There continues to be a disconcerting rise in wire fraud within the real estate industry. The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) data disclosed a staggering loss of over $396 million to business email compromise scams in 2022 alone. HousingWire also highlighted the concern, reporting that at times throughout the year, approximately 50% of transactions faced fraud risks at closing.
Despite ongoing prevention efforts though, the issue of fraud continues to escalate in the industry. A survey by Qualia underscored the known urgency of this issue: title professionals rank wire fraud as the top risk to their business, with 60% experiencing wire fraud attempts in the last year.
Amid the growing need for heightened security, we are excited today to introduce Qualia Shield as a new line of defense.
Shield is the industry’s first fully integrated funding and disbursement product designed for title & escrow companies who want to automate and simplify their accounting processes and more effectively protect their business and clients 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.
Strategic wire fraud detection
The backbone of Qualia Shield lies in its focused approach to wire fraud detection, chiefly through risk assessment and an advanced seller ID verification system.
Shield equips title & escrow companies with the tools necessary to comprehensively assess wire fraud risks surrounding lender payoffs and seller proceeds. It enables a meticulous analysis of wire instructions directly in the title production software and delivers a corresponding low, medium, or high risk assessment. This function empowers agents to make informed decisions regarding the trustworthiness of wire instructions.
Seller ID verification
Shield’s seller ID verification features operate in a uniquely impactful way. Unlike other tools in the market that utilize knowledge-based authentication (KBA) or optical character recognition (OCR)—methods easily circumvented by bad actors—Shield looks directly at the bar code of the ID of the seller using a proprietary encryption mapped to government records. This unique method verifies the person presenting it with 99.9% accuracy (versus the industry average of 60% or less). This unparalleled ID verification capability significantly differentiates Shield from other existing solutions on the market, furnishing a more reliable defense against seller impersonation fraud.
Fully integrated wire management and EMD collection
Along with the fraud detection features, Shield includes automated wire matching and integrations for wire sending, alongside features that streamline EMD collection.
Incoming and outgoing wire management
Real-time management of incoming and outgoing wires via bank integrations are key features. These features increase efficiency by eliminating rekeying, mitigate risks from manual errors, and enhance the security of transaction processes.
Streamlining EMD Collection
Shield simplifies EMD collection, securing transaction processes by facilitating secure collection and direct deposit of payments into escrow bank accounts.
Mitigate risk while enhancing user experience
Each of Shield’s features is natively integrated with Qualia’s suite of products. This unified system integration provides a first-of-its-kind, seamless user experience across title production software, client portal, and banking functionalities, making closings more simple and secure.
Qualia Shield is a highly anticipated solution to the escalating wire fraud challenges in the real estate industry. It delivers fully integrated and insightful risk assessment, unmatched seller ID verification, and valuable wire management features. By natively integrating to the Qualia platform, Shield goes beyond the capabilities currently available through a patchwork of point solutions on the market and provides a formidable defense against fraudulent activities while simplifying an agent’s work.
Shield is launching today 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.