Trusting a company you have never visited in person with thousands of dollars isn’t something simple but because of a few reasons, we trust the company and believe we are dealing with people who will indeed emphasize on delivering the services we have paid for.
In this article, i don’t only talk about how you can make safe and secure payments for your Uganda safari but also inform you about some of the ways you can get financial security from these Uganda tour and travel companies.
Before i continue, i suggest you learn some of the factors to consider before choosing a Uganda tour operator. That article has a few listed companies you can trust with your finances fully and be rest assured of the safari services you paid for. The same article should also help you learn how to identify the best company for your trip basing on a number of factors like finances, reputability, experience and the likes. The rest of the information regarding making safe and secure payments for your Uganda safari is laid out below.
So how do we make safe and secure payments for a safari? The very first step to this is ensuring you are dealing with a company that will guarantee you extreme financial security else your payments are not safe. The article i recommended above has all that information plus a list of operators you can trust with your payments / deposits. So supposing we single out a company we can trust with our payments? We can then go ahead and make the payments through the means listed below.
Ways of Making Payments / Supported Methods
I would say not so many payment methods are supported by majority of operators apparently. However, i have managed to list down some of the most common and safe methods you can use to make your respective payments with their respective advantages and disadvantages below.
1. Bank transfer (EFT)
So far direct bank transfers to company bank accounts is the safest way of making payments for your safari. This method is also known as Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), wire transfer or whatever you may call it. Funds transferred via bank transfers usually take 4 – 7 days to reflect on the operators account.
Pros; Bank transfers are supported worldwide and is very effective especially when it comes to trust. Wiring money to company bank accounts is one way of knowing that you are dealing with a fully registered company because such accounts are only offered to registered operators. All tour operators in Uganda support EFT, hence, the coverage is quite high compared to the other payment methods.
Cons; The charges associated with wiring money is usually high depending on the bank you are wiring money to. The most disadvantage to this comes in scenarios where the operator mistakenly provides you with a local currency (UGX) account instead of a USD account. In such a scenario, the money would be converted to UGX automatically at the bank rate which is quite low compared to the normal rates in the market. 1 dollar can cost about 3500 from Forex Bureaus but 3100 from a bank which is quite a low exchange rate. Always endeavor to confirm with your operator that you are sending money to USD account instead of a UGX account.
Pesapal works pretty much the same like 2CheckOut only that 2CheckOut is more powerful, established and supports most countries around the world. Through Pesapal, you can securely make payments using your credit card (VISA & MASTERCARD) direct to the operators account through an embedded form that should exist on their respective websites. Pesapal usually sends an email to your email address with a payment confirmation link as a verification measure.
Pros; Pesapal is so easy to use and is definitely one of the most reliable ways of making credit card payments to Uganda. Very few operators have POS (Point of Sale) machines in Uganda and most of them use Pesapal to process card payments. Another advantage is the low fees they charge (3.5% of the total amount) to process your payments.
Cons; I would say Pesapal’s system isn’t yet stable and up to standard. You might not feel the weight on your end but several operators complain about their services. Their customer care is horrible as well and besides, you can’t be guaranteed that they will charge your credit card because i have seen cards with correct details fail to be charged via Pesapal and allow to be charged via a POS machine with exact details. I would say their system isn’t yet up to standard but it works just well. I have also never heard of any cases of lost funds! The funds usually reflect on the merchant’s account immediately after payment is confirmed. Their forms usually store your credentials, so you should endeavor to clear your browser’s cache and cookies before and after making a transaction else any smart hacker can land on vital credit card information.
Uganda falls in the list of Paypal unsupported countries which is still a problem till now. Since the birth of national identity cards, we are some how hopeful that Paypal will lift the ban imposed on us several years ago but still not sure when this will happen. Otherwise, Paypal is supported worldwide and would have been one of the best, safest and secure ways to transfer money to Uganda. A few operators support Paypal transfers but all use non-Ugandan verified account since Ugandan accounts are only limited to purchases and payments but don’t receive money.
Pros. Paypal is very safe and secure especially if you are dealing with verified accounts. It is also very easy to use and payments usually reflect right away on the merchant’s account. Paypal is used by millions of people worldwide and can save you the hustle of bank transfers. In case of any disputes, you can file a complaint and their team will follow up.
Cons. Paypal does not support Uganda and for this reason, Ugandan accounts don’t receive money. A few operators have their Paypal accounts opened and verified from Kenya which is not a simple process because they have to first register and incorporate their companies in Kenya, apply for bank accounts then be able to verify their respective Paypal merchant accounts. Unverified Paypal accounts are usually limited to less than $1000 of transfer per month.
Note: Don’t make a mistake of sending payments to non-verified Paypal accounts. Only send your payments to merchants that are fully verified by Paypal.
4. Credit card
I would say you only provide your credit card details to a trust worthy operator. Very few operators have POS machines but the ones who do are able to charge your credit card directly supposing you provide them with valid details.
Pros; Credit card transfers are very quick and can be initiated easily irrespective of where you are. Bank processes are usually a bit complicated compared to credit card payments implicating you can save yourself from a lot of hustle via using credit cards to make your payments.
Cons; Very few operators have POS machines and most of them rely solely on bank transfers (Electronic Funds Transfer / Wire Transfers) implicating processing payments via credit card might be hard if an operator lacks a Pesapal account.
Methods to avoid
You can make safe and secure payments for your safari using any of the four methods above. Endeavor so hard to avoid methods like transfers to personal bank accounts, using Western Union, MoneyGram, Skrill (MoneyBookers), Payza, cryptocurrencies, PerfectMoney plus other payment platforms that i haven’t recommended in this article. Most scammers use such payment platforms to process their payments hence, you should always think twice before making any payments through them unless you are pretty sure of the company you are dealing with.
Traveled to Uganda before? How did you make your payments and how long did it take for it to reflect on the operators’ bank account? Please share your ideas with us below.