What is Safetransit?
Safetransit™ is the name coined by iGolder to designate a
conditional transfer of electronic gold delayed by a certain amount of time,
ranging from one minute to several months. The buyer
stop the transfer he initiated, thus protecting himself from non-shipment or misrepresentation
of merchandise. The buyer cannot recover any gold without the consent of
the seller, or by filing a dispute and "winning"
by arbitration. Any
disputes regarding the goods or services are professionally resolved before the
payment is released, and once the transfer is complete, there is no possible
payment reversal. The seller is also protected, because the delivery of the
good or service guarantees the release of a
non-repudiable payment with no chance
of a chargeback.
Optionally, the buyer and seller may negotiate the transaction terms directly with each
other, via our secure encrypted recorded chat
or by uploading a document describing the performance obligations of each
party. The buyer initiates the payment, however iGolder holds the transfer
until obligations have been fulfilled by the seller.
Safetransit is somewhat similar to an "escrow service", however
different in many ways:
- Safetransit is completely free. There is no
additional cost for making an instant payment or making a payment using
the Safetransit tool. Our Safetransit web interface is fully
automated and does not require any work by the iGolder
staff. Of course, if a dispute occurs, then the buyer and seller
must chip in to pay
- Safetransit has a built-in mechanism for closing a
transaction at a chosen date. Both the buyer
and seller agree on a closing date for a transaction by specifying an
anticipated number of days to fulfill the performance obligations.
If the buyer neglects to release the payment upon receiving the item,
then the seller will nevertheless receive his gold at the closing date.
- Without the consent of the seller, the buyer cannot recover any
gold in Safetransit unless filing a dispute and winning by
- Any change in the Safetransit conditions must be accepted again by both
parties. Both parties may mutually change the amount of
gold, the closing date, the performance conditions and the arbitrator.
When a change is made, an email is sent to the other party with a
request to confirm his acceptance. There are no limits on the number of amendments on a
transaction in Safetransit.
- Our intuitive web interface
allows one party to upload the trade conditions and the other party to
to digitally sign the contract, thus acknowledging he/she accepts the
conditions. The conditions may be any type of document (doc, pdf,
jpg, mp3), in any language, describing the performance obligations of
each party. If the language is other than English, then both
parties must agree on an arbitration specialist in case of a dispute,
because iGolder will be unable to understand the trade conditions.
- Safetransit includes a built-in private secure chat allowing parties
to negotiate minute details. This chat is recorded, and therefore
can be used as witness in case of a
The arbitration specialist will make a decision based on the uploaded document
(if any) and the recorded chat conversations between buyer and seller in
dispute. The arbitration award is typically an amount of gold
refunded to the buyer.
- Both parties may pick a mediator or an arbitrator before making a
trade, or at the moment of the dispute. If the trade involves a
contract, then the arbitrator may be designated in a clause of the
contract, or from the iGolder website. If a dispute arise and both
parties are unable to agree on an arbitrator, then iGolder will appoint
an arbitration specialist to resolve the dispute..
- The seller may, at any time, give a partial or full refund to the buyer.
Sometimes an item is out of stock, or the requested service is actually
cheaper than originally agreed, or perhaps the performance of the seller
was not according to the conditions. All partial refunds are
instant, and the transfer fees are also reverted
proportionally to the amount refunded. If the seller gives a full
refund, then the entire amount, including the transfer fees, will be
returned to the buyer.
The Safetransit Conditions is the web interface to upload the trade
conditions. Usually a trade involves an exchange, where the buyer and
seller have performance obligations to fulfill. The Safetransit
Conditions is a secure online docket keeping the trade conditions and
instructions in case of
a dispute. Those documents may be accessed from any location through
the internet. Only the buyer or seller may access the Safetransit
Conditions they agreed upon, unless both parties agree to invite someone
else. Filing a dispute automatically grants to the chosen
arbitrator full access to the Safetransit
The Safetransit Conditions may be expressed in one of the following way:
- When making a payment, the buyer may write a short comment
describing the payment conditions. Sometimes, just writing the
product number or the URL describing the product is sufficient. This
comment field is limited to 1,000 words of plain text.
- Uploading a document containing the terms of the contract. The
document may be as long as desired and may contain full product
specifications, including drawings if necessary. The document may also
specify the arbitration agreement in case of a dispute.
- Using iGolder's private encrypted chat.
Sometimes negotiation of small contracts is much efficiently done by
chat. An example is hiring a graphic
designer to create a new look for a website, or asking details about an
item being sold. The chat is recorded, so if a dispute arise, the chat
conversation may be used as witness for arbitration.
With Safetransit, the buyer and seller set their own conditions.
iGolder will not intervene unless there is a dispute. In the case of a
dispute, iGolder simply transfers the transaction to the appointed
arbitrator responsible for resolving the dispute. iGolder respects
your privacy and business practices. Of
course, if we become aware of a member using iGolder for
activities, then we will intervene and freeze the account until the issue
has been resolved.
Safetransit is easy and intuitive to use. Safetransit is absolutely
free; there is no reason not to use it.
Safetransit Dispute Resolution
iGolder provides an web interface to designate another member trustworthy
for dispute resolution. The member may be a professional
arbitration expert, or an individual working at a reputable law firm, or
someone trusted as fair and just
by both the buyer and seller. The arbitrator must have an iGolder
account so the web interface can transfer the disputed transaction to his account.
When a dispute occurs, the arbitrator receives an email about the disputed
case. The arbitrator has the option to accept the resolution of the
dispute, or simply decline, meaning the buyer and seller must agree on
another arbitrator. When a dispute is accepted, the arbitrator can only
award an amount of gold by refunding the buyer. The arbitrator cannot keep
in Safetransit or from the Dispute Reserve for himself. The
arbitrator is paid from the amount of
gold pledged when filing a dispute, which may happen to come from the
dispute reserve, however the arbitrator has no access to the Dispute Reserve
for himself. By the way, the
is typically one gram of gold plus 10% of the disputed amount. This
fee may be lower if the arbitrator is willing to resolve the dispute at a
lower cost. Many competing arbitrators may advertise lower fees for
clear-cut disputes. On the other hand, the dispute fee may also be higher if there are no
arbitrator willing to arbitrate
a very complex case involving a small amount in dispute.
If the parties are unable agree on a specialist, then iGolder becomes the
final arbitrator of the dispute. iGolder is not a specialist however. If
the dispute is small, we will do our best to make a fair decision, otherwise
we will ask help from someone who is a specialist in the subject matter, or
simply appoint an arbitrator to resolve the dispute. There are plenty
of professionals willing to resolve disputes, so there is no shortage here. It is in our interest
to render arbitration as fair as possible, because we want to keep all our
members. Ideally, we aim to reconcile both parties, where the buyer and
seller will find beneficial to trade again, leaving behind the dispute as a
quarrel of the past.
Example of Using Safetransit
Alice responds to a classified ad from Bob to purchase an antique furniture.
Both Alice and Bob are strangers and live the following dilemma: If Alice sends
her payment to Bob, then there is always a risk
Bob never delivers the furniture. If Bob ships the furniture to
Alice, then there is a risk she never sends her payment to him.
To solve this dilemma, Alice and Bob agree to use the Safetransit tool.
Alice initiates a transfer 100 grams of gold with a closing delay of 14 days.
Her Safetransit Conditions are simple: she simply upload a document
containing the pictures posted on the classified ad, thus giving Alice a
protection to receive the same furniture as advertised.
Bob ships the furniture to Alice using a third party shipping service. Upon
receiving the furniture, Alice discovers one item has been damaged by the
shipping company. She takes pictures of the damaged furniture and sends
them to Bob. Bob agrees the merchandise is no longer as described
and offers a partial refund of 10 grams of gold to compensate for the
damaged furniture can be easily repaired for perhaps 5 or 6 grams of gold,
so Alice is happy about Bob's deal. Alice therefore closes the
transaction, thus releasing 90 grams of gold to Bob.
At iGolder, the seller is responsible to adequately package the product
to withstand shipping. In the example above, the shipping company damaged
the furniture. When Bob contacted the shipping company, the
acknowledged being faulty. After all, the box wrapping the
furniture was severely scratched, clearly demonstrating careless
manipulation by the employees. The shipping company gave a refund to
Bob covering costs to repair the damaged furniture. Although Bob is
for the shipping, he lost nothing because the shipping company was at
fault, and therefore paid for the
damages. Perhaps the shipping company will instruct its employees to
be more careful in the future. Poor performance is costly and is
damaging to reputation. Sometimes the shipping company may refuse to
pay for its poor performance (damages), nevertheless it is the seller
responsibility to pick a reputable shipping company. A shipping
company damaging merchandise may loose valuable customers and eventually
risk going out of business.
A feature complement to Safetransit is the
Cancellation Provision. In a nutshell, the buyer and seller
may negotiate an amount of gold as collateral in case one party cancels the
transaction. The party cancelling the transaction pays to the other
party the amount specified in the