Q: I wish to sell items via an online platform, BidorBuy. Buyers make payment directly to Bidorbuy. They then make the funds available to the Seller for payout. Bidorbuy takes a 1.5% cut of the sale as a commission. As a Seller, I am allowed to choose which payment methods I can make available for potential Buyers. Please advise on their permissibility (questions 1 – 6):
1. BobPay EFT BobPay EFT is available to Sellers provided they can receive payout requests into a South African bank account. Bidorbuy receives the EFT transfer from the Buyer and the Bidorbuy account of the Seller is then credited with this amount, minus the bank fees charged by Bidorbuy (currently set at 5% per transaction).
2. BobBucks BobBucks are Bidorbuy vouchers. Buyers are able to purchase items using BobBucks from Sellers who offer BobPay EFT. As far as Sellers are concerned, the BobBucks voucher credit will be treated in the same way as a BobPay EFT. The funds are credited to the Sellers’ Bidorbuy account and they may request a payout. BobBucks will automatically be offered alongside BobPay EFT as a payment option. If Buyers purchase items valued at more than the BobBucks voucher, they will need to pay a top-up payment using other payment methods. If they purchase items valued at less than the BobBucks voucher, the ‘change’ will remain in their BobBucks account for them to use the next time they choose to.
3. BobPay Credit Card The BobPay Credit Card payment system allows Sellers to accept credit card payments from Buyers. Bidorbuy receives the credit card payment and the Bidorbuy account of the Seller is then credited with this amount, minus the bank fees charged by Bidorbuy (currently set at 5% per transaction). Sellers should note the risk of charge backs. The Seller ultimately takes the risk for reversal of the transaction in case the credit card was used fraudulently (a charge back can take place up to 180 days after the transaction).
4. Discovery Miles Buyers with Discovery Miles (which they earn with their Discovery Credit card) can shop on Bidorbuy and pay for items from Sellers that accept Discovery Miles.
5. PayLater PayLater facilitates loans up to R8000 through a third party registered credit provider. PayLater is only available to selected Sellers with a good track record on Bidorbuy. As soon as the Buyer’s loan is approved, the funds will be matched to the relevant order in the Seller’s Bidorbuy account.
6. Escrow service This involves using a trusted agent who keeps the money until the Buyer signals that the payment may be released to the Seller. Should there be any dispute, then the escrow company intervenes returning the money to the Buyer after the goods have been returned to the Seller, if applicable. This method is rather costly for Sellers and is occasionally used for high value transactions.
7. As a Seller, I have to request a payout of the money in my Bidorbuy account. May I withdraw money in this manner, it is the only option:
In order to withdraw funds that Bidorbuy is holding in your Bidorbuy account, you are required to make a payout request from the Bidorbuy website. Users have 1 free payout in a calendar month, regardless of the amount requsted. Thereafter a R5.00 BobPay transfer fee will be charged for any payout amount under R3,000.00. For amounts over R3,000.00, no BobPay transfer fee will be charged. If a user has used their 1 free payout and requests another payout below R3,000.00, the R5.00 BobPay transfer fee will be charged. If a user has R5.00 in their account, the system will not process the payment if a BobPay transfer fee is applicable.
A user can also not request less than R5.00 as a payout.
7. You may withdraw in this manner.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)