SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- October 3, 2023 - Qualia, the leading digital real estate closing platform, today announced the release of its newest product, Qualia Shield. Qualia Shield is a funding and disbursement product for title and escrow companies who want help in their efforts to simplify their accounting processes and protect their business against fraud. Marquee features of Shield include earnest money deposit (EMD) collection, automated wire matching, wire-sending integrations, wire fraud detection, and seller ID verification.
The real estate industry suffered a staggering $396M+ in adjusted losses in 2022 as a result of business email compromise scams, an increase from previous years. Even though efforts have been made to protect against fraud, the solutions in place for title and escrow companies to combat wire fraud have not stopped its growth. In a recent survey conducted by Qualia, title professionals ranked wire fraud as the number one risk to their business, with employee errors coming in second.
In support of title and escrow companies’ efforts to combat wire fraud, Qualia Shield provides agents with the ability to securely collect and share wire instructions with buyers and sellers, as well as assess the wire instructions they collect for risk of fraud. A multivariable assessment shows agents the level of fraud risk so they can make informed decisions about the trustworthiness of sellers’ and payoff lenders’ wire instructions.
As an additional layer of protection against seller impersonation fraud, Shield prompts sellers to scan their IDs via mobile phone and provides an analysis of the barcode to determine if the ID is government-issued or not. Shield also scans facial geometry and calculates a similarity score between the photo ID and the facial scan. This unique method verifies the person presenting it with 99% accuracy (versus the industry average of 60% or less). For agents operating on Qualia’s platform, this work can all be accomplished without leaving their title production software.
"Bad actors are continually refining their methods for wire fraud," said Charlotte Brown, Vice President of Product at Qualia. "Existing point solutions on the market for fraud detection and EMD collection are often disconnected from existing workflows, leading to limited efficacy and increased costs. We developed Shield to combat wire fraud through a fully integrated approach, aiding title companies in offering a unified, elegant, and secure client experience."
In addition to the wire fraud detection features, Qualia Shield also provides a way for agents to integrate their client portal with banks. Agents now have the ability to gather digital earnest money deposits from homebuyers in a secure portal and manage incoming and outgoing wires through an integration with their bank. This eliminates the need to rekey information between systems.
“Shield gives us more confidence in wire instructions to see that everything the seller provided is matching what we already have in the system, like their address,” shared Sean Batcheler, VP of Producers Title, who was part of the Shield early access program. “If it doesn’t match, the system signals to our employees that they need to take extra steps to verify the wire instructions and investigate if something doesn’t look right.”
Shield is launching after an extensive early access program and is now available for purchase for both Qualia Atlas and Qualia Connect customers, with wider release expected in 2024. To explore more information about Qualia’s ability to help you protect your business against wire fraud, visit qualia.com/shield.
Qualia is the leading comprehensive digital closing platform used by title, escrow, real estate and mortgage lending professionals to transform home buying and selling into simple, secure, enjoyable experiences for millions of homeowners each year. The Qualia platform provides a secure system of record for the real estate settlement ecosystem through a suite of workflow, accounting, reporting, and collaboration products as well as its expansive product and service integrations. Qualia is headquartered in San Francisco, CA and has offices in Austin, TX, and Superior, CO. For more information on Qualia, visit Qualia.com.
Matt Kaufman, VP of Marketing