Friday, 27 July 2012

Online biz world rocked by EgoPay

Online businesses worldwide have been in considerable confusion about the opening of a new online payment processor EgoPay.  

The reason for the confusion is that there were claims on some websites that EgoPay was a subsidiary or otherwise linked with industry leader Payza  (formerly Alertpay). There was good reason to think this might be true since the need for a new processor was sparked off by Payza announcing that it was withdrawing its services for what it termed 'high risk organizations'.  This move in itself is alleged to be caused by financial regulators in the U.S. clamping down on Payza amidst fears that it was a vehicle for money laundering and possible terrorist funding. Certainly, some of the organizations known to be using Payza have some 'unfortunate' strong associations with countries where terrorist activity is rife even though Payza itself may not operate in those countries.

As a member of JustBeenPaid, a controversial organization in itself, the transition from Payza to EgoPay has caused massive confusion and consternation and staff have not responded with the speed, nor in the manner that customers might have expected. There are staff shortages at JBP which are being addressed. A rather optimistic statement appears on the JBP site today that all delays associated with EgoPay have been sorted out, but my withdrawal to EgoPay has already been outstanding for a week and is currently 'blocked' while 'additional anti-fraud procedures' take place. I tried in two separate sessions in web conferences yesterday to get a conclusive answer to what these procedures are and staff and moderators were, I felt, deliberately evasive, pretending they had answered the question merely by re-reading what I asked. Another block is in place refusing to answer support tickets concerning EgoPay which is extremely frustrating along with an email yesterday saying that I would have to wait at least another 48 hours.

Midweek, a statement appeared on EgoPay that it had no association with Payza whatsoever. Curiously that statement has gone this morning. It seems that the two WILL work closely because Payza will continue to be the route of choice for users to fund and withdraw via Egopay where Payza will be the final link to the user's cards and bank accounts. Few have yet completed such transactions so there are no reliable stats for the efficiency of the procedure. I have anecdotal evidence that transactions between the two are trouble free and will update here if I hear different.

EgoPay itself is located in Belize which has not been the most stable environment in the past and is noticeably lacking in financial regulation. It remains to be seen how this will affect reliability and honesty in its dealings.

Those of us who inhabit the world of online business will have to wait and see but one thing is clear, it is going to be hard to survive WITHOUT opening an EgoPay account sometime soon.

JBP payment finally came through after 1 week to EgoPay and I transferred to Payza this morning with no difficulty. The timeframe given on the site is 1 business day, so as today is Saturday 28th, it may not go through till Monday. I can live with that!

Post-postscript - as I thought, cash arrived in Payza today Monday 30th. All I would really compain about is the JBP timings and the fact that the fees to withdraw to EgoPay are twice what they are for STP which JBP clearly favour but have had site downtime issues recently. For the time being, I am giving EgoPay a thumbs up.