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Dragonpay’s SureTayo is an Escrow service which handles payment for transactions between individuals. This is particularly very useful for people who like to buy items from sellers in social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, as well as in dedicated buy and sell websites such as OLX and TipidPC/CP.

I’ve tried using the service to facilitate a transaction, and found some very interesting things to take note of. Here’s our full review:

Concept and Process

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When it comes to buying or selling things from individuals, security is one of the most critical issues, especially for purchases that require the seller to deliver or ship the item to the buyer. I’ve seen quite a few cases wherein people were tricked into sending payment first, the item never arrives, and the seller disappears.

SureTayo reduces risks like this by serving as a middleman between sellers and buyers. The process is quite simple and doesn’t require a lot of effort from both parties.

  1. The seller advertises the item
  2. A buyer comes in and negotiates a deal
  3. When an agreement is made, the seller then sends a payment request by email using SureTayo
  4. The buyer then clicks on the link provided in the email, and is then taken to Dragonpay’s payment system, wherein he/she can select from a wide selection of payment channels
  5. Once payment has been made, the seller will be notified and can then have the item shipped. An email notification will also be sent to the buyer with the receipt confirmation link
  6. Upon receipt of the item, the buyer can then click on the link provided in the email to confirm that he/she has checked and received the item in good condition. Only then will the money be cleared for crediting to the seller’s account.

User Experience

To test how the system works, I needed to register myself as a seller, and perform a transaction. So I went to the main website for SureTayo and eventually arrived at the registration page.

SureTayo Review 1A seller is required to provide a bank account, and upload a picture of a valid ID and proof of account ownership, which is a good thing because this ensures that every seller’s identity is verified.

I tried to upload my photos twice, and nothing happened when I clicked on the Register button. No error message, no notification. And as it turns out, the file size of the photos were too big (4MB each). I think that it would be nice if they could indicate the maximum file size for uploads, and display a corresponding error message.

After registration, I immediately received a confirmation link in the email address I indicated. It did say that upon confirmation, I still have to wait for 2 days at most in order for it to be activated. Surprisingly, my account was activated only a few hours after I confirmed, so good job on that part.

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So I logged on the SureTayo website to set up a transaction. First, I went to check my profile. And while it did display all my information correctly, I noticed that there’s a section on the left for a picture, yet, there wasn’t any upload button or link to be found. Perhaps a feature that’s still under development?

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So, time for a transaction. I clicked on Orders, and then proceeded to add a buyer.

One thing that I noticed is that if you create another transaction with the same buyer, you have to enter all of their details again, which can be a hassle. I discussed this matter with Gian Viterbo, our editor-in-chief, and we both agreed that improving this feature will greatly smoothen and flow and user experience.

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SureTayo Review 6When done, a payment request email will then be sent to the buyer’s email address.

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SureTayo Review 8I clicked on the Click Here to Pay link and it took me straight to Dragonpay’s payment system, wherein I could select from a variety of payment channels.

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SureTayo Review 10The rest of the transaction was fairly easy to follow. I was notified of the payment, and an email was also received for confirming receipt of the item. After clicking on the confirmation link, the transaction was then completed.

Note that there is a cut-off period for settling collections (Friday MN). All earnings made by the seller from successful transactions before the cut-off period will be credited to his/her account on Wed of the week after. Perhaps, this is to give time for buyers to be able to examine the item thoroughly, but I could see why this would be a hassle especially if you fail to complete a transaction before the cut-off. That would mean a longer wait, and is disadvantageous to sellers who are selling items, for instance, Emergency funds.

As a seller, I’m also able to track my transactions in the SureTayo website.

SureTayo Review 11On the technical side, SureTayo runs on WordPress CMS with DynamikDen site builder. Stylesheets are slightly modified to optimize the site on both desktop and mobile browsers. There were a few hiccups on design, especially on mobile, which may easily be remedied with a few tweaks.

SureTayo Review 12SureTayo/DragonPay should also harden the security of their site by hiding ADMIN access URL. Some of the sites folder structure may also be seen with a few steps, and a quick search on the net allowed us to expose the sites IP address. These are not necessarily making the site directly vulnerable to attacks, but may be used as part of the resources to hack it.

SureTayo Review 13The site uses 3rd party plugins. As a site that accepts payments and fiscal transactions, it is recommended to use “homecooked” plugins for added layer of security. The developers should keep in mind that unupdated 3rd party plugins are vulnerable to intrusions.

Robots.txt are not properly configured on the site, which makes it difficult for search services like Google and Yahoo to sniff through its supposedly searchable contents.

SureTayo Review 14On the backend, SureTayo.ph needs further optimization and redevelopment. It loads fairly fast, but it can still be improved by optimizing images, leveraging browser caching, adding expires headers and using a content delivery network.

SureTayo Review 15Verdict

SureTayo is a very useful service that should be utilized by more people. Especially while it’s still free. It basically ensures buyers of a secure payment using Dragonpay’s network of affiliates, and that should anything go wrong (Ex: the item does not arrive), they can still have their money back. For sellers, I think it’s quite a good way to streamline their businesses by being able to keep track of transactions, and also to build up their image as trusted sellers by utilizing a trusted and highly-recognized payment sytstem like Dragonpay.

Of course, there are a few shortcomings: The interface needs a little polishing,  the design itself is perhaps too simple, and the FAQ section in the main website leaves a lot of questions to be answered. Overall though, the simplicity of the process, and the assurance it brings both to buyers and sellers makes it a valuable asset for any online business or individual transaction.

 

The Good

  • Simple registration process
  • Ease of Use
  • Overall benefits to both buyers and sellers
  • Wide selection of payment channels
  • Secured payments using Dragonpay
  • All transactions are recorded on the website
  • Its FREE (At least for now)

The Not So Good

  • Interface and some email content needs polishing
  • Long waiting period before earnings are credited
  • FAQ content leaves a lot of questions unanswered

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.