Hosted identity management helps PEXA overhaul a paper-clogged industry

An Australian-built, cloud-based identity-management and authentication platform from Verizon is playing a key part in moves by electronic-conveyancing provider Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) to streamline property settlements that have traditionally been a complex, paper-intensive process.

PEXA's system has been designed to automate the movement of settlement-related documents amongst various stakeholders including land registries, financial institutions, and legal practitioners.

“When you are transacting online, the last thing you want to worry about is the integrity of the system, especially with multiple parties involved,” PEXA CEO Marcus Price said in a statement. “With PEXA, lawyers, conveyancers, and banks, can safely perform lodgements and financial settlements online.”

By providing a single online environment to handle property settlements, the system has been designed to significantly improve turnaround in the paper-intensive process – but it would have been impossible to deliver without a non-repudiable identity management solution that would allow PEXA to provide the necessary access-control and audit capabilities.

That solution came in the form of Verizon's smart credentials identity-authentication solution, which traces its genesis to the company's Australian operations and is delivered on an as-a-service basis by the telco-cum-enterprise-service-provider.

“In making that move from a physical medium to an online system,” Rob Parker, Verizon's APAC head of managed identity – security solutions told CSO Australia, “you need non repudiation and the ability to secure transactions and documents so you know with a high degree of certainty who is at the other end of that transaction.”

The two organisations began discussing PEXA's authentication requirements two years ago, with the recent delivery of the new environment leveraging Verizon's investment in certification to the government's Gatekeeper public key infrastructure (PKI) paradigm.

“PEXA are really going off the beaten path and forging ahead with something that hasn't been done before,” Parker said. “They had a specific use case around online document exchange, and a need for strong authentication. There have been a lot of challenges PEXA have had to overcome in essentially moving a whole market to this platform.”

The increasing popularity of the solution – and others like it – has attracted high-profile, high-security customers such as the Australian Federal Police and validates the company's moves to expand its Canberra data centre, at which Verizon last year doubled the amount of floor space available.

That data centre, designed as a key pillar of the company's cloud-delivery efforts, now hosts the solution PEXA is using. And, although it originated in Australia, Verizon has taken the identity-management solution global and it now claims more than 100,000 government and business users.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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