA isn’t the only player
As above, eSettlements take place in an online workspace. This workspace is hosted by eSettlement provider, PEXA, and until recently they were the sole provider. This meant conveyancers were forced to use the platform if they wanted to take part in an eSettlement, regardless of its quality or abilities. Recently, a new player has entered the game, Sympli. Created to be exactly that – simple – Sympli claims to be the next generation of eSettlement solution, bringing healthy competition, reliability and value back to the industry.
  1. eSettlements are here to take part, not take over
The introduction of new technology in a workplace can sometimes be met with the fear of worker obsolescence. This is not the case for eSettlements. The technology that allowed conveyancers to settle matters online is not here to replace the worker, but rather replace the manual processes that preceded it.  It’s a tool to help conveyancers work smarter, not harder. Conveyancers can use the time saved from automating processes to focus on more important tasks that can lead to revenue generation, such as the analysis, judgment and reasoning of a skilled professional.
  1. Safer than manual settlements
People are often sceptical of online security. There are plenty of horror stories where data has been breached, hacked or compromised once it has gone online. However, the technology behind eSettlements has been developed with this threat in mind, making security a focus of the online workspace and the data that is held there. Besides data security, eSettlements are safer than paper settlements as they use tools like multi-factor authentication and Digital certificate pins. More on eSettlements security here.
  1. eSettlements make your business efficient
Gone are the days where you must physically print, scan, copy or file physical documents. The introduction of eSettlements has driven all these activities online saving your business both time and resources. It also becomes significantly easier to see all your previous settlements at a snapshot or locate a specific one. eSettlements also mean that no one from your firm will have to physically attend the settlement. The online workspace means settlement can take place from the comfort of your office or wherever you may be. This is especially helpful for regional conveyancers.
  1. You can stagger your e-transition
eSettlements obviously work best when your firm has adopted the full suite of eConveyancing tools. From verifying your clients, to online searching, signing and settling, an eConveyancer can start and end the entire process online. However, transitioning from a ‘paper-firm’ to completely digital can be daunting and somewhat overwhelming for some. That’s why you don’t need to go completely digital all at once. Your firm can choose the manual steps that they want to replace with eConveyancing tools. For example, you can continue to verify your clients manually, but then use an electronic contract of sale (eCOS) and the online workspace to electronically settle. You can trial different tools and find out what works best for your practice.

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