Amanda Farrell - 2 years ago
Choosing the Right RON Platform for Your Notary Business
Remote online notarization has been around since 2012, but it’s only recently become a popular option for consumers and professionals. Right now, it’s a technological wild west as states like Florida continue to modify their current RON laws while other states decide to sit it out altogether — for now. Meanwhile, mortgage and title insurance organizations like the American Land Title Association and the Mortgage Bankers Association are pushing for the nationwide adoption of RON.
Notaries are at a crossroads, but there isn’t a lot of guidance on where to go. Here are some tips to help notaries better understand the options and pick a RON solution that fits the business you want to build.
An all-in-one RON solution
After obtaining the certification to do remote online notarizations from your commissioning state, notaries will need to decide how to implement their state’s technology requirements. Most states remain technology-neutral, meaning you can decide to work with any platform or create your own process using various state-compliant applications. In some states, notaries must choose from a list of approved RON providers.
For most notaries, it’s easier to use a platform that provides an all-in-one solution, covering all the basic technology requirements:
- ID verification
- Knowledge-based authentication
- Storage of video recording of the notarial act
- Tamper-evident seals
Notaries must also have a digital certificate and an electronic seal to conduct remote online notarization. Many RON software providers require notaries to purchase these digital tools separately before working with them. The cost for a digital certificate ranges between $62-$300. A notary eSeal is anywhere from $10-$20.
In some states, like Texas, notaries are required to register their digital certificate with the commissioning authority and use it for every RON transaction. If your state doesn’t require this, ProperSign can issue you a digital certificate at no additional cost, drastically reducing the start-up costs for RON. For those notaries working in states requiring digital certificate registration, third-party digital certificates from DigiCert, IdenTrust, Entrust, and Sectigo can be uploaded for a yearly connection fee of $25.
If you have any questions about getting started with ProperSign, contact our sales team!
The Different Kinds of RON Software
While the options for RON tools are growing, it’s important to understand that not all of them provide the same features, level of customer support, or referrals. Pricing plans and accessibility widely vary as well. Remote online notarization is an emerging solution for many industries, so providers are taking different approaches to serve customers. Where notaries fit into the equation varies.
- Contractor – this type of platform allows you to contract with them to do general notary work. They will refer clients to you, but you can’t create signing events with your clients.
- Independent – this type of platform doesn’t provide any referrals. It simply operates as an additional tool for notaries to use with their clients.
- Hybrid – a hybrid solution provides a combination of referrals while allowing you to bring on your own clients.
- Loan Signing Specific – Notaries using these platforms are usually vetted for the proper loan signing credentials like the NNA Loan Signing Agent Certification. These platforms are designed specifically for loan signings, and assignments are often created by a title, escrow, or mortgage professionals. Some of these platforms might allow title professionals to choose a specific notary or assign one of their pre-vetted notaries. In other cases, it may be an independent model allowing notaries to connect directly with title professionals and buyers and sellers to complete loan signings.
- Employer – some platforms may require you to fill out an application and work a scheduled time like a traditional job. Instead of being paid a flat rate per notarization, you may be paid an hourly rate.
Which type you decide to use is reliant upon what kind of notary business you envision. As the demand for remote online notarization grows, the market will likely continue to shift depending on customer expectations and experiences.
Gig workers vs. entrepreneurs
For some, a contractor or employer platform may be the right fit to bring in a little extra income with little energy. For others, an independent or hybrid platform may be appropriate if you have dreams of being a six-figure earning entrepreneur. If loan signings are a significant focus of your current business, it may be worth looking into Loan Signing Specific platforms catering to your target clients.
Some people see notary services, especially generally notary work, as a low-hassle part-time gig, while others want to scale into a successful notary business. The right choice for you depends on your goals and the answers to the following questions.
Questions to ask when choosing a Remote Online Provider
Once you’ve decided what type of notary you are and what type of RON provider best suits you, you’ll want to ask some additional questions.
Questions to ask about Independent, Hybrid, and Loan Signing Specific platforms:
- Who pays for failed KBAs?
- Do I need to purchase all the digital tools before signing up?
- What is the price to complete a signing, apply a seal, or close a file?
- Is there a maximum fee for a transaction?
- Does the ID proofing technology include foreign passports?
Questions to ask Contractor or Employer platforms:
- How much will I get paid?
- How will I be paid?
- Do I need to purchase my own digital certificate and eSeal?
Two of the biggest obstacles for RON users are KBA and ID proofing foreign passports, and not all of the platforms are designed to address those problems. The KBA process can be confusing for many customers as it asks questions that they may easily forget. Fortunately, with ProperSign, notaries, title agents, and other professionals using our platform aren’t charged when their customers make these mistakes. Additionally, foreign passports are supported by our identity verification software.
Remote online notarization continues to expand into new states, and laws are adjusting as our understanding of the technology grows. Right now, what matters most is a RON provider dedicated to flexibility and creating solutions for notaries and professionals at every stage.
🤔 Wondering if ProperSign is a good fit for you? Sign up for our next live demo, or contact our sales team!
This content is provided for informational purposes only. PropLogix, LLC (PLX) is not a law firm; this content is not intended as legal advice and may not be relied upon as such. PLX makes no representations as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this content. PLX may reference or incorporate information from third-party sources, upon which a citation or a website URL shall be provided for such source. PLX does not endorse any third party or its products or services. Any comments referencing or responding to this content may be removed in the sole discretion of PLX.
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