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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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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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