Ecommerce in Nigeria, estimated at $13 billion by the London based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), is a vital sector that, if properly harnessed, can create more means of livelihood for individuals and massive jobs for youths, enhance Market Access and sales for SME’s, boost economic development, reduce poverty and help in achieving some other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Unfortunately, the progress of ecommerce in Nigeria is being hampered by several factors, one of which is distrust caused by the activities of fraudsters and scammers who pose online as genuine sellers or buyers.
It is very common to have situations where buyers pay for goods and services online only to wake up to the realization that they have been scammed.
Same applies to unsuspecting sellers who sell their goods/services and end up either incurring losses or getting out rightly defrauded.
To solve the mistrust between buyers and sellers and to drastically reduce incidences of online fraud, escrow payment arrangements have proved beneficial.
Escrow payments are such that a buyer, instead of paying to the seller directly, agrees to an arrangement with the seller and pays the money to a mutually trusted third party (escrow company/agency) who holds the money and releases it to the seller when it has been confirmed that the buyer has received the goods/services.
Genuine escrow companies have unique and effective ways of protecting the sellers too and settling disputes that may arise.
Escrow payment can be used for the purchase of virtually any kind of product/service, be it physical products like a pair of shoes, piece of furniture, electronics, car, land or real estate; virtual products like software, ebooks, digital images, music files, secret keys/access codes; or services like hiring someone to do web design, create music/video/graphic content, etc.
As fraudsters generally shy away from escrow arrangements, it has been shown that insisting on escrow payment is one effective way to know if a seller is genuine.
For a small fee, usually not more than 5 per cent of the transaction value, trusted online escrow companies can be engaged to protect both the buyer and seller and help boost ecommerce in Nigeria.
However, care must be taken to only use online escrow services that are certified by the International Financial and Escrow Services Accreditation Board, the official body that not only regulates against fake online escrow services but provides $2 billion insurance access to clients of certified escrow companies.
What is Escrow?
Escrow is a word used to describe a middleman service usually used in settling payment between two parties (like a buyer and a seller) in risky or suspicious situations, wherein a trusted third party agency like EscrowLock (escrowlock.com) accepts the payment from one party (the buyer) and releases it to the other party (the seller) when certain conditions have been met.
What is Escrow Service
Escrow service is a kind of middleman or third party payment service offered by a trusted agency like EscrowLock in risky or suspicious transactions where there is need for EscrowLock to accept payment from the buyer and only release it to the seller when certain pre-agreed conditions have been met.
What is Escrow Payment?
Escrow payment is a form of middleman payment that involves the use of escrow service offered by notable escrow companies like EscrowLock (escrowlock.com), in which EscrowLock accepts payment from the buyer and only release it to the seller when certain pre-agreed conditions have been met (like when the seller successfully delivers the goods/services).
EscrowLock, what is it?
EscrowLock is an independent escrow service agency that acts as the trusted third party or middleman in transactions between two parties (like buyer and seller) wherein there is need for EscrowLock to receive money from one party in the transaction (usually the buyer) and release it to the other party (the seller) when certain conditions have been met (like when seller has successfully delivered goods/services to the buyer). EscrowLock is currently the best and most trusted escrow agency operating in Nigeria and other countries in the MEA region.
Escrow agreements; what are they?
Escrow agreements are terms the buyer and the seller have to agree on before a transaction is commences and before they even proceed to contract the services of EscrowLock. Some of these terms include but are not limited to:
- Specifications of the products or services – the size, color of the product etc or in terms of service delivery (like creating website) things like the design, features, etc.
- Return policy and warranty (if any)
- Courier services, the transport company to use if they are considering to waybill the product(s).
- The date or estimated duration that the product is to arrive or the services to be delivered.
- Tracking systems – to monitor the movement of the product.
Escrow Account, What is it?
An escrow account is a dedicated bank account provided by EscrowLock.com where a party in a transaction (usually the buyer) deposits the transaction amount for it to be locked, only to be released to the other party in the transaction (like the seller) when certain agreed conditions (escrow agreement) have been met (like when the seller successfully delivers the product/service to the buyer in the right specification and condition).
What Escrow platforms, Escrow Agents, Escrow Service Providers or Escrow Companies are in Nigeria?
EscrowLock.com is the legitimate escrow service company, agency, platform or escrow service provider in Nigeria. EscrowLock works exclusively with leading deposit money banks in Nigeria and is currently the only escrow service provider that is accredited by the International Financial Escrow Services Accreditation Board (IFESAB) – the official global organization that regulates escrow services in low income countries in Africa and the Middle East.
How to Use Escrow Service for Secure Payments; How does Escrow Payment Work?
In general, Escrow payment services follow the pattern below:
Agreement between two parties (buyer and seller) on the terms of transaction
The parties involved, usually the buyer and seller, agree to certain terms concerning the product or service in question.
Initiating transaction on EscrowLock
Here, either the buyer or the seller starts the transaction on EscrowLock’s online escrow platform by filling out a from where details of the product/service will be entered. Such details of the product/service and its delivery mode/duration forms the escrow agreement which will guide EscrowLock in making decision on disbursing the transaction fund later.
Making payment to EscrowLock
This is normally done by the buyer into a special account provided to the buyer by EscrowLock in order to show seriousness and kick-start the transaction. Upon receiving the payment, EscrowLock informs the seller that the payment has been made so that the seller can proceed with shipping the product(s) or offering the service.
Seller delivers products or services
The seller delivers the product or services within the agreed duration. He takes precautionary measures to ensure that he is able to track and know when the buyer receives the product in order to avoid issues of denial. Example is by making sure the courier services or transport company includes a system where the recipients of the product will need to sign or even thumbprint etc.
EscrowLock releases payment to seller
EscrowLock reviews the terms of the transaction in respect to the escrow agreement and if found satisfactory, releases the deposited payment to the seller after deduction of a small escrow service charge that is usually not more than 5 percent of the transaction value.
Who can use Escrow service for payments in Nigeria?
Anyone who is involved in a transaction especially those transactions that are done online or across cities or countries etc. It is suitable for all the parties that are involved in a transaction; be it the buyer, the seller or the broker.
Location: The use of escrow service is independent of location. So, irrespective of whether you are in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Abeokuta, Anambra, Kaduna, Enugu, or Asaba, you can still use escrow payment by visiting EscrlowLock’s online escrow platform.
Types of transactions that can be settled using Escrow payments
Most legal transactions can be settled using escrow payments. Such transactions include the ones that involve the following, among others;
Escrow Payment for Physical Goods/Products:
EscrowLock escrow payments can be used to in the purchase of goods and products that are tangible (can be touched) whether offline or online. Such goods can include items in the following categories:
Escrow Payment for Fashion:
This include items like clothes (trousers, shirts, shoes, wigs and weavons, human hairs and attachments, wrist watches, jewelry, etc.)
Escrow Payment for Electronics:
The payment services offered by escrow platforms and escrow agents can be used to purchase electronic goods like mobile phones, desktop and laptop computers, television, video games, cd/dvd players, sound systems, etc.
Escrow Payments for Household electrical and kitchen appliances:
You can use escrow payment to purchase household electrical appliances like fans, electricity generators, solar power systems (involving solar panels, inverters, batteries, pure sine wave and mixed controllers, etc.), cookers and ovens, mixers, blenders, microwaves, etc.
Escrow Payment for Furniture:
EscrowLock escrow services can be used in the settlement of payments when buying items like chairs, tables, couches, beds, room dividers, etc.
Escrow Payment for Automobile:
This includes cars, bikes, tricycles, bicycles, and other auto-related products including their spare parts.
Escrow Payment for Digital goods/products:
EscrowLock escrow services can be used in transactions involving digital goods like software, apps, music and videos, purchase of pass codes and passwords, graphics and pictures, digital artworks, digital books (e-books) and audio books, etc.
Escrow Payment for Services:
Escrow payment services offered by escrow companies and escrow service providers like EscrowLock can be used to pay for a variety of services like:
Escrow Payment for Construction work:
One of the best ways (if not the best) to safely execute construction project is by the use of escrow payment services. Individuals, government bodies, non-governmental organizations and other corporate entities can use escrow payment in ensuring that a contractor who has been awarded a project finishes up the work based on pre-agreed milestones and on schedule.
To achieve this, instead of paying the full contract amount to the contractor, the contract fund can be paid to an escrow company like EscrowLock with a mandate that the fund be released to the contractor in batches based on the progress of the work and specific milestones.
Most individuals who engage in building and other constructions projects, especially those staying abroad, tend to use their family members and friends to execute those project. But, unfortunately, the outcome of such kind of arrangements are usually not so good.
Escrow Payment for Personal deals:
What if someone promises to facilitate or process an admission for you for a fee (or something similar) but you are not sure if this person is true. This is a good case scenario where you can use EscrowLock. You simply draw out the necessary agreement with the person and transfer the requested fee to EscrowLock’s escrow account for onward release to the other party when the deal is safely concluded according to the agreement.
What if you are going on a bet with a friend? EscrowLock Escrow service can be the middle man to hold the bet money as far as you state your bet agreement which will guide the escrow transaction.
Escrow Payment for Digital services:
This can include services like software, graphic or web design, content writing and other forms of services that are in digital format.