EasyPaisa Launches Buyer Protection Escrow Payment Service

As we hinted you a few months ago, EasyPaisa today formally launched its Escrow payment solutions in Pakistan.

Launched under the umbrella of EasyPay, with “Buyer Protection” all payments made by buyers are withheld before releasing them to the merchants, giving the buyers an option of opening a dispute if delivered items are faulty or not as they were advertised on the website.

In case of any disputes, payments are withheld and not transferred to merchants until the dispute is resolved.

Service is aimed at boosting online e-commerce transactions in an environment where there’s notable trust deficit between buyers and sellers.

Customers’ reservations range from the authenticity of merchants, product genuineness and condition; to the time it takes their orders to reach them.

Estimates suggest that more than 95% of ecommerce transactions in Pakistan are done through COD (Cash on Delivery), mainly because customers don’t trust online stores enough to pay in advance.

However, CoD has its own risks as a customer is not handed over the product(s) unless the cash payment is made to the courier representative.

With Escrow payments in place, buyers can now pay online in advance and raise a dispute in case of any issues to get a refund.

 Service Mechanics

  •  Customer makes a payment through Easypay on an online store
  • Funds are withheld with EasyPay for 7 days after the delivery
  • If customer finds an issue or a problem with delivery, he/she can raise dispute with EasyPay to claim for a refund
  • To raise a dispute, customer will have to fill the dispute from (shipped along with the product) within 24 hours after receiving product and email the copy of that checklist at [email protected] in case product is damaged or has defect upon its delivery
  • From the point when dispute is raised, the merchant will have 7 days to resolve the dispute with customer where customer may agree and settle for product exchange or refund
  • The merchant may call customer for clarification and resolution and both parties shall document their response over the same email thread, which was initiated by EasyPay upon opening up of the dispute
  • If no settlement is reached between customer and the merchant within the 7 day dispute resolution time period phase 1, then the case is escalated to the Easypay buyer protection dispute resolution committee and phase 2 of resolution is initiated
  • Dispute resolution committee will have 7 days to investigate and shall go through the entire email thread and see the evidence to make a decision
  • The dispute resolution committee will reply on the same thread acknowledging customer and the merchant about the decision and also giving the justification for it
  • In case merchant doesn’t actively respond on the email thread in the given time frame, then dispute shall go in customer’s favour
  • If customer’s dispute is right, funds shall be revered to him/her following Easypay reversal process
  • If merchant is right, customer shall keep the product and funds will be released to the merchant
  • Delivery disputes can also be raised if shipment is not received within 5 days delivery time period

Please note that the decision of Easypay dispute resolution committee will be deemed final and may not be challenged by either buyer or merchant in the court of law.

Easypay’s Escrow service is an opt-in facility; meaning that not all merchants (online stores) may offer the service.

Currently homeshopping.pk, well.pk and techcity.pk are offering Escrow services.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Its a interesting start. But it’s just the start. The service lacks many features that are available in other countries. For example, as a buyer, you have the right to return the product in 14 days (and in case of some websites 100 days!) and claim refund. You are not even required to provide a reason for the return. There is no claim resolution process, therefore no subjective human intervention. To get rid of customers who initiate many returns there is a simple procedure on the merchant website. When someone’s returns reach more than a certain threshold of their entire purchase history, say 85%, they are warned and when it reached 90% such customers are blacklisted.

    • I agree. But the problem here is that a lot of people will abuse the “no questions asked” return policy and the seller will get royally shafted. For example, I can buy an iPad Air 2, open the box and keep the working iPad Air 2, put a dead/faulty iPad Air/Air 2 (since they both look alike), in virtually the same condition, in its place and return it after opening a dispute. I’ll get my money back AND a new iPad. It actually happens in the US and EU, albeit rarely. Only, our people have a penchant for this sort of thing and will do it a lot more.

      • I agree with the possibility, but would disagree with the assumption that it will happen unabashedly. No matter how tempting it is, one can only be sure after this assumption is tested. The second assumption in your reply is that it happens rarely in other countries. Again I don’t know and I will be a happier person if you could share some data with regard to such specific events. Nonetheless, as I said earlier its a good start and assumptions about the dishonesty of our society must be tested. The majority deserves a better deal and they should be not deprived of it because an unscrupulous minority.

        • You could’ve searched as there are hundreds of such stories online, but here you go:


          Now, the problem is, Amazon can afford to get scammed a few times after every ten thousand or so legitimate orders. The sellers’ capital here doesn’t even compare with that of giants like Amazon and eBay. Such incidents will incur heavy losses to them, most probably even forcing their businesses to close.

        • You could’ve searched as there are at least hundreds of such stories online, some even on Amazon’s own seller central forums, the good old ProPK system isn’t letting me post links to other websites. I’ll quote a website and you can Google a line or two from the excerpt:

          “Returns Abuse

          Amazon and eBay have generous return policies that favour the buyer. It’s easy for customers to take advantage of that. The most common complaint for sellers is that orders are returned with a reason of ‘item not as described’, entitling the buyer to a free return, when the real reason is something completely different.

          What Can You Do About It?

          Returns abuse, particularly wardrobing, is very difficult to fight. It’s often just your word against the buyer’s, without any tangible evidence to help you make your case.

          Essentially, you have to show two things: that you sent a specific product in a specific condition, and that the buyer returned the same product in a different condition (e.g. used or damaged), or a different product altogether. Despite the brazenness of this scam, once the return parcel has been opened the evidence is no longer reliable”

          Now, the problem is, Amazon can afford to get scammed a few times after every ten thousand or so legitimate orders. The sellers’ capital here doesn’t even compare with that of giants like Amazon and eBay. Such incidents will incur heavy losses to them, most probably even forcing their businesses to close. Also Google: “Amazon return fraud”

          • I agree. And I have not said that this will not happen in Pakistan or it does not happen in Pakistan. What I am saying is that we need to test our assumptions regarding the Pakistani society. I purchase heavily on the internet and also return items that I don’t like. There is always a return form where I am required to return the goods within a certain period of time. I can also mention the reason for return (which I do) but it is not required. The other thing that I need to take care of is that the item is in the same condition as I received it (mostly wearable). In the contrary case, the seller does not have a liability. Caution is good, but much caution leads to higher transaction costs to the both buyers and sellers and ultimately both lose. What needs to be tested is what is the level of caution that maximizes value for the buyers and the sellers generally.

            • I’m in no way downplaying the importance or the need for this service. There has been a dire need for it for quite some time in the Pakistani market where the buyer has next to no protection. On the other hand, take a look around and you’ll find at least hundreds, if not thousands of people (both buyers and sellers), who got scammed through OLX, and sometimes even newly opened online stores. I see a new legitimate fraud victim’s thread every few days over at PakGamers forum, which only represents a small portion of Pakistan’s online community; I personally know at least 3 people who have gotten scammed for at least 50k each at one point or another, and over a 100k each in total. It’s far from an assumption. I myself have dealt with every major online store in Pakistan and found even their return policies to be dubious at best. Given these facts, can you really honestly say that at least of the common people here won’t try these scams/frauds? My point is, the number of frauds might be small (which I feel that it won’t be). But so is the size of most of the businesses here. They can’t afford to get scammed even a few times. But you’re right, only time will be the real test. Have a good day!

            • Why a buyer wants to return the product in the first place when he is
              ordering it? Don’t u think that the seller will be at loss when no
              reason is presented or even just the reason is simply the buyer doesn’t
              “like” the product. If the buyer gets the same product as ordered but still wants to return it bcoz he/she doesn’t “like” it, then whose gonna bare the shipping costs and specially in computer items, in which case, if the box is opened, seal is broken then even wholesaler not gonna give the money back. SO it will be big loss for the seller. BUT! if the product is not the same as ordered, in that case I agree with return policy.

  • Refund option should be included. Rest is very interesting and looking forward for transactions to flow.

  • We live in a country where 50% of customers remain unhappy with their online shopping experience . This service is very good from customers point of view but I doubt that any seller would include this buyer protection in his payment option. There are many reasons for that :
    1. During cash on delivery the collected cash from customer reaches seller from 10 to 15 days i.e., the average time taken by TCS, leopard etc to transffer the collected money to sellers. By using secure payment this lead time would atleast increase by 10-15 days which would go even up if a dispute is created. This would not be accetable from any online seller.
    2. Lets say an online store have average of 50 shipments daily and 50% dispute rate i.e., 25 customers. Per week disputes would be 175 customers and you can guess the number of disputes during a month. And with more than 1500 online stores working in pakistan you can well imagine the number of disputes that would be created during one month. In the first hand it would not be feasible by easypaisa team to resolve the issues on time and secondly online stores would have to hire a team specializing in resolving disputes. This would furture increase their cost.
    I would recommend a minimum order of Rs 20000 to avail buyer protectection. Rs 1000 product with buyer protection would be a bit unfair for online stores. I don’t think easypaisa analysts have consulted any online store before launching this service. I want to have such services successfully operating in Pakistan but I highly doubt EasyPaisa doing it.

  • Excellent initiative from EasyPaisa Telenor to start this to indemnify the consumers. Our regualtory authority the PTA has also dis-allowed deceptive advertising for lottery, and chance games which had exploited many. We’ve seen on the TV advertisement for Token incentive by Master Paint which is classic example to protect the consumer, which was de-frauded by an NGO.
    I’d suggest the ADR (Arbitration and Dispute Resolution) should be of world/International standards in the event of dispute, by internationally accredited lawyers virtually and on line.

  • If anyone here wants to purchase online from Daraz then do contact me. I am the Partner of Daraz. May be you get some discount on special deals.

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