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E-Escrow solves shopping need

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Although online shopping is very convenient, there is sometime a confusion as to who acts first. Does the buyer make payment before receiving the goods, or does the seller ship the goods before receiving payment? E-Escrow believes it has the solution.

Online shopping is rapidly growing within South Africa. Although highly convenient, when buying or selling goods, there is a disparity in the order in who acts first; does the seller wait to receive funds from the buyer before shipping the goods or does the buyer ask for their goods before making their payment? E-Escrow has stepped in to address this issue and ensure a straightforward transaction for all parties involved through a standalone software application.

“E-Escrow offers buyer protection and gives both the buyer and seller peace of mind when engaging in a sale, providing a positive experience for online transactions,” says Llewellyn Morkel, managing director of Electronic Escrow Solutions, who developed the software. “With E-Escrow, it very easy for website owners to offer escrow based payments that includes a courier service. It’s really as simple as plug and play.”

E-Escrow works on two guiding principles: to be secure and simple for users. When a buyer and seller engage in a transaction on OLX, the E-Escrow third party platform will hold the buyer’s funds securely and verify the authenticity of the deposit. The seller is then offered a guarantee of payment provided that the goods or services meet the terms of the sale.

Further to buyer and seller credibility matters, online security matters. The recent MasterCard Online Shopping Behaviour Survey showed that 90% of South African online shoppers cite the availability of secure payment facilities as critical when shopping online.

“South African-owned classified site OLX has entrusted E-Escrow to manage their user transactions through their payment portal,” says Morkel. “This partnership aims to encourage the buying and selling of goods on the site as E-Escrow’s functionality makes it easy to shop on OLX across provincial borders. E-Escrow has bridged this gap and provided the complete solution for OLX.

“Quite simply, E-Escrow allows the seller to get paid and the buyer, to get what they paid for.”

 

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Notre Dame, Scoop Makhathini, GoT, top week in search

From fire disaster to social media disaster, the top Google searches this week covered a wide gamut of themes.

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Paris and the whole world looked on in shock as the 856-year-old medieval Catholic cathedral crumbled into ash. The tragic infernal destruction of this tourist attraction of historical and religious significance led South Africans to generate more than 200 000 search queries for “Notre Dame Cathedral” on Monday. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire that razed the architectural icon.

In other top trending searches on Google this week, radio presenter Siyabonga Ngwekazi, AKA Scoop Makhathini, went viral when it appeared he had taken to Twitter to expose his girlfriend, Akhona Carpede, for cheating on him. Scoop has since come out to say that he was not responsible for the bitter rant and that his account was hacked. “Scoop Makhathini” generated more than 20 000 search queries on Wednesday.

Fans generated more than 20 000 search queries for “Sam Smith” on Tuesday ahead of the the British superstar’s Cape Town performance at the Grand West Casino. Smith ended up cutting his performance short that night due to vocal strain.

Local Game of Thrones superfans were beside themselves on Sunday, searching the internet high and low for the first episode of the American fantasy drama’s eighth season. “Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 1” generated more than 100 000 queries on Google Search on the weekend.

As the festivities kicked off in California with headliners such as Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, South Africans generated more than 2 000 search queries for “Coachella” on Saturday.

South Africans generated more than 5 000 search queries for “Wendy Williams” on Friday  as it emerged that the American talk show host had filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after 21 years of marriage. Hunter has long been rumored to have been cheating on Williams, which reportedly finally led to the divorce.

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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5G smartphones to hit 5M sales in 2019

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According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Early 5G smartphone models will be expensive and available in limited volumes. Samsung, LG and Huawei will be the early 5G smartphone leaders this year, followed by Apple next year.

Ken Hyers, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “We forecast global 5G smartphone shipments will reach a modest 5 million units in 2019. Less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide will be 5G-enabled this year. Global 5G smartphone shipments are tiny for now, due to expensive device pricing, component bottlenecks, and restricted availability of active 5G networks.”

Ville Petteri-Ukonaho, senior analyst at Strategy Analytics, added, “Samsung will be the early 5G smartphone leader in the first half of 2019, due to initial launches across South Korea and the United States. We predict LG, Huawei, Xiaomi, Motorola and others will follow later in the year, followed by Apple iPhone with its first 5G model during the second half of 2020. The iPhone looks set to be at least a year behind Samsung in the 5G smartphone race and Apple must be careful not to fall too far behind.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, added, “The short-term outlook for 5G smartphones is weak, but the long-term opportunity remains huge. We forecast 1 billion 5G smartphones to ship worldwide per year by 2025. The introduction of 5G networks, by carriers like Verizon or China Mobile, opens up high-speed, ultra-low-latency services such as 8K video, streaming games, and augmented reality for business. The next big question for the mobile industry is how much extra consumers are really willing to pay, if anything, for those emerging 5G smartphones and services.”

Strategy Analytics provides a snapshot analyses for the outlook for 5G smartphone market in this Insight report: 5G Smartphones : From Zero to a Billion

Strategy Analytics provides a deep-dive into the air-interface technologies that will power phones through 2024 across 88 countries here: Global Handset Sales Forecast by 88 Countries and 19 Technologies : 2003 to 2024

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