Future Benefits of Interoperable E-Conveyancing

Recent amendments to the Electronic Conveyancing National Law (ECNL) provide competition to e-conveyancing in the form of interoperability amongst Electronic Lodgment Networks (ELNs). Electronic Lodgment Network Operators (ELNOs) now have the obligation to design and implement their systems to communicate with one another (ie, to be interoperable), which means practitioners no longer have to utilise the same ELNO to perform a e-conveyancing transaction. These reforms signal market trends towards greater value and innovation for practitioners as a result of competition in e-conveyancing.  In the coming months, regulators, practitioners, and ELNOs like Sympli will be challenged with adopting changes to ensure competition and choice in this market. To drive all stakeholders to build for interoperability and provide certainty to industry, it is critical that regulators are provided with the enforcement powers needed to align incentives towards the end goal of a competitive e-conveyancing market.  

Promoted by Sympli 05 September 2022 Big Law
Future Benefits of Interoperable E-Conveyancing
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What is interoperability? 

Currently, all parties to a conveyancing transaction must use the same ELNO to complete a conveyancing transaction. This is because ELNOs are not yet able to ‘speak’ to one another. Recent amendments to the have removed this barrier by requiring that ELNOs do speak to one another – this is known as interoperability between ELNOs. 

A requirement to interoperate

With this legislative change now in force, ARNECC, the e-conveyancing regulator, must be empowered to ensure that this is carried out. Whilst the need for an ELNO to be interoperable can be waived in certain circumstances, the amendments make it clear that every ELNO operating in the country has a responsibility to make interoperability a key part of their operational capability. A suitable enforcement framework is necessary for ARNECC and Registrars to provide certainty to industry that ELNOs will support this functionality. 

How does interoperability impact the conveyancing industry? 

Requiring an ELNO to have an interoperable system will have a positive impact on practitioners participating in e-conveyancing transactions. With interoperability, practitioners will have the freedom to choose their preferred ELNO. As a result, ELNOs are encouraged to provide more value, enhanced services, improved user experience, and greater innovation for the benefit of practitioners. 
There are several advantages that interoperability provides for e-conveyancing practitioners. These include:  

  • Freedom of choice. The ability for subscribers to choose their preferred ELNO or the one that best suits their business and day-to-day operations. Currently, subscribers are limited by their choice of ELNOs, and by the requirement that they share an ELNO with the other parties engaged in the e-conveyancing transaction. The requirement for interoperability has changed this for the better, and any ELNO operating in Australia must now allow for communication between one another. 

    Competition in any market drives advancements and innovation to the benefit of practitioners, and in the e-conveyancing market. This gives ELNOs compelling motivation to provide superior services to their customers 

    Interoperability ensures that new ELNOs such as Sympli are able to challenge the status quo and compete on the basis of an innovative product offering and efficiency for practitioners.
  • Confidence in e-conveyancing. Interoperability will be implemented through the collective efforts of ELNOs, ARNECC, and industry bodies, for the benefit of practitioners and, allows the industry to co-create a safer, more secure, and more resilient ecosystem.  

While the door to competition has been opened, Sympli, ELNOs, regulators, and peak industry bodies still need to work together to create measures that ensure the door stays open. It is vital that regulators are provided with the tools and incentives, through a strong enforcement framework, to hold ELNOs accountable for delivering the advantages of interoperability and competition to practitioners.    

 For further information please visit: https://www.sympli.com.au/interoperability/ 



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