Estate agency is coming to a digital identity turning point leading UK tech platform Yoti has claimed, a change that will transform the way and speed at which agents do business.
Yoti recently landed the contract to supply its digital-identity backed e-signatures service to all of Connells’ 600 branches and 14 different agency brands, wrestling the contract away from its rival, US firm DocuSign.
The firm’s UK chief business officer John Abbott (pictured, above) tells The Negotiator that an agreement with Countrywide, which was bought by Connells in March, may also be in the offing.
He says one key attraction for Connels is that Yoti’s significantly easier to use than DocuSign and also cheaper than its rival, which is pitched at larger enterprise clients like the Land Registry.
Yoti offers its service to consumer for free but charges business a small fee to check their identity, although rates depend on how many documents a company handles. Connells has issued over 10,000 documents using the firm’s platform since the contract began.
But whichever platform an estate agency uses, Abbott says employing identity-secure platforms like his to sign sales and lettings contracts, complete conveyancing paperwork and apply for mortgages or tenancies will soon become the norm.
One benefit of this is that once the vast majority of agents, tenants, buyers, sellers and landlords start using a service like Yoti tomorrow then it would stamp out all the criminal the industry has to deal with such as renting scams and mortgage fraud, overnight.
This is because platforms such as DocuSign have been built as email-based e-signature services which have latterly bolted on a digital identity capability.
“We are different because we’ve firstly built a government-grade security digital identity platform, and then applied it to a signing process, says Abbott.
“Yoti focuses on the individual first and moves on from there, whereas signature-based ones do not and are more open to user error or fraud – it’s not that hard to hack into an someone else’s email account.”