Notarize is having a busy year.
The startup on Thursday announced a partnership with Adobe, which essentially means that tech giant Adobe is integrating Notarize’s remote online notarization (RON) capability onto Adobe Sign, its e-signature platform.
The partnership, the companies, said, “streamlines and speeds up signing and notarizations.” It will give users the ability “to securely and digitally notarize documents online 24/7.” Notarize will immediately be offered to all Adobe Sign customers, which include the majority of Fortune 100 companies. Customers will be “seamlessly” sent to the Notarize platform and then back into the Adobe Sign interface. A more deeply integrated experience – allowing customers to initiate live online video notarization sessions directly from Adobe Sign– will then be rolled out in early 2021.
The deal is significant in that it makes Adobe even more competitive with rival DocuSign. Notarization has traditionally been viewed as “the last mile” of online fintech transactions, and taken even the most digitally advanced deals – such as real estate, will and trust, banking – offline.
Notarize CEO Pat Kinsel told FinLedger that when Adobe looked to close the gap in its capabilities and add Remote Online Notarization (RON) to its platform, it could have “either built, bought, or partnered to make that happen.”
“As they looked at the timeline in which they needed to bring the RON capability to their customers and the landscape of companies in the space, they quickly realized that partnering with Notarize brings them the absolute best-in-class customer experience that meets the Adobe standards immediately,” he said. “It’s a massive win for their enterprise customers, and available immediately, which is key.”
The startup’s conversations with Adobe actually began before the COVID-19 pandemic “and other competitor’s entrances into the RON market,” according to Kinsel. Notarize had planned to finalize the partnership in the first quarter but both teams, Kinsel said, needed to focus on scaling their own operations “to meet the extraordinary demand driven by COVID.”
Having seen 600% growth in 2020 alone, Notarize has seen a big bump in business due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to conduct more business transactions remotely and online after having raised $35 million in March.
According to Kinsel, the partnership should “materially increase revenue for Notarize, given the size and scale of the Adobe Sign and Acrobat platform.”
“Adobe is one of the most innovative companies on the planet, constantly reinventing itself and creating new categories,” he said. “So, we’re proud to align ourselves with Adobe, who respects innovation and recognizes how far ahead our platform is. Their scale is enormous, Adobe Cloud is a massive business, a much larger business than their competitors. And that scale is a game-changer for Notarize.”
Indeed, Adobe’s Sign product has seen 175% user growth since January.
In a blog post, Adobe Group Manager Doug Thompson notes that more than 1.25 billion notarizations were logged last year alone.
“Up until recently, all of these notarizations were done in-person using ink signatures on piles of paper with thumbprints captured in paper notebooks, not to mention the ink pads…lots of ink pads,” he wrote. “Given our new remote working environment, it’s no wonder the need for remote online notarizations are at an all-time high. Customers are looking for ways to be able to notarize their documents safely, securely, and conveniently.”
Overall, the virtual notary services industry has become increasingly popular amid the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses have adopted remote signatures to adhere to social distancing protocols while closing on mortgages and other loans.