Online property transactions are now second nature to digitally-savvy WA-based P&N Bank
Mutual bank, P&N Bank is WA’s largest locally owned and managed banking institution. Now it’s earned a place in digital banking history by clocking up more than 100 successful online property transactions. Selina Duncalf, General Manager, Strategy and Business Transformation explains why going digital with property transactions fits perfectly with the bank’s strategic game plan and equates to more daily settlements.
Congratulations on helping to modernise conveyancing by joining PEXA and transacting property online. How did you find the experience?
Our team enjoys using the PEXA platform. It's easier to use, quicker and more efficient. We've been able to streamline our own internal processes to align to PEXA transactions. It makes communication with other settlement transaction parties easier and quicker. The team have been able to resolve queries quickly online (no more waiting on the phone) to ensure a settlement happens on time, even when there's a potential short fall.
How does it compare with the old paper-based way?
Very positive. The simple types of PEXA transactions are now second nature. As we move through the full range of transactions, the support we've had from the PEXA team and other PEXA participants has been helpful to ensure that settlements happen on time. We're still learning, but repetition is the key and we're benefitting from building the PEXA platform into our business-as-usual processes.
How long does it take?
Considerably less in the electronic world as we don’t need to go to the land titles office – minutes versus hours. As we continue to expand our utilization of the PEXA platform, there will be less cheques, less need to attend settlements which will mean we can accommodate more settlements per day. The platform also provides greater visibility of the settlement for all parties involved.
If you could reach out to firms who haven’t yet looked to e-conveyancing – what advice would you offer?
Be open minded and prepared to challenge current operating models and business practices. We found talking to other PEXA participants about their transition to e-settlement very helpful. We'd also recommend using the industry bodies like Landgate who offer help and support. Collaboration is key. We participate in an industry forum hosted by CBA with representatives from CBA, NAB, Westpac, ANZ, Bankwest, PEXA, the Australian Institute of Conveyancers WA, the WA Law Society and Landgate.
Much is being said about digital disruption. But what does e-conveyancing mean for P&N Bank and your customers?
As a mutual bank, P&N's new 'Power of &' platform really does speak to the benefits of people working together for the benefit of an individual. There's no better evidence of this than our partnership with PEXA. Furthermore, the PEXA platform helps us fulfil all three of our strategic pillars - build member value, improve our operational efficiency and partner for growth. In general, PEXA has afforded us a great opportunity to improve our settlement process for the benefit of our members and team. Our members benefit as there are less cancelled settlements.
Our team enjoy improved operational efficiency from the ability to communicate online; which results in less non-value add time spent waiting on the telephone to book settlements or resolve queries. Overall, this has resulted in significant improvements in our capacity to carry out more daily property settlements.
The push to take property transactions online is a COAG reform to bring property exchange into the digital economy. What’s P&N Bank’s digital economy plan?
P&N Bank's digital roadmap outlines the use of best practice and partnering for growth opportunities to deliver our members an excellent digital banking experience. In particular, we intend to continue to evolve our digital offering for online home loan applications and specific property information services for home buyers.
Are there any other trends and technologies that are changing the home-buying process or your business plans overall?
Technology in the digital banking space is moving at a fast pace and has certainly played a major role in changing the way consumers research and apply for loans. Our members have the right to expect a seamless end-to-end lending digital experience and platforms such as PEXA are making that far more achievable.
As a strategic objective, P&N Bank recognises that partnering for growth will allow us, as a small bank, to achieve economies of scale while offering a contemporary digital experience for our members. By partnering with like-minded organisations, P&N can share technological developments without carrying the financial burden alone.
A definite trend within the Australian mutual banking industry is the sharing of technology. Core banking and mobile banking platforms having been shared for many years. Combined, Australia's mutual banking sector (ADI's) has the fifth largest market share of ‘Household Deposits’ in Australia so it's no surprise the leading mutual banking institutions in Australia recognise that by working together to advance our digital offerings, we will all be stronger and our members will benefit.
A recent example is P&N Bank's partnership with People's Choice Credit Union and their digital agency Fusion. P&N purchased a white label version of People's Choice public website and together with Fusion, created a new website for P&N that was launched to market within three months. If P&N had embarked on the process and expense of creating a new website ourselves, it would have taken a considerably longer time to develop.
The industry push to ‘turn off paper’ means that from 1 August authorised deposit taking institutions transacting in Victoria must electronically lodge standalone discharges of mortgage and standalone consumer mortgages. Other states are expected to transition to similar arrangements. What’s P&N Bank’s readiness plan?
P&N had been closely following the progress of other PEXA participants especially banks moving to electronic settlements. We needed to ensure moving to e- settlements occurred at an optimal time for us. Once the other major banks began using PEXA in WA for property settlements including refinances, it was important for P&N to also support and utilise the PEXA platform to optimise the opportunities that transacting electronically brings.
For more information about becoming PEXA-ready or subscribing to the network please contact Marielle Yeoh, Executive General Manager, Financial Institutions: 03 9912 6566 / Marielle.Yeoh@pexa.com.au