Notarize brings document notarization into 21st century

While most of the attention when discussing business technology is devoted to processes which simplify capital acquisition, there are a host of more mundane but necessary activities which can also benefit from technology, Pat Kinsel and Adam Pase said.

Mr. Kinsel is CEO and Mr. Pase COO of Notarize, a company which brings the process of notarizing documents into the twenty-first century. They aim to reduce unnecessary delays people experience in getting a estimated 1.25 billion real estate and financial transactions notarized each year.

“Everyone hates getting documents notarized,” Mr. Kinsel conceded. That includes Mr. Kinsel himself, who had trouble taking money out of his own investment account. Because a notary forgot to sign a document, Mr. Kinsel had to courier documents to the brokerage and endure delays.

“There’s got to be a better way,” he recalled thinking.

Then came the enactment of a law in Virginia which allowed remote notarization via a video call. That was the beginning of Notarize.

Waiting weeks for notarization made no sense when email allowed people to instantly send documents anywhere in the world, Mr.  Kinsel said. Now Notarize users can, in a few clicks and maybe a three minute wait, receive notarized documents which being able to track status and chain of custody.

Mr. Pase said 1.25 billion notarizations are needed each year for real estate and financial transactions alone. Take 1.25 billion, multiply it by, conservatively, one week, and the time savings are much longer that the current presidential election campaign.

Awaiting title on a new home or a delay in receiving funds from an IRA can have tangible effects on the financial well-being of millions of Americans. Every effort should therefore be made to reduce wait times as much as possible, Mr.Kinsel said.

Those efforts should extend to transparency. When documents are sent out and it takes weeks to complete the process, current status and chain of custody are not always clear.

Such a cumbersome process is unnecessary at a time when videoconferencing is commonplace, Mr. Kinsel explained. The notary sees the client, the client the notary. The entire process unfolds in front of both and steps are recorded. That deters fraud, he added.

The first time a client uses Notarize the process unfolds much like it does with an in-person notarization, Mr. Kinsel said. They fill out basic information and complete a profile. That information is stored and used for subsequent notarizations, though that information and the user’s identity has to be confirmed each time.

Because Notarize is a unique company, they are working hard to educate the market, Mr. Pase said.

“The first question is usually ‘can you really do this?’, so we have to run an educational campaign to articulate how we operate. We let them know every state’s reciprocity and property laws accept what we do.”

The customer usually gets it because the process resembles many others people are used to doing.

“The real world expects to transact on time,” Mr. Kinsel said. “They do the rest of their banking online, court depositions, so why in the world can’t I get documents notarized?

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