by Miklos Bolza
Western Australia has joined the digital loan revolution, bringing in paperless processing for all loan refinances within the state.
The milestone was reached last Friday (1 December) on the WA banking industry’s deadline to switch across to the new Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) platform.
Mike Cameron, PEXA’s group executive of customer & revenue, said that conducting refinances online has often halved the total transaction time.
“What once took an average of 40 days is now down to about 20 days thanks to the new digital way.”
The fastest refinance time PEXA has achieved thus far has been 20 minutes, he said.
“In that situation the banks moved fast to accommodate an urgent customer request. In the past a paper-based refinance could typically take more than one month to process.”
The move by Western Australia means it is the third state after New South Wales and Victoria to move away from traditional paper-based refinancing.
“Four months ago NSW and Victoria became the first states to process refinance transactions online. In this short space of time most refinances in these two states are now digital.”
More than 135 banks around Australia have signed on to digitise their back office operations and finalise any property transfers through PEXA, Cameron said.
From 1 May next year, property transfers in Western Australia will also move to the digital space, he added.
“The number one reason to settle properties online is to remove the consumer frustration and pain points that often occur when home sales are finalised using outdated pen and paper conveyancing methods.”
PEXA has created a settlement tracking app called SettleMe that lets buyers and sellers track the final stages of the property transfer.
“For buyers, PEXA lodges title documents electronically bringing peace of mind. For sellers, funds are sent electronically to bank accounts, with no waiting for cheques to clear.”
At the time of writing, more than $80bn of property has been transacted through the PEXA platform with that number predicted to grow further, Cameron said.