My heart pounded in anticipation. The Canon 5Ds I ordered from Bola on Facebook is due to arrive from Lagos today and it is to be hand delivered to my house by a courier agent.
I’ve been saving for this camera for long. With that and my skills, my photography business will have the kind of sophistication and class that I have always craved for, which will definitely enhance my works and bring in a lot more money.
I checked the time and it’s 5:00 pm and so in order not to worry, I opted to bury myself in work.
Still, my mind ran in circles. “What could be wrong?” “Traffic jam? Burst tire? Did the agent lose the address?”
Just to be sure, I logged in on Facebook to make sure the address I sent to the guy was correct and it was.
I dialed the contact of the courier agent and then Bola, both of their lines didn’t go through. I dialed again and again.
By the next day, I was in a foul mood.
My attempts to contact both the seller and the agent were in vain.
I went to the courier head office in town but they told me they didn’t receive any shipment from anyone with the name Bola. They even had to check their computers; still nothing.
I then logged in on Facebook but the so called ‘’Bola’’ has deleted his Facebook account!
There was nothing I could do and I didn’t even have enough information to help me trace him.
It was in this mood that I received my friend and I bitterly narrated to him how I lost my hard earned #200,000 to someone I thought was a genuine seller.
My friend listened patiently to me, then shocked me by saying that I was the cause of at least half of the problem.
His exact words were “don’t you know that there are necessary precautions to be taken when doing any online transactions? Don’t you know about Escrow services? “
I stared blankly at him, so he proceeded to explain all about it.
What is Escrow?
Escrow is a term used to describe a kind of safety service offered by escrowlock.com, in which transaction payment between buyer and seller is indirect and relies on or goes through a trusted independent channel (EscrowLock) to be completed.
In other words;
Escrow is an arrangement between two parties (usually a buyer and a seller) where they agree to entrust the transaction fund to a “trusted” third party (like EscrrowLock) and then give the third party the right to disburse the money if the agreement between them (buyer and seller) is met. Here, the third party won’t release the money until the agreement is met.
What is Escrow Service?
Escrow service is the type of payment service that is offered by escrowlock.com which helps protect buyer and seller in a high-risk transaction environment or situation. It is used in transaction situations 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.
The major reason why online escrow services came into existence is to allay fears between buyer and seller over how genuine a transaction is.
On the side of the buyer, if the seller will be able to deliver goods that is to his taste/ quality and on time without scamming him after payment; while on the side of the seller, to make sure after delivering those services, that he will be paid. So, they both resort to using a trusted third party that is an escrow service or agent.
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).
What is EscrowLock?
EscrowLock is an independent escrow service agency that acts as trusted third party or middleman in transactions between two parties (like buyer and seller), where 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 agreement; What is it?
An escrow agreement includes the terms the buyer and the seller have to agree on regarding the product or service to be transacted. 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.
These descriptions (agreement) are what EscrowLock will refer to in order to make informed decision when it is time to release the transaction payment to the seller.
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.