I have placed an order with a company that uses Dalpay.com, https://www.dalpay.com/, for the payment processing.
Being cautious about everything online that requires a credit card, I made sure that the website is legitimate. I always look for the Verisign symbol and the padlock. For more information about security, one can find it at http://aprivatebeach.com/blog/2010/10/this-website-does-not-supply-identity-information/
Although there are probably billions of companies using paypal.com, dalpay.com and others, not all payment processing companies are fraudsters. After all, competition is good.
For now, I am waiting to see what will happen to my order. I do know the exact steps that need to be taken to get a refund if the company ends up being a scam. Therefore, I will update this post with my final verdict.
To answer the question of why not just use Paypal.com, one needs to understand business.
Lets assume there are 5 payment processing companies. The fees charged to the merchant can vary anywhere from 1% to 20% of all transactions depending on various factors. Obviously, a merchant will prefer to use the cheapest one. Sometimes, it is not possible because the payment processing company has very strict requirements. Therefore, others need to be considered.
In the case of Mastercard, Visa, American Express and Interac, many brick and mortar merchants are now complaining that the fees are too high and are either taking cash only or removing the offending high fee payment method. Yes, I am seeing this happen. It can be seen at http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/running_small_business/archives/2009/10/merchants_seek.html. Therefore, I will not be surprised if a new credit card type comes out called “FrugalLow” that offers merchants fees that are guaranteed to be 5% lower than any of their competitors.
Being 100% protected from scammers is not always possible, educating yourself is the best option.
Dalpay.com has the option to send the merchant an email through their system. Clicking on find a transaction on the left side will bring up a screen asking for the order number and security number. Once one gets into the order, one can send an email to the merchant directly through dalpay.com. I am sure a scammer website will have issues with trying to give one the runaround when the email has been sent through Dalpay and is being monitored by them.
The company that I have ordered from was not able to supply me the items I requested. Therefore, I was entitled to a refund. The company requested that I wait a week for my refund, so I waited. When the refund did not come within a week, I sent an email to the company through Dalpay.com. The company says the refund should be in your account within another week.
I am glad to say that I have received my refund through Dalpay.com. Last thing for me to do is to check my credit card to see if the refund is there.
I have received my refund, but it is less than what I paid. The problem maybe that since it needs to be converted to foreign currency, the credit card issuer charges a fee and exchanges the money using the current rate of exchange. Therefore, I will not complain. I have received a refund of about 95% of my money that I paid out.
As for fraudulent online shops, I have visited a few. Fortunately, the most they have gotten is my email. A few asked for my credit card number and such, but they were missing a critical component. Identity verification by a third-party and the padlock symbol. Therefore, I stopped my purchase at that store.
Funny as it may seem, the store kept sending me emails for about 2 weeks asking me to finish my order. Knowing that the page asking for the information was not certified by Verisign, secured, or even using a reputable Escrow service, I did not trust that company.
In any case, the best way to see if a company online is reputable is to call the credit card company or the BBB. The credit card company will often tell you what you can do to protect yourself from online fraud. They may not be able to tell you every fraudulent online merchant, but they may provide valuable advice on how to protect yourself.
An example where I have lost money doing an online transaction can be seen at http://aprivatebeach.com/blog/2010/10/making-online-purchase-credit-card/