Shieldpay awarded Innovate UK grant to transform real estate transactions

Shieldpay, the secure payments provider, today announces it has been awarded an Innovate UK grant.
The funding will be used to scale up Shieldpay’s Third Party Managed Account (TPMA) solution in the UK and lay strong foundations for Shieldpay to expand into the global real estate market.

In May this year, Shieldpay successfully completed the UK’s first fully digital real estate transaction with MyHomeMove and Barclays, with the support of the Council for Licensed Conveyancers and other industry stakeholders. The solution also enables parties to complete on transactions at anytime from anywhere, that includes completing a house purchase on a weekend or bank holiday.

Shieldpay’s payments process re-thinks how real estate transactions are done.

The current transactional process involves the coordination of multiple payments across multiple accounts with different banks and between consumers, lawyers, lenders and other stakeholders, such as HM Revenue & Customs and HM Land Registry.

These convoluted processes and payments make all parties vulnerable to fraud due to inherent weaknesses; in the UK alone, over £85 million was withdrawn fraudulently from solicitors in 2017. The transparency, speed and certainty of transactions is also compromised, which causes increased administrative and insurance costs throughout the value chain and confusion for consumers, often causing delays on completion but always causing unnecessary closing day stress.

Shieldpay’s simple and secure TPMA solution removes the need for solicitors to hold client money and provides greater transparency to all stakeholders on the money flow in a real estate transaction.

Geoff Dunnett, Real Estate Director at Shieldpay, comments: “This grant recognises the transformative work we are doing in this sector. It will allow us to change the way real estate transactions are undertaken, improving the homebuying process in the UK and beyond.”

Stephen Ward, Director of Strategy and External Relations at the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, comments: “The CLC is delighted to have supported pilots of the use of Shieldpay’s escrow system in Conveyancing transactions. Those pilots have demonstrated the potential value of modern digital escrow in reducing risks as money changes hands and by improving the homebuying process more broadly. We look forward to the development of this tool and encourage others to work with us as we support innovation in Conveyancing.”

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.

Shieldpay is fully regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. Shieldpay’s transparent payment solution mitigates the risk of fraud by verifying the identity of all parties, holding funds securely and only releasing funds when all sides agree they’re happy. Shieldpay can speed up residential and commercial property transactions, multi-million-pound M&A deals as well as protecting smaller payments, such as buying or selling your car, through to power classifieds sites and e-commerce marketplaces.