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PayPal to give free returns for SA purchases

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PayPal has announced PayPal Refunded Return in South Africa, a service that enables users to take advantage of free return shipping when purchasing online.

PayPal has announced the launch of its PayPal Refunded Return service in South Africa, following the launch of the service in 33 countries and the findings from a recent study conducted by IPSOS for PayPal. The research confirmed that South African consumers see free return shipping as a significant added value and crucial when making a decision whether or not to purchase an item online.

With this launch, regardless of the reason for the return, users that ordered a product and paid for it via PayPal can return it and get a refund for the return shipping, enjoying an even more convenient and more secure shopping experience when buying the products from merchants from all over the world. Moreover, this way PayPal extends its buyers protection and protects the consumers from the purchase to the return.

The philosophy of PayPal’s Refunded Return service, which enables making purchases without any concerns, already proved to be the right solution in countries such as France, Spain, Italy and Sweden, where it effectively encourages consumers to fully enjoy the opportunities that e-commerce offers.

The South African e-Consumer

There is great potential for e-commerce to grow, since, as the research indicates, consumers would be willing to buy even more if not for their concerns about purchasing goods online and being anxious about whether or not they can return them as well as the cost of the shipment back. Changing this approach and providing customers with more shopping confidence is the cornerstone of PayPal’s buyer protection, now extended to PayPal Refunded Return service.

Return shipping costs represent an important factor when buying online, even more so when talking about cross border shopping, with 78% of South African online shoppers saying that free return shipping would drive them to shop more online from another country.

“Since consumers can now buy almost everything from everywhere without leaving the house or office, it is not surprising that they expect better service, safer payment options, the assurance that what they buy is what they will get and an easy way to return items,” says PayPal’s Regional director for Africa and Israel, Efi Dahan.

This is not only good news for consumers but also for South African merchants. With this being one of the main barriers to online and cross border shopping, merchants that use PayPal as a payment method have a competitive advantage and become more attractive to customers worldwide helping them eliminate their concerns, especially considering that the service is free for both consumers and businesses.

With e-commerce becoming more regional and global especially for consumers in Africa, solutions such as PayPal Refunded Return service have almost instantaneously became a new norm. Identifying and implementing such value-added solutions is not just a matter of competitiveness, but a way to create more trust and consumer protection to encourage growth of e-commerce across the African continent as well.

Not right? Not a problem

Users that ordered a product and paid for it via PayPal can return it regardless of the reason and get a refund for the shipping, up to 400 Rand and 4 times per year (the refund will be paid out in US dollars). The only thing one has to remember regarding the reimbursement is to keep the posting receipts. Then, the three easy steps towards getting the refund consist of:

1.    Activate the free service on our dedicated landing page: https://www.paypal.com/za/webapps/mpp/refunded-returns/

2.    Create a claim: send us your receipts and the claim form within 14 days of returning your purchase.

3.    Get your refund: your refund will be credited to your PayPal account within 5 business days from notice of approval of your request for refund.

Thanks to the new functionality, after completing this short procedure, the refund will appear on the PayPal account as fast as in the next 10 days. This way, even if returning products such as clothing and accessories will always exists due to the size issues or for other reasons, it won’t be a problem for consumers and sellers anymore. In the initial test period, the PayPal Refunded Return service will be active until 31st of December 2015.

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Money talks and electronic gaming evolves

Computer gaming has evolved dramatically in the last two years, as it follows the money, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK in the second of a two-part series.

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The clue that gaming has become big business in South Africa was delivered by a non-gaming brand. When Comic Con, an American popular culture convention that has become a mecca for comics enthusiasts, was hosted in South Arica for the first time last month, it used gaming as the major drawcard. More than 45 000 people attended.

The event and its attendance was expected to be a major dampener for the annual rAge gaming expo, which took place just weeks later. Instead, rAge saw only a marginal fall in visitor numbers. No less than 34 000 people descended on the Ticketpro Dome for the chaos of cosplay, LAN gaming, virtual reality, board gaming and new video games. 

It proved not only that there was room for more than one major gaming event, but also that a massive market exists for the sector in South Africa. And with a large market, one also found numerous gaming niches that either emerged afresh or will keep going over the years. One of these, LAN (for Local Area Network) gaming, which sees hordes of players camping out at the venue for three days to play each other on elaborate computer rigs, was back as strong as ever at rAge.

MWeb provided an 8Gbps line to the expo, to connect all these gamers, and recorded 120TB in downloads and 15Tb in uploads – a total that would have used up the entire country’s bandwidth a few years ago.

“LANs are supposed to be a thing of the past, yet we buck the trend each year,” says Michael James, senior project manager and owner of rAge. “It is more of a spectacle than a simple LAN, so I can understand.”

New phenomena, often associated with the flavour of the moment, also emerge every year.

“Fortnite is a good example this year of how we evolve,” says James. “It’s a crazy huge phenomenon and nobody was servicing the demand from a tournament point of view. So rAge and Xbox created a casual LAN tournament that anyone could enter and win a prize. I think the top 10 people got something each round.”

Read on to see how esports is starting to make an impact in gaming.

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Blockchain unpacked

Blockchain is generally associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but these are just the tip of the iceberg, says ESET Southern Africa.

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This technology was originally conceived in 1991, when Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta described their first work on a chain of cryptographically secured blocks, but only gained notoriety in 2008, when it became popular with the arrival of Bitcoin. It is currently gaining demand in other commercial applications and its annual growth is expected to reach 51% by 2022 in numerous markets, such as those of financial institutions and the Internet of Things (IoT), according to MarketWatch.

What is blockchain?

A blockchain is a unique, consensual record that is distributed over multiple network nodes. In the case of cryptocurrencies, think of it as the accounting ledger where each transaction is recorded.

A blockchain transaction is complex and can be difficult to understand if you delve into the inner details of how it works, but the basic idea is simple to follow.

Each block stores:

–           A number of valid records or transactions.
–           Information referring to that block.
–           A link to the previous block and next block through the hash of each block—a unique code that can be thought of as the block’s fingerprint.

Accordingly, each block has a specific and immovable place within the chain, since each block contains information from the hash of the previous block. The entire chain is stored in each network node that makes up the blockchain, so an exact copy of the chain is stored in all network participants.

As new records are created, they are first verified and validated by the network nodes and then added to a new block that is linked to the chain.

How is blockchain so secure?

Being a distributed technology in which each network node stores an exact copy of the chain, the availability of the information is guaranteed at all times. So if an attacker wanted to cause a denial-of-service attack, they would have to annul all network nodes since it only takes one node to be operative for the information to be available.

Besides that, since each record is consensual, and all nodes contain the same information, it is almost impossible to alter it, ensuring its integrity. If an attacker wanted to modify the information in a blockchain, they would have to modify the entire chain in at least 51% of the nodes.

In blockchain, data is distributed across all network nodes. With no central node, all participate equally, storing, and validating all information. It is a very powerful tool for transmitting and storing information in a reliable way; a decentralised model in which the information belongs to us, since we do not need a company to provide the service.

What else can blockchain be used for?

Essentially, blockchain can be used to store any type of information that must be kept intact and remain available in a secure, decentralised and cheaper way than through intermediaries. Moreover, since the information stored is encrypted, its confidentiality can be guaranteed, as only those who have the encryption key can access it.

Use of blockchain in healthcare

Health records could be consolidated and stored in blockchain, for instance. This would mean that the medical history of each patient would be safe and, at the same time, available to each doctor authorised, regardless of the health centre where the patient was treated. Even the pharmaceutical industry could use this technology to verify medicines and prevent counterfeiting.

Use of blockchain for documents

Blockchain would also be very useful for managing digital assets and documentation. Up to now, the problem with digital is that everything is easy to copy, but Blockchain allows you to record purchases, deeds, documents, or any other type of online asset without them being falsified.

Other blockchain uses

This technology could also revolutionise the Internet of Things  (IoT) market where the challenge lies in the millions of devices connected to the internet that must be managed by the supplier companies. In a few years’ time, the centralised model won’t be able to support so many devices, not to mention the fact that many of these are not secure enough. With blockchain, devices can communicate through the network directly, safely, and reliably with no need for intermediaries.

Blockchain allows you to verify, validate, track, and store all types of information, from digital certificates, democratic voting systems, logistics and messaging services, to intelligent contracts and, of course, money and financial transactions.

Without doubt, blockchain has turned the immutable and decentralized layer the internet has always dreamed about into a reality. This technology takes reliance out of the equation and replaces it with mathematical fact.

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