Yesterday New World Development Company (NWD) announced a blockchain platform which it developed in collaboration with Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI). The Hong Kong arm of state-owned Bank of China (BOCHK) is the first bank to participate. The network will launch in the second quarter of 2019.
“Traditionally, buyers, real estate developers, banks and law firms all work separately – until now, there has been no one-stop platform to connect all parties,” said Adrian Cheng, Vice-chairman and General Manager of NWD.
Ann Kung, Deputy Chief Executive of BOCHK, commented that the project “helps to enhance customer experience by offering a seamless integration of mortgage services in our customers’ property purchase journey.”
In the announcement, NWD outlined some of the benefits of the initiative. The key upside is the sharing of information between all the parties and doing away with paperwork.
There’s usually a lot of back and forth between banks and lawyers. Instead, the data will be available via the blockchain. NWD estimates it will save 47 hours of work for service providers.
First-time buyers would usually get quotes from multiple mortgage providers. For each application, there’s the hassle of providing paperwork. Using the blockchain platform and with the purchaser’s permission, an encrypted provisional agreement will be sent to each bank. NWD estimates this will save the buyer six hours work.
Also, the buyer needs their identity verified for all parties involved. Instead of doing this for each party, using blockchain the purchaser can provide their data once and then authorize access to their encrypted data.
Purchasing a property involves numerous steps and a lot of communication between buyers and lawyers to keep track of progress. By sharing data, the new system will help all parties to keep tabs on the entire process, and additionally provide alerts to the buyer for important dates.