A new way to transfer earnest money!
The innovative app Earnnest allows homebuyers to move escrow money safely and securely from anywhere in the world.
New Technologies to Smooth Out the Closing Process
This moment is unlike any in the history of real estate. The advances of the technological age — combined with the challenges of both international hackers and quarantine — have produced some incredible innovations.
Then, when it became clear that in-person closings were becoming less viable, the state of Missouri finally legalized Remote Online Notarization (RON). It was a long time coming and continues to prove itself a massive upgrade to a very old process.
Now, True Title has implemented the first-ever all-digital method to transfer earnest money. Earnnest simplifies the process, protects buyers, and enables them to transfer funds within minutes from anywhere in the world.
Though we still work with checks, cashier’s checks, and wire transfers, here’s why you might recommend Earnnest to your homebuyers.
Why Change the Way We Transfer Earnest Money?
We live in the age of online banking, ever-evolving cybersecurity, and instant everything. People expect frictionless technologies, and for good reason. Not only are they available, but they can actually be more secure.
The real estate industry has lagged behind. Checks and cashier’s checks still require in-person delivery, and, though rare, check fraud remains a persistent problem.
And though True Title can offer wire transfer security through CertifID, it brings multiple parties to the process. The more people, back-and-forth, and email addresses involved, the more likely the opportunity for a fraudster to slip in and change wire transfer data.
Earnnest is an app that will, in just a few minutes, allow buyers to electronically transfer earnest money to the escrow holder of their choice (like True Title).
- Eliminates paper
- Reduces the number of people involved in the transaction
- Simplifies the escrow process
Here’s how (and why) it works.
Earnnest’s Security Features
Not too long ago, the idea of conducting serious business via an app seemed silly, if not irresponsible. But now, we regularly use apps for everything: Corporate finances, password storage, and securely sharing sensitive data.
The reason is simple — personal devices and websites now allow programmers better options to verify identity. It’s not merely showing up in person with a check and two forms of ID. Cybersecurity encrypts data, so only those who need access can see it.
And Earnnest uses the very best encryption — 256-bit AES — the same standard used by most financial institutions and the US government. Using current computing technology, it would take billions of years to crack 256-bit AES!
Plus, Earnnest is an official member of Nacha. This association oversees the United States’ ACH network, keeping them on the cutting edge of technology.
Another way the app keeps data secure is through its partnership with trusted payment processor Dwolla. Dwolla creates a secure connection between the buyer and their bank. Using tokenization, it strips private data from all transactions.
This means the Earnnest app never sees your buyer’s login credentials, account information, or routing number. Instead, Earnnest pulls the funds for the transfer using a one-time access code.
And did we mention how easy it is to use?
It only takes a few minutes. Here’s the process.
Real Estate Agents: What You’ll Need to Do
- As an agent, you’ll need to register here. You’ll provide some basic information and receive a one-time verification code. (You can do this on your desktop or via the app.)
- Next, when you place a property under contract as the buyer’s agent, you’ll add the address to the app.
- If True Title is the escrow agent, you’ll search for our name, which will only take a moment. You’ll add the buyer’s name and email address, then send them a request for earnest money.
- Now, you’ve finished your part! If you get turned around during your part of the process, Earnnest’s guides should get you back on track.
Now, here’s what your buyer will need to do.
Homebuyers: Next Steps
Step 1 – Create an Account
- Still assuming you’re the buyer’s agent, Earnnest will send the homebuyer an email from you requesting the agreed-upon escrow amount. They’ll open the email and click “Pay Earnest Money.”
- Then, the buyer will be directed to the website or app and request a one-time access code. Earnnest will send the code directly to the buyer’s email address. The buyer will enter the security code then create an account.
Step 2 – Verify Details
- Earnnest will list the property address, the escrow holder’s name, and the earnest money amount. This step will give them a chance to double-check the accuracy of the information.
- They’ll also confirm their identity and connect to their bank. Once again, Earnnest does not “see” the buyer’s banking information.
Step 3 – Login to Bank
- The buyer will search for their bank and log in temporarily. They’ll select the account from which they’ll transfer the earnest money.
Step 4 – Review and Pay
- The buyer has one last chance to make sure everything is correct, and then they can pay.
- The whole process takes a few minutes. If your buyer needs more information, send them this video.
Where Convenience Meets Personal Connection
Even with all of the latest advances in technology, nothing beats the personal touch. With eleven offices throughout the St. Louis area, our closers are in the communities where we do business. We’re here to answer questions, stay in touch, and keep providing you with the best possible service.
Learn more about Earnnest on our tools resource page.
Reach out any time. We’d love to hear from you and find out how we can serve you better.