What does escrow mean?

It’s simple - escrow means funds are held onto by a trusted third-party until the terms of an exchange between buyer and seller are completed. It isn’t a new concept - transactions since the 16th Century have enlisted trusted third-parties to hold the money while an exchange is made.

Time have done a really good job of explaining the concept in simple terms using real estate as an example of how escrow works:

An escrow account is usually a holding tank. During a real estate transaction, the escrow officer holds all the important documents and deposits while the buyer and seller work out the details.
The escrow officer makes sure the closing goes smoothly and everyone gets paid what they’re owed…

When it comes to international seafood trade, factors like mortality, shrinkage and damage in transit all need to be considered. On top of that, with buyers being on the other side of the world, sellers need the assurance that they’re going to be paid once seafood arrives at its destination. So we use our own escrow system, Gpay, to assure buyers and sellers alike that their interests are equally protected in the cross-border trade process.

But in addition to providing escrow’s security, Gpay also consolidates multiple transactions through one streamlined interaction. So for example, if you sell 20 boxes of lobster in a day, and those boxes are bought by 5 separate buyers in different denominations, you still only need to think about one simple transaction process.

Here’s how it works:

1. Buyers purchase seafood

Buyers purchase seafood directly from sellers at the online marketplace

2. Funds are held in escrow

Transactions are consolidated and funds are held in the Seller's Gpay account in escrow

3. Seafood is freighted

The Seller sends their seafood via air freight and provides the Air Waybill Number

4. Seafood is inspected and delivered

Once products arrive, they're inspected, sorted and delivered to their respective buyers

5. Funds are released from escrow

If no mortality claims are made by the Buyers within 24 hours, the funds in escrow are released to the Seller.

Simple, right? It’s our way of guaranteeing that everyone involved in buying and selling seafood around the world can do so securely and fairly.

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