You might be asking, with two electronic lodgement network operators (ELNOs), how will e-Settlements work? Will I have to sign up to both?
In order to facilitate competition between electronic lodgement network providers, it’s important that customers can switch between providers easily.
The good news? The answer is how the ELNOs function together. This means interoperability.
Interoperability will help enable switching (between two or more ELNOs) to be as frictionless as possible. This will drive efficiencies in the market as end users are able to identify and move to the best service.
Interoperability is common in industries where data is shared between networks. For example, telecommunication companies. They operate by sharing data to facilitate calls and text messages. This enables consumers to communicate with each other irrespective of which network carrier they are a customer of.
In an e-conveyancing context, interoperability is the ability for two or more ELNOs to communicate with one another via the sharing of an agreed data set, thereby allowing freedom of choice between which platform you use.
There is currently an industry forum working through the possible solutions to competition and interoperability. This is a collaborative national approach between ELNOs, banks, conveyancers, lawyers, state revenue offices and some land registries.
Interoperability and multiple ELNOs will create a competitive e-Conveyancing market, offering lawyers and conveyancers various points of differentiation when it comes to their providers.
The Australian Institute of Conveyancers NSW Division (AICNSW) has come out in their latest blog piece supporting interoperability, saying “AICNSW has been supportive of the investigation and consideration of the Interoperability review. We remain confident that this considered and inclusive review will inform a robust final review about the relative merits of interoperability between ELNOs.”
AICNSW further commented “From an industry perspective, having multiple interacting ELNOs will provide a reduced concentration risk. From a user perspective, interoperability means that you will have the ability to choose the ELNO you prefer whilst the other parties in your settlement may choose to use other ELNOs.”
The Law Council of Australia, with support from the Law Institute Victoria, NSW Law Society and Queensland Law Society, has also offered their support for interoperability and identified the issue of interoperability as being critical: “With the progress of other entities seeking approval to operate as an ELNO, the issue of interoperability is now critical. While the importance of interoperability is generally acknowledged, the Law Council is concerned at the lack of visible progress towards an interoperability framework.”
Until such time as interoperability comes into the ELNO market, InfoTrack clients are advised that they may need to sign up for both ELNO’s. Or they can use SettleIT, where a shared network of specialist settlement agents handle e-settlement processing on your behalf.
Competition and choice is critical to bring more secure and efficient ways of electronic property settlement. Without competition, ELNOs would not be commercially incentivised to continue to improve their service quality, efficiency and prices to attract lawyers, practitioners and banks.
With that said, Sympli, Australia’s newest electronic lodgement network operators (ELNO), has this month opened their early on boarding program for practitioners looking for choice in e-Settlements.
You can join Sympli’s early onboarding program here.