WHAT IS ESCROW PLATFORM? HOW CAN YOU FIND A RELIABLE ESCROW PLATFORM?
Escrow Platform is a peer-to-peer platform service that enables users to trade, exchange their liquid fund and illiquid assets, fiat and cryptocurrencies, maintaining complete surveillance by a third party to avoid fraudulent activity. Escrow platform is a third-party service which ensures secure financial transaction between buyers and sellers who want to exchange goods/services, by holding the fund and making sure that the buyer gets the promised product/service and the seller gets the promised money in return. Goods/services may include real estate, jewellery, vehicles, websites, artworks, antique pieces, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ripple, etc. Users can use the escrow platform to create advertisements for their liquid assets(money), illiquid assets or services with an offer. Other users may initiate trades for those advertisements and the two users can agree to meet in the escrow platform following the criteria, terms and conditions laid by the escrow platform to avoid fraudulent activity.
FEATURES OF ESCROW PLATFORM:
REGISTRATION AND USER ACCOUNT: Like other services, escrow platform users have to register to the website to access the site and the services it has to offer. Users will be asked to provide registration details to register a user account. Users are responsible for maintaining adequate security and control of usernames, passwords, two-factor authentication codes, or any other codes or credentials that users use to access the services.
IDENTITY VERIFICATION: To maintain a safe platform for all of the users, the escrow platform requires to verify their identity to access part of the services they offer. Identity verification may be required when users create advertisements, pass certain trade volume limits, during trade disputes, fraud investigations, and to ensure account ownership.
TRADING & BUYING PLATFORM: By sending a trade request users agree to fulfil the terms and conditions of the trade as selected and determined by the advertiser and displayed on the advertisement page. When users are selling their liquid or illiquid assets, it is their responsibility to check that they have, independent of the buyer and their payment evidence, received payment for the full amount and the payment is not made by a third party to the trade. Also, that it was made according to the seller’s instructions given to the buyer. For buying- selling, trade chat should be only in the platform for the sake of future dispute redressal. So, users should always user chat function provided by the platform and keep the discussion as clear as possible for the redressal of future disputes.
HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY RELIABLE PLATFORM:
1.DISPUTE RESOLUTION DEPARTMENT: During a transaction or after the transaction if the user finds any issue as dispute; such as the wrong payment amount has been credited or deposited, the wrong goods/service has been traded, etc. The escrow platform should have a specific dispute resolution department to resolute such issues within a stipulated time frame.
- ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING POLICY: AML (Anti-money laundering) policy and technology to secure trade-sell from such activity is a significant part of an escrow platform. Artificial Intelligence enabled software can easily detect such activity.
- KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER (KYC) ENABLED: Escrow platform deals with people’s money and, assets. Hence, knowing customers’ data and analysing those is also an important feature that an escrow platform should have.
- BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY HAS BEEN USED: Blockchain/distributed ledger technology is a disruptive technology in the fintech industry. A blockchain can make a safe and secure transaction more than the traditional systems can do. The objective of a blockchain-based escrow platform is to provide possible best security to mitigate all the disputes that the traditional system may have.
- IDENTITY VERIFICATION: During registration, it is very important to verify the user’s background based on their personal information. As part of the platform’s ID verification process, the platform may require users to provide their full name as well as documents and photographs that verify their identity. ID verified accounts have a clear owner which makes it easy to return access to the user if (s)he loses all access to his/her account. It is very hard or impossible to return access to unverified accounts, even if the user knows his/her username, as it is difficult to identify the original account owner.
- EMAIL & PASSWORD VERIFICATION IN CASE OF CHANGING EMAIL ID OR PASSWORD: This is the most significant feature that can prevent possible fraudulent activity. With the meteoric rise in scams and phishing activities, it is important to place as much safeguard possible to secure users. As the majority of the users are not too familiar with technologies and, associated benefits and threats. They often go loose on security which often ends up in compromise with their accounts. The platform should have the basic implementation of some security to safeguard the interest of users. Email is one important factor for users and communication. Most of the time 2fa authentication is extremely hard to bypass, but at the same time users forget to enable it. Most of the platforms don’t force users to use that as most of the users are not familiar with the authenticators. Especially its nature of beings completely independent and untethered to any data source, making it almost impossible to breach but at the same time making it impossible for the account owner to access his/her account in case (s)he loose his/her device where the authentication software was installed and ifs (s)he doesn’t have a backup of the key for the same authenticator. Which may introduce an astronomical number of support requests for the platform. So, keeping that in mind, by default email/mobile-based OTP may be in place in case a user doesn’t have 2fa enabled. Also, since email is an important factor for user identification and communication, a cooling time of 24 hrs for changing the email should enhance the security for users and save them from possible scam or phishing attacks.
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