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NatWest to use blockchain to streamline home buying in the UK

UK commercial and retail bank NatWest will form part of a blockchain consortium to make buying a house easier for all parties involved

NatWest has become the latest commercial bank to experiment with blockchain technology.

Rather than focusing on speedier international payments though, the bank is looking to streamline the process of buying a home in the UK.

To accomplish this, NatWest will be teaming up with Coadjute, a network that harnesses distributed ledger technology to improve the ease of data sharing within the property industry.

NatWest wants to make buying a home easier

Buying a home in the UK can be a long and strenuous process, taking on average a minimum of three months for a purchase to complete.

However, red tape, miscommunication, and lack of transparency between the multiple parties involved can drag the process out even longer.

By teaming up with Coadjute and a consortium of leading property software providers, this lengthy process could be trimmed down to just three weeks. Thanks to the capabilities of blockchain technology, buying a home could become infinitely easier.

Also forming part of this blockchain home buying consortium are major software providers in the property industry, including Redbrick Solutions Conveyancing Software, eTech Surveyor Software, and four others.

Adding weight to the Coadjute name is the fact that its initial trial was built on the Corda Network backed by blockchain heavyweights R3.

Making information sharing easier across parties

The application of blockchain technology will make the process of sharing data across parties easier since they will all be on the same network.

NatWest will also be able to provide its customers with transparency at every step of the home buying process through a handy companion app.

Not only will this move by one of the UK’s largest banks be better for its customers, but it will benefit the bank as well.

Sharing sensitive data across multiple parties has always been a time-consuming and lengthy process. Since it is the bank that provides the funds for the property, it must carry out strenuous background checks while also ensuring that personal data remains secure.

Innovating in the home buying space

Banks have been continually trying to improve their mortgage offerings, competing with other fintech and financial institutions dedicated only to loaning mortgages.

However, in this latest move, NatWest hopes to get one step ahead of its competitors by bringing real innovation to the space.

Director of Mortgage Innovation at NatWest Dan Salmons said, “We are committed to finding innovations that make our customers’ lives easier, and know that the complexity of conveyancing is a key pain point for many.

“The Coadjute consortium has brought all the parties involved together to create a single mobile app and used distributed ledger technology to make the customer journey safe and seamless.

“We believe the approach has the potential to be a real game-changer – not just for our customers, but for the entire property market.”

David Rutter, CEO of R3, added, “The promise of blockchain technology is gathering pace day by day, and it is use cases such as this one that are testament to its potential to transform industry status quos.

“The property sector is one which has benefitted – and will continue to benefit – immensely from digital transformation, overhauling processes that historically have been lengthy and cumbersome.”

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