So it’s that time of the year… South Africans have begun their year-end shopping frenzy. And for the early-bird festive shopper, there are some fantastic deals and promos running too, both instore and online.
Unfortunately, it’s also that time of the year where scammers run wild, capitalising on our festive cheer which is why it is so important to remember that if the deal you see sounds too good to be true, it probably is….
In South Africa the ever increasing uptake of technology is creating additional opportunity for tech-savvy scammers. We all know at least one person who’s fallen prey to online criminal activity, not to mention identity theft or credit card fraud.
With the 2015 Norton Report telling us that 70 percent of South Africans have fallen victim to cyber crime and other risky behaviour, compared to 50 percent globally and about 47 percent of our smartphone users have been hit by mobile cyber crime in the past 12 months, it’s no wonder that South Africans are educating and empowering themselves to avoid the everyday pitfalls associated with these evolving criminal activities. And perhaps one of the biggest trends in the war against scammers in SA is the rise in availability of escrow services. Allowing consumers to be even more vigilant when buying or selling anything independently, an escrow service can be used for both traditional and online transactions, with the value of the sale or transaction being immaterial.
Designed specifically to add an extra layer of security to anyone who wants to buy or sell something, escrow refers to a third party payment protection mechanism that makes sure no transfer of ownership of any goods or service takes place until payment is made and the buyer is satisfied with their puchase.
ProtectPay comes from leading independent payments company, Paycorp, and presents a quick, easy and affordable way to buy and sell products and services without the risk and stress traditionally associated with independent trading.
ProtectPay offers users a simple five-step solution to secure trading:
- Both the buyer and seller set up a free account at protectpay.co.za
- After mutually agreeing to use ProtectPay, a transaction is loaded and the transaction fee terms are agreed – the fee can be paid by either buyer or seller or split 50/50
- The buyer transfers funds to the ProtectPay escrow account for secure-holding, and the seller is made aware that funds have been received
- The buyer confirms receipt of goods or services and notifies ProtectPay to release the funds to the seller
- The funds are paid to the seller
Besides guaranteeing payment once the terms of the transaction are met, ProtectPay also allows parties to raise a transaction dispute and holds the funds until the dispute is resolved.
So with an escrow service on your side, buying this year’s Christmas presents, just got safer.