We’re used to technology making everyday transactions quicker and more convenient than ever. But remote online notarization (RON) offers even more: enhanced security and record keeping are what set the rapidly growing industry apart. Anyone with an internet connection can get documents signed and notarized online. The seismic shift in documentation helps to save businesses time and money and allows them to give customers a seamless digital experience.
But there are dozens of RON platforms, and the differences can be pretty vast. Here’s how to find the best notarization platform for your business — and how your company will benefit.
What is a remote online notarization provider?
Notaries, whether online or in-person, are used to mitigate the risk of fraudulent signatures on legal documents. They make sure signers are who they claim to be. The notary is, in essence, a government-appointed witness.
Remote online notarization platforms allow signers to connect with real life notaries via video-audio technology to legally notarize their documents completely online.
How does remote online notarization work?
Remote online notarization platforms enable documents to be notarized with a real-life notary via secure audio-video technology with the help of robust identity authentication tools. When using an online notarization platform like NotarizeSM, the entire notarization process can be completed in minutes with a few easy steps:
- Take a picture of your document in the mobile app, or upload a PDF, to the Notarize platform
- Confirm your identity through multiple ID verification tools, including credential analysis and knowledge-based authentication questions
- Connect to a real notary using voice and video to sign and have your document notarized.
This process includes all of the same elements of an ink-and-paper notarization — including connecting with a live notary public — but can be incorporated seamlessly into an online transaction. A customer can open an account or make changes whenever and wherever, without the need to print paper and drive to a notary or travel to an office.
What are the different types of RON specializations?
One thing to consider is: Do you need a notary service that specializes in a particular area? Or do you need an array of services? Some RON providers may only handle real estate transactions, for example, while others handle financial services transactions, car sales, legal documents and even solar power agreements. While it’s not a given that a specialized RON platform provides better service than a platform with more scope, you might find better perks or services with a company that focuses on your needs.
What should you look for in a RON platform?
There are many different aspects to look for in an RON platform, here are some of the key things you should look for in an RON platform:
It’s worth doing a trial run for yourself and asking questions about how it works: Are directions clear and easy to follow? How does it work if you need to transfer from mobile to desktop, or vice-versa? How long does it actually take to get a document notarized? How quickly is the company able to address your questions? Are notaries always available on demand? These elements of the user experience are important to consider when choosing the best RON platform.
Users might want to connect with a notary online using their cell phone, tablet or desktop computer. Not all services work on all platforms. The National Notary Association says users simply expect tech to work. They cite the case of a Florida notary who prefers Notarize because it sends clients reminder emails about scheduled appointments and everybody finds the service easy to use. Furthermore, if you have clients who you’ll be sending to the notarization platform for online notarizations, you might want to consider choosing a partner who can provide the most seamless digital experience for your customers (for example, a branded online notarization portal that is linked within your website).
Every state has different regulations for online notarization, so you should double check that a service knows what your business needs. Though the rules might be different, the process should be roughly the same regardless which provider you choose. The National Notary Association provides a list of rules and regulations for every state in the country on its website. A robust RON platform will have all of these rules built into their platform to ensure compliance with each state’s laws.
Because the notarization process requires talking to a live notary, you’ll want to ensure that your platform of choice provides 24/7 service. Availability is one of the biggest challenges of the in-person notary, so an always-on platform can help ensure that business keeps moving outside of traditional business hours.
Online notaries work much the same as they do in real life, checking signers’ government-issued ID’s to confirm identity. A good RON provider will also employ additional verification steps to reduce the risk of human error. For example, signers completing a remote online notarization through the Notarize platform are typically identified through a multi-step identity verification process, including knowledge-based authentication and credential analysis.
Security and storage
RON platforms are generally more secure than physical notary transactions. A reputable provider should be able to provide you with technical details about their system, including information about a tamper-evident seal to detect modification of notarized documents and an audit trail that allows companies to access recordings of every notarization session. Make sure your provider offers security beyond just the app, including encrypted transmission and storage of notarized documents.
Top RON platforms have electronic signature technology built into their apps. That should smooth out the notarization process, allowing participants to stay in the app for all their needs.
Choosing the best RON platform for your business
People want technology that does its job smoothly and efficiently. With 24/7 access to notaries and portability across desktop and mobile devices, Notarize has consistently been regarded as the best all-around RON provider available. Whichever industry your business is in, the Notarize platform can help save your business time and money while also providing security and excellent service. Schedule a demo today to learn more about how Notarize can help your business.