Getting your important documents notarized ranks pretty high on the list of administrative life tasks that are both inconvenient and outdated. It requires finding a notary in your area, checking their availability, and making the trip—in-person. No thanks.
Not only is this process inaccessible to people who can’t get themselves to a physical location, but it’s also a headache for anyone who’s short on time (translation: everybody). When entrepreneur and Boston-based venture capitalist, Pat Kinsel, discovered that Virginia had passed a regulation that allows remote notarizations via video conferencing, he was determined to bring notarization into the 21st century.
Pat’s ask for MetaLab? Take a brick and mortar service from 1492 into the 21st century with a seamless digital experience that’s fast, easy, and reliable for all.
With our design team focused on the product’s feel and functionality, our developers collaborated with Pat to write the business logic from scratch, diving in code-first to build a solid foundation paired with an intuitive UI. With new requirements being discovered along the way, the team’s technical rigor and discipline set them up to easily accommodate new business logic without compromise.
New requirements and business logic brought fresh engineering challenges for us to sink our teeth into. We needed to strike a balance among the right amount of access, the necessary level of security, and the realities of modern-day user expectations. To do this, we used a combination of existing services and our own code to write an application we knew would accommodate legal constraints, satisfy user needs, and adapt over time. The resulting iOS and Web products are even more secure than in-person visits, with integrated identity verification and document encryption. Once we’d built the iOS and Web products for the everyday customer, we developed the accompanying web app to make notaries accessible in real-time, anytime.
From there, we worked with the Notarize team to expand their product offering to SMBs, allowing companies to facilitate and manage their own notarization directly with their customers. Then, when we realized that notarization is the only analog step keeping the mortgage process from being fully digital, we were determined to deliver code for the first digital mortgage signed in the US. As a result, we developed a mortgage-specific platform that allows homebuyers and their brokerage partners to quickly get the necessary paperwork ready to go, all from the web. Today, Notarize helps customers process about $1.5 billion in real estate deals per month.
At the end of this project, we handed off a complete code base and design files for the product suite for their newly-hired internal teams to run with. Now, not only is document notarization as easy as ordering food online, it’s 100% legal and available 24/7 in every state, too. Each record is locked in a private digital database, so people can access them at their discretion and notaries can do their jobs faster and more securely than ever.