What can conveyancers expect from technology in 2024? From the need for digital ID checks to how AI will help firms improve accuracy and accelerate admin, we take a look at what's happening in digital conveyancing this year.
Navigating the Future: Top Technology Trends in Digital Conveyancing for 2024
In the fast-paced world of digital conveyancing, staying ahead of technological advancements is crucial for law firms seeking to enhance productivity, comply with regulations, and capitalise on the anticipated uplift in the property market in 2024. So, what do law firms need to know to keep pace with technology in 2024?
1. Digital ID Checks: Improving Due Diligence
The battle against fraud in conveyancing has intensified, prompting industry regulators to scrutinise firms' risk management processes. Digital ID verification has emerged as a safer alternative, providing an added layer of security through biometric data and fraud detection systems. Beyond the benefit of convenience, the efficiency gained by combining digital ID checks with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) checks, Source of Funds and Wealth verification, and property information forms within a single system is noteworthy. It’s also objectively safer than manual ID checks – because conveyancers aren’t trained to carry out ID checks the way a customs officer is (nor should they be!).
2. Expanding the scope of eSignature use
Qualified Electronic Signatures represent the ultimate goal for risk mitigation in conveyancing. Despite exponential growth in eSignature adoption during the pandemic, challenges persist, notably in lender acceptance and compliance clarity for law firms.
However, with HMLR Practice Guide 82 paving the way for eSignatures for deeds, firms are urged to fix their sights on this technology. The accessibility of eSignature solutions to firms of all sizes indicates a limited barrier to entry and a low-cost, quick-win approach to levelling up your conveyancing process in 2024.
3. Automate and accelerate with AI
AI and automation, heralded as game-changers in 2023, continue to alleviate the burden of administrative tasks, allowing conveyancers to focus on their expertise and service. The key lies in recognising that AI is an enabler rather than a replacement for human roles. Noteworthy applications include reading and populating AP1s from Deeds, resulting in a significant reduction in requisitions, as well as document scanning to identify crucial information in a fraction of the time it takes humans. The delicate balance between leveraging technology for efficiency and maintaining the lawyer's role in providing advice is a priority. Existing providers are likely to be the source of AI adoption for firms this year.
4. Integrated technology solutions
Accurate information is non-negotiable for law firms, and centralisation through integration and collaboration is the solution. The need for integrated solutions to reduce complexity and improve efficiency, accuracy, collaboration, and adaptability will be a focal point. Integrating case management systems with key conveyancing service providers streamlines data management, supports compliance efforts, and reduces time spent on manual tasks. Maximising integration opportunities for redemption statements, mortgage deals, and more becomes crucial for efficiency gains and are quick wins that firms can easily implement.
5. More collaboration via digital tools
Collaboration with the other side gains momentum through digital tools like Digital Contract Packs, streamlining document compilation and sending. These tools offer quick and easy application, allowing more time for managing client relationships. Shared platforms for property enquiry management and digital contract packs will become integral. With the aim to improve data integrity, as well as security and ease of use, law firms can use these tools to support their risk management as well as lighten the load of admin tasks.
The digital conveyancing landscape in 2024 is marked by a commitment to leveraging technology for efficiency, compliance, and enhanced client service. Law firms must navigate these developments strategically to stay competitive and deliver optimal outcomes in an evolving market.
To hear more about what the future of digital conveyancing holds, watch law firms and industry providers discuss the changes expected and the priorities for law firms at the Digital Conveyancing Summit.