February 24, 2024

Protecting buyers and sellers against scams in transacting on classifieds platforms

3 min read

Paysho, the groundbreaking online escrow service, is transforming the landscape of online transactions by providing a secure platform for both buyers and sellers. In an era where online fraud and scams are rampant, Paysho emerges as much-needed protection for buyers and sellers, safeguarding all funds until all parties involved in a transaction are completely satisfied that all terms have been met.

The challenge of online transactions

Online classifieds and buy-and-sell platforms have long been plagued by the risk of fraud, creating a barrier for genuine buyers and sellers, and opportunities for scammers to rob people of their hard-earned money or belongings. Anyone who has ever tried to buy or sell anything via classifieds or Facebook buy-and-sell groups will know the process is fraught with fraud. Any sale between strangers, especially those from different towns or cities, requires one of the parties to take a risk, be it the buyer sending money off before they receive the goods or the seller shipping the goods before the buyer pays for them. That unfortunately has created an opportunity for dishonest people to scam others out of their hard-earned cash by either buying and not paying or selling and not delivering the goods.

Paysho addresses this challenge head-on, offering a third-party platform that ensures financial protection and peace of mind for users.

South Africa’s urgent need for secure transactions

A 2014 survey by global firm PwC revealed that 69% of South African respondents had fallen victim to financial crime, highlighting the urgency for a secure transaction solution. However, a survey conducted by Paysho in 2019 revealed that 86% of online classifieds shoppers had never heard of an escrow service. And therein lies the problem.

Although escrow services have been around for decades, they remain fairly unknown by a large number of people who need them. This is evidenced by the number of social media posts from people reportedly having been scammed out of large sums of money or valuable possessions.

And that is where Paysho comes in…

Whether for services or physical and digital goods, Paysho, with its innovative escrow system, emerges as a secure payment platform, addressing the need for South Africans to have a trustworthy platform that safeguards transactions, ensuring buyers and sellers can transact with confidence.

Bongani Matshisi, the visionary behind Paysho, conceived the platform after personally experiencing the challenges of building trust in online transactions. While selling a product through social media, he found that potential customers outside of his immediate geographic area were reluctant to send money to him out of fear of getting scammed. After searching and not finding an appropriate solution to this challenge, he decided to create one himself. Reflecting his commitment to creating a secure space in which to transact, Paysho aims to eliminate the fears of scams, providing a haven for buyers and sellers.

“The exchange of goods and services for money has existed for thousands of years,” explains Matshisi. “What the Internet has done is to widen the marketplace and removed the geographical barriers for buyers and sellers. What that means is that someone in Kimberley can now buy an iPhone from someone in Butterworth and vice versa. Platforms such as Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace have made it very easy for buyers and sellers to transact with each other. However, these platforms are rife with scammers trying to find their next victim. Every day, people are getting scammed out of thousands of rands by these scammers.

“With the state of the economy the way as it is, more and more people are having to sell their goods to supplement their income. Phones, computers, PlayStations, musical instruments and other high-value electronics are some of the items that people are selling on classifieds. And then you get more emotional purchases like pets, where criminal syndicates are now taking advantage of emotionally vulnerable people by selling them non-existent dogs or puppies. And then there is the services space where contractors are collecting deposits from home owners and disappearing with them. Or where people are getting work done for them and then not paying the service providers.

“Paysho exists to eliminate all those problems. Paysho not only serves as a shield against these threats but also envisions a safer, more informed consumer landscape. By embracing Paysho, users not only safeguard their transactions but actively contribute to a community fostering trust, transparency and financial well-being,” he says.

Matshisi is adamant that together as a collective we can redefine the future of secure online transactions.

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