How Remote Online Notarization Will Disrupt the Industry: An Inside Look From a Mobile Notary Business Owner
Disruptive technology in the modern age has made its mark in almost every industry out there. Although it creates a more efficient product or service for consumers, it can leave business owners in that space with mixed feelings about what may happen in the future to their industry.
Notary services seem to be behind the curve, as it’s still a mostly offline industry where mobile notaries go from door to door to physically take care of the paperwork. That’s where Remote Online Notarization (RON) comes in - this technology would allow for notaries to be able to deliver for their clients from the comfort of their own home/office.
How do notary service business owners feel about this new technological advancement and what it means for the future of their businesses though?
Shannon Winter is the Owner and Operator of Shannon’s Notary Services and she serves clients in the Phoenix and Peoria, AZ areas. We caught up with her about what RON means for the future of the industry and how it would impact the safety, potential fraud issues, and quality of life for her as a business owner. After spending 12 years in the mortgage industry at an investment bank, she constantly saw the same frustrating experiences repeatedly with mobile notaries they used. She knew the ins and outs of this business and decided she was ready for the next chapter of her life and to start her own business. Shannon knew she could add tremendous value in this space and really provide that exceptional customer service that was often lacking with other mobile notaries that she dealt with.
The Benefits of Remote Online Notarization
Although most business owners are hesitant when change presents itself, Shannon sees the huge upside that comes along with this new technology. On the most basic level, it means that mobile notaries don't have to physically travel to their clients' homes. Now, more notarizations can take place, from anywhere and 100% online, which leads to more revenue in the door for her business.
One aspect of running a mobile notary business is the safety issues that are presented. At the end of the day, you are constantly going into stranger’s apartments, homes, etc. This new technology completely eliminates that risk. Additionally, it can be very stressful for individuals who need notarization services to let someone they don’t know into their home as well. Remote online notarization, because notaries can be remote and use technology to drive the meeting with the signer, have much more control of their environment.
Although safety improves, from Shannon’s experience, by far the biggest complaint that she’s heard from other notaries is that with RON, there will be a huge increase in fraudulent activities. Instead of looking at it from a negative perspective, Shannon sees the great upside that comes along with this potential issue. As a temporary workaround, there will always be ways to verify identification via the RON processes and eventually this would open the door for new technological advancements for new online services that can e-verify. One of the main roles of notaries is to prevent fraud so she understands that in the beginning of the integration to RON it’s key to be on the lookout for new ways that fraud can be committed. With remote online notarization, there are many more layers to verify someone's identity, including challenge questions based on credit (Knowledge-based Authentication), as well as credential analysis (making sure the ID is real). The notary is the final check for a valid ID.
Finally, it does get draining to travel so frequently as a mobile notary and getting that time back means more time to spend with friends and family. The complexities of tracking miles driven, keeping gas receipts, etc. will be eliminated and this will lead to a simpler pricing structure for the clients that Shannon works with. Most notaries have to add in travel time/distance to their cost structure but with the integration of RON, the cost will be much more affordable and simpler for the clients.
Shannon understands that disruptive technology is part of every industry and in order to run a business that thrives in changing times, you have to embrace the new innovations and adapt accordingly. As an overall take on RON, Shannon was quoted saying, “Bring it on! We are becoming an increasingly digital world and it’s about time the notary realm caught up!”