As one of the fastest enactments of public policy in US history, Remote Online Notarization (RON) has proven that technology can serve people more efficiently than traditional notary signing.
Using RON helps the process be more efficient, checking items off their to-do lists faster than ever. Purchasing a home, renewing a passport, buying a car, and even opening a 529 plan can be done wherever it is convenient. RON allows users to connect with a notary anytime and anywhere the internet is available from their phone or computer.
Doesn’t it sound great? Yet, as with all things, skeptics are worried that using RON is not a notary best practice. Below are five myths about RON to help make sense of the jargon and provide the facts about this exciting technology.
Myth #1: RON cannot spot fake IDs. There are three primary responsibilities of a notary: confirm a signer’s identity, ensure the signer understands what they are signing and that they sign the documents willingly. Traditionally, a notary inspects an identification card to ensure it is legit and not fake. But, when working digitally, physical inspection is not available.
The RON platforms provide identity verification tools to help ensure a signer is who they say they are during the signing process. Just like traditional identification verification, one-way RON tools verify identity by asking specific questions about the owner’s past that go beyond a mother’s birth name.
While these tools help to prevent fraud, they also add a layer of security to a transaction through the database. Did you know that up to 30% of notaries have faced pressure from a signer to break laws or bypass red flags during a signing process? Notaries have also been subject to signings in unfamiliar and unsafe places. Remote Online Notarization eliminates these risk factors to keep all parties safe and ensure laws are not broken.
Myth #2: It is easy to commit fraud with RON. RON signings must be recorded for quality assurance and legal purposes. It also protects both the signer and notary from any allegations of fraud in the future. These days, fraud is littered all over the internet, especially in real estate transactions. Did you know there are over seven vulnerable targets in just one real estate transaction: buyer, seller, lender, title company, notary, real estate agent, and attorney? RON tools and platforms help identify verification and catch fraudulent transactions before they start.
Myth #3: RON cannot detect intimidation or coercion. It is extremely difficult to catch someone being coerced in person; the same is true on the internet. While most of these pressures happen subtly over time, RON platforms record the entire signing process, allowing the notary to review past sessions to look for subtle cues and red flags that someone is signing a document against their will. In a traditional signing, there is no recorded session to review, so the notary must notice cues in real-time.
Myth #4: RON impedes law enforcement efforts. As explained above, every signing is recorded for security purposes. Once the signing process is complete, documents are sealed and cannot be altered. If there are ever any questions about the validity of a signing, you can review recordings and the documents through the RON platforms.
When paper notarizations occur, no duplicates are available, and a notary cannot turn original documents over to law enforcement. When questioned by law enforcement, the best way a traditional notary can assist is to provide documented information in their journal.
Myth #5: RON is available to all notaries. There is still a lot of consumer education needed about RON. Most consumers need to understand the process so they do not assume any notary can complete a signing in a digital meeting without using RON tools and platforms. If they do, they jeopardize the integrity and validity of the notarized document.
RON platforms must abide by specific security and recordkeeping standards to ensure the safety of the notary and the consumer. These platforms also help to displace any risk both parties assume.
As the digitization of the notarial act continues, notaries need to educate consumers about the process and the benefits RON provides the consumer- simplicity, security, and convenience.
A Better Way to Close with BNN Services
Since 2008, BNN Services has been trusted by title agencies, mortgage lenders, servicers, and consumers to perform loan and document signings in multiple languages across the country.
Unlike other signing services, BNN Services “touches” every file 8 to 9 times, ensuring the process moves forward free of delays. That is why we have completed over 250,000 signings in all 51 jurisdictions and maintained a closing ratio of 96 percent.
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