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Refinance time slashed in WA with new technology

If you’re living in Western Australia, the next time that you refinance your home loan there’s a good chance that the transaction will be fully electronic and quickly and efficiently finalised. To date the process has been mostly paper-based.

The WA banking industry deadline for a new paperless refinancing era starts from 1 December 2017. It’s the compliance date marking when refinance transactions move online. Home owners looking to refinance, for example, in the event that interest rates rise, will now benefit from faster refinance times. The transactions are completed through Property Exchange Australia’s (PEXA’s) digital platform.

Mike Cameron, PEXA’s Group Executive, Customer & Revenue, said that by taking refinances online transaction times have in many cases halved. “What once took an average of 40 days is now down to about 20 days thanks to the new digital way,” he said.

“The fastest refinance we’ve completed took 20 minutes. 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.

“Western Australian follows two other states that recently reformed 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. Banks Australia-wide are well advanced in their push to digitise their back office operations with 135 now signed to finalise property transfers through PEXA.

“In addition to the 1 December refinancing reform, from 1 May 2018 property transfers also head online in Western Australia. To help real estate consumers get a snapshot of what happens at settlement, PEXA has developed a settlement tracking app called ‘SettleMe’ to allow buyers and sellers to track the final stages as property exchanges hands.

“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online is to remove the consumer frustration and pain points that often occur when home sales are finalised using outdated pen and paper conveyancing methods. 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. PEXA is the new standard for property exchange. The value of property transacted on the PEXA platform to date exceeds $80 billion and is growing daily.”

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