PEXA accelerates plan to roll out multi-factor authentication

Will offer new ‘consumer guarantee’ for property transactions

PEXA says it has accelerated plans to roll out multi-factor authentication to protect access to its platform.

Earlier this month details emerged of significant fraud involving PEXA’s online property exchange service. In a high-profile incident involving a former MasterChef contestant, funds from the sale of a property were sent to the wrong bank account.

PEXA has said that its platform was not compromised; instead, someone gained access to a conveyancer’s email account and was able to use it to reset a PEXA user’s password and then set up the redirection of funds.

PEXA says that it has strengthened “scanning measures” including monitoring of password resets and changes to BSB and account numbers. It has also changed the process for activating new users on the platform.

The platform is also getting Workspace timestamps that allow users to see when a Workspace was last updated. (A Workspace is a shared online areas allowing participants in a PEXA property transaction to communicate and prepare documents.)

The company is planning to introduce a “new guarantee” for property transactions conducted using the platform.

“We anticipate this guarantee will go above and beyond any guarantee available in the paper-based settlement process, and will provide greater safeguards to consumers whose conveyancer or lawyer uses PEXA,” PEXA said.

“Further details about the guarantee will be made available shortly.”

PEXA said that it is continuing to work with victims of what it has described as “isolated incidents” of fraud.

PEXA launched in 2010. It came out of a Council of Australian Governments agenda item addressing how to bring the world of property conveyancing into the digital age.

Key PEXA shareholders include the Victorian, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia governments, the big four banks, Macquarie Capital, Little Group and Link Group.

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