Next generation remote online notarization with OneSpan Notary

Dilani Silva,

Notarization is the act of ensuring the authenticity of a document by a certified notary public. There are over 1.25 billion documents notarized in the United States each year with the majority of these transactions still conducted in-person and using paper-based processes. Web3 presents an opportunity for organizations to digitize the end-to-end notarization process by leveraging technology to securely conduct Remote Online Notarization (RON) with signers. 

Challenges with In-Person Notarization 

In a traditional in-person notarization, the notary first compares the signer’s physical government-issued ID card to the signer standing before them, then obtains wet signatures on several paper documents, and then applies the notary stamp to the documents. The traditional notarization process is lengthy, plagued with errors, missing documents, and missing signatures. Worse yet, notaries are required to maintain paper journals that can easily be misplaced. Re-work can delay notarizations and increase the risk of agreements being rejected. 

In addition, traditional notarizations are vulnerable to security threats and fraud. According to the National Notary Association, identity theft and fraud continue to rise significantly with scammers targeting high-value transactions like property transfers, mortgages, estate documents, and powers of attorney. The notary’s essential duty is to verify the identity of signers, and if they fail to do so, they can be sued or even lose their notary license.  

A digital process powered by a secure remote online notarization solution is not beset by these challenges and yields greater efficiency with higher security than its paper-based predecessors. 

What is Remote Online Notarization? 

Remote Online Notarization (RON) facilitates signers and notaries to get documents signed and notarized online, without the need to physically meet in person. The signer uses electronic signatures to complete documents with a notary through a secure videoconferencing session. The notary can validate and authenticate the signer’s identity using Knowledge-based Authentication (KBA) and ID Verification technology. The remote online notary is required to record and retain the recording of the notarization session. 

In response to the pandemic, dozens of U.S. state legislatures passed bills allowing for Remote Online Notarization (RON). To date, more than 40 U.S. states have passed legislation for RON. According to the American Land Title Association, RON transactions increased 547% in 2020, indicating the heightened demand for remote online notarization among consumers looking for a secure and convenient alternative to traditional notarizations. Moreover, the surge in use of digital technologies during the pandemic have made consumers more comfortable conducting business remotely and consumers and  organizations are now seeking ways to close mortgage loans, complete a vehicle purchase, or execute powers of attorney remotely.  

Benefits of Using OneSpan Notary for RON  

OneSpan Notary meets the rising demand for RON by enabling organizations and providers with in-house notary departments to facilitate remote online notarizations with clients in a secure fashion. Notaries in approved state jurisdictions can launch a secure video-conferencing session with signers, verify the identity of signers using two-factor authentication, collect electronic signatures, and notarize agreements all in a secure and trusted environment.  

OneSpan Notary helps organizations: 

  • Digitize the end-to-end remote notarization experience to eliminate errors and reduce costs related to paper-based processes and operational inefficiencies – resulting in a quick turnaround of completed notarized documents agreements. 
  • Eliminate the hassles of meeting in-person with a convenient way for notaries to connect online and notarize agreements with customers. The secure videoconferencing session facilitates notaries to obtain legally-binding, compliant, and secure signatures in real-time. In addition, the videoconferencing session can support multiple signers in different locations (via web browser; with no downloads required). 
  • Provide a refreshingly easy online notarization experience for notaries and the person signing with clear, guided steps throughout the process. 
  • Mitigate risk with strong identity proofing and credential analysis with ID Verification and Knowledge-based Authentication (KBA) along with built-in security controls to ensure notarized agreements are secure throughout the transaction lifecycle. 
  • Ensure their brand is front and center at all times with the ability to white-label the end-to-end notarization process, resulting in a trusted experience with signers. 
  • Capture strong electronic evidence to meet U.S. state compliance requirements for RON with access to the recording of the session, electronic journal, and a comprehensive audit trail detailing events that took place during the notarial act and session. 

If your organization is evaluating a solution for RON, it’s important to understand and follow your state jurisdiction regulations for physical and electronic notarization requirements as modified by the emergency executive orders or other official guidance. RON procedures may vary depending on state laws, and not all states permit the use of RON by a commissioned notary public on an electronic document. Speak to your legal department for advice about this matter.  

Contact us to learn how we can help your organization support Remote Online Notarization (RON). If you’re an existing OneSpan customer, contact your OneSpan Account Manager or Customer Success Manager to start using OneSpan Notary today. 

OneSpan Notary: Transform how your notaries and customers get agreements completed – easily and securely, in a trusted environment 


Remote online notarization
Javelin Strategy & Research

Why the time is right for remote online notarization (RON)

Download this Javelin white paper to learn how to identify a RON provider with mature technology capabilities, and the expertise to evolve as the regulatory environment changes. 

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With over 10 years of experience, Dilani Silva is a results-driven product marketer with a passion for helping organizations drive customer experience through digital transformation initiatives. As a Senior Product Marketing Manager at OneSpan, she manages and executes go-to-market efforts for the company’s Digital Agreements portfolio. She received her BComm in Marketing from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.