Macquarie's DEFT auction pay platform takes the pain out of cheque deposits

Macquarie's DEFT auction pay platform takes the pain out of cheque deposits
Macquarie's DEFT auction pay platform takes the pain out of cheque deposits

Imagine doing away with the chequebook at auctions or when paying a deposit and going online.

Macquarie Bank have come up with DEFT Auction Pay, that allows buyers to pay their deposit electronically while also giving real estate agents a secure online service to increase business efficiency.

Macquarie, which developed the DEFT payment platform to simplify rental collection, says Auction Pay is an Australian first. The new system is in the pilot phase, it says on the website.

Its main selling point is the ease of paying electronically at auctions. Buyers have the flexibility to adjust their deposit amount once the auction result is known, and they get instant confirmation their deposit being submitted. 

Macquarie says the feedback to DEFT Auction Pay from home buyers and real estate agents has been positive so far. 

The bank’s new system could be a tool for the traditional real estate agency industry to stave off competition from online selling platforms such as Purplebricks or, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Auction Pay is planned for a national rollout during the third quarter to coincide with the peak spring home-selling season.

"Technology is playing out in all market places," Macquarie head of business banking Dean Firth told the AFR. 

"What we are endeavouring to do is provide our clients with an unfair advantage. The need to invest in platforms and provide solutions to the agents so that they can deliver a service more efficiently, with a better client experience, is something that we're collaborating with all the institutes and all our clients on."

Disruptors such as the UK-headquartered Purplebricks and do-it-yourself platforms are attracting attention because of their cost-effecting and fixed fee structures, instead of the commission-based model of traditional real estate agents while selling a home. Buyers can save thousands in agent fees through the two platforms when selling their home.

But Macquarie's deep exposure to the real estate markets – it provides banking services to 40 per cent of both the residential and commercial real estate markets by turnover – mean its support for the traditional industry goes beyond technology, according to AFR.

Real Estate Institute of Australia president Malcolm Gunning said the bank had promised to put money into boosting soft skills in the industry to encourage more people to go beyond the week-long minimum certification and get their full agent qualification. 

"Macquarie is looking to invest in the education because that supports the real estate businesses in Australia," Gunning said. "We are on the road to professionalising the business and Macquarie is very keen to invest in that because it gives them security as well as opportunities."

Firth declined to confirm to AFR the bank was funding estate agent training. 

"We're definitely collaborating with the institutes around the country and our clients to improve the enablement of their business by technology," he said. 

"At the end of the day, most people who buy and sell houses still want to deal with a person. It's the augmentation of that process that they get through technology that assists and can improve the operating efficiency of the agencies directly."

Agents have reported good feedback to Auction Pay. 

"It's a great solution from the situation of people not having a chequebook available or a deposit prior to the auction," said Craig Marshall a director of Savills Cordeau Marshall on Sydney's lower north shore.


Macquarie Group Deft

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