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Competition for PEXA?

The PEXA e-conveyancing platform has grown quickly in the last year, particularly in jurisdictions such as NSW where e-conveyancing is now mandatory. More recently there has also been considerable uptake (based on the statistics released) here in Queensland.

Last year, ASX and Infotrack announced their proposed platform ‘Sympli’ which was to compete with PEXA as an e-conveyancing provider.

Just this month, the ACCC has released its comments on the need for the e-conveyancing market to have competition. The report can be viewed here.

The ACCC says that whilst e-conveyancing is a valuable service, it is now in need of market competition to avoid a scenario where one provider (PEXA) becomes a monopoly provider which is likely to result in higher costs and the loss of innovation (which is the result of a lack of competition in any market).

There is an option for platform interoperability however this certainly has its challenges from both an IT point of view as well as in the legal profession. These are challenges which may not be overcome.

The alternative is that e-conveyancing becomes a regulated monopoly however this will require the relevant state governments to cooperate on legislative reform. 2020 will be big year for the progression of e-conveyancing in Australia and whether we see a competing platform to PEXA.