Legal technology solutions are not about reinventing the wheel, especially if there has been a culture of solving problems in a certain way for the past hundred years. Instead, it is meant to simplify productivity, making things easier and less time consuming, says Fikayo Durosinmi-Etti, CEO of ToNote, a technology company based in Nigeria that focuses on simplifying the way people agree to do business.
Fikayo shared the story of his personal experience and that of others who’ve had the unfortunate experience of being misrepresented and having their signatures forged. He says with the right infrastructure and verification systems in place, technology can prevent these occurrences.
One of the emerging technologies expediting the trust process is the remote online notarization service. What used to be a very long-winded, paper-based process requiring someone to be physically present, has shifted to a virtual system that makes use of electronic signatures and digitally generated stamps and video conferencing tools.
“There are verification features as well, where any document that is generated from the system is accompanied by a transaction certificate and an audit trail that tracks every single change and every single action that takes place on the document. Whoever receives that document can type in the document ID or type in the notary number to verify that the document is indeed authentic and was generated from a credible remote online notary tool,” Fikayo explained.
When it comes to adopting innovative tech solutions there can be a lot of resistance, but Fikayo says regulators across the world are starting to understand that technology is their friend. “It is not a replacement for anyone,” he said, “it's just something that empowers and enables you.”
Fikayo has been privileged to engage and collaborate with some of the most forward-thinking minds in the Nigerian legal space, including members of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Nigerian Supreme Court and the Nigerian National Judicial Council, the National Assembly and the Presidency. Together with ToNote, they have been able to develop regulatory frameworks that support the use of advanced digital signatures and online notary tools.
Jurisdictions across the continent are now embracing technology advancements. “Everybody has a digital transformation plan, and the legal industry will be a part of that transformation. At some point they will reap the benefits of it,” said Fikayo.
Click here to listen to the full podcast via your preferred Podcast service.
To join Africa Legal's mailing list please click here