Digital escrow made easy

How TradeSafe works

TradeSafe’s escrow protects buyers and sellers by holding the buyer’s funds in an escrow holding account until the seller delivers the goods or fulfils their obligations. Buyers get what they paid for, and sellers are guaranteed payment.

Vanguard Enterprises is on an acquisition drive and has identified a company: Premier Ventures

However, they’re fearful that Premier Ventures may be misrepresenting their numbers. Vanguard Enterprises decides to utilise TradeSafe's escrow services to ensure a secure and transparent transaction.

Vanguard Enterprises creates an account with TradeSafe. They load their business details and undergo a swift company verification process.

Within two hours, their business account is verified, and they are ready to transact!

Vanguard Enterprises then creates a transaction. They specify the agreed terms, including the purchase price, asset allocation, earn-outs, and any other condition precedents.

They can also upload any documentation, such as the term sheet or the Sales Purchase Agreement (SPA).

Vanguard Enterprises inserts the email address of the selling party onto the system, and – swoosh! – TradeSafe sends off a transaction invitation to Premier Ventures.

Premier Ventures receives an email from TradeSafe, inviting them to either sign up for an account or log into the platform to review the deal.

If any adjustments or negotiations are required, both parties can communicate through the TradeSafe platform until they agree to the final terms of the merger and acquisition deal.

Now that the transaction terms have been agreed to by both parties, Vanguard Enterprises deposits the funds in full via EFT, to be held in escrow with TradeSafe.

Payment can either be made by manual EFT, Ozow or with funds already in Vanguard Enterprises’ escrow wallet.

TradeSafe will issue Premier Ventures a signed letter of comfort once the funds have been cleared.

Once due diligence is completed, the parties proceed to the closing process, which may involve the transfer of ownership, asset and share certificate handover, and other legal documentation sign-offs.

Both parties confirm that all conditions have been met, and authorise TradeSafe to release the funds held in escrow.

TradeSafe promptly disburses the funds to the designated accounts of Premier Ventures using Standard Bank’s host-to-host technology, ensuring a secure and timely payment.
Another Safe, Secure and Successful transaction by TradeSafe

Mzansi Airlines wants to sell a second-hand Cessna to Glide Aviation

However, they do not know whether Glide Aviation has the funds to begin with, or if they’ll be paid once delivery has been completed. To protect themselves during the transaction, they do the smart thing – they use TradeSafe.

Mzansi Airlines creates an account with TradeSafe. They load their business details and undergo a swift company verification process.

Within two hours, their business account is verified, and they are ready to transact!

Mzansi Airlines then creates a transaction. They include a description of the plane, price, delivery location, and any other relevant terms.

They can also upload any documentation such as photos, sales agreements, pro-forma invoices, or purchase orders to support their transaction.

Mzansi Airlines inserts the email address of the buying party into the system, and – swoosh! – TradeSafe sends off a transaction invitation to Glide Aviation.

Glide Aviation receives the transaction invitation from TradeSafe, requesting them to confirm that they’d like to participate in Mzansi Airline’s transaction by signing up or creating their own account with TradeSafe.

Glide Aviation has used TradeSafe before, so they quickly log into their TradeSafe account to review the deal. Happy with the terms, they accept the transaction. If the terms were not to Glide Aviation’s liking, the parties could easily use TradeSafe’s negotiation feature to reach a middle ground.

Now that the terms have been agreed upon by both parties, Glide Aviation deposits the funds in full via EFT, to be held in a secure escrow with TradeSafe. Payment can either be made by manual EFT, Ozow or with funds already in Glide Aviation’s escrow wallet.

Standard Bank has management oversight of the escrow account, ensuring maximum security. TradeSafe will issue the seller with a signed letter of comfort.

Knowing that the funds are held securely in an escrow holding account, Mzansi Airlines prepares delivery/handover of the aeroplane.

Mzansi Airlines can upload tracking information to the transaction (such as the tracking number and the delivery company name) so that all parties can monitor the progress of the delivery.

Glide Aviation receives the aeroplane at their hangar. They perform a quick inspection to determine whether the aeroplane is in working order. They are happy! The authorised TradeSafe user then confirms acceptance on the platform, which permits TradeSafe to release the funds to Mzansi Airlines.

If something was amiss (like a visible scratch), then Glide Aviation can request an adjustment to the agreement. If there was a misrepresentation (like a missing wing), then they could initiate a dispute.

(Please visit our FAQ to learn more about adjustments and TradeSafe’s dispute resolution process.)

TradeSafe makes a same-day payment to Mzansi Airlines using Standard Bank’s host-to-host payment technology.
Another Safe, Secure and Successful transaction by TradeSafe

Harvest Haven is a wholesaler of agricultural products

Concerned about transactional fraud, potential scammers and time wasters, Harvest Haven decides to leverage TradeSafe to structure their deals.
An authorised user employed by Harvest Haven registers an account on TradeSafe and completes their profile, providing all the necessary details about the business.

TradeSafe verifies their company documentation, and their account is approved.

A transaction is created, comprising a description of the deal, including the commodity, price, volume, desired delivery location, and Harvest Haven’s desired profit margin. Additionally, Harvest Haven can attach supporting documents to provide credibility to the transaction.

Once the transaction has been compiled, Harvest Haven enters the customer and seller details onto the platform, and TradeSafe sends trade invitations to each party. TradeSafe ensures the confidentiality of the transaction to prevent circumvention.

Greenfield Farms, a corporate buyer, receives an email from TradeSafe notifying them about Harvest Haven’s trade offer. Impressed by the competitive pricing and Harvest Haven's commitment to quality and security, Greenfield Farms signs up on TradeSafe.

Greenfield Farms can access the specific details of Harvest’s transaction but cannot see the supplier's information or profit margin. After carefully reviewing the terms, Greenfield Farms accepts Harvest Haven’s transaction.

CropCare, a supplier of agricultural products, also receives an email from TradeSafe requesting their acceptance of the transaction. Aware of TradeSafe’s reputation for secure transactions and prompt payments, CropCare creates an account on the platform. TradeSafe verifies all corporate documents and validates their authenticity as a supplier.

CropCare can view the transaction details, while Harvest Haven’s profit margin and Greenfield Farms’ information remain confidential. Confident in the transaction, CropCare accepts the transaction.

Once all the parties agree to the terms, Greenfield Farms proceeds to deposit the funds in full into the escrow account provided by TradeSafe. TradeSafe, in collaboration with Standard Bank, oversees and manages the escrow account to ensure maximum security of the funds.

Once the payment is verified and cleared, TradeSafe issues CropCare a signed letter of comfort, assuring them that the funds are safely held in escrow and designated for their company, if they deliver what was contracted.

With the knowledge that the funds are securely held in escrow by TradeSafe, CropCare proceeds to arrange the delivery of the agricultural products to Greenfield Farms’ designated location. Harvest Haven closely monitors the delivery process to ensure everything goes according to plan.

Upon receiving the products, Greenfield Farms conducts a thorough quality inspection to ensure it meets their standards. Satisfied with the product, they authorise TradeSafe to release the funds.

In the case of any quantity discrepancies or adjustments, Greenfield Farms and CropCare can resolve the matter through TradeSafe’s platform. Any agreed-upon refunds or adjustments can be processed directly to Greenfield Farms’ bank account or credited to their escrow wallet for future transactions.

(Further details regarding dispute resolution and adjustment processes can be found in TradeSafe’s FAQ section.)

Using Standard Bank’s host-to-host technology, TradeSafe promptly pays CropCare on the same day.

Similarly, TradeSafe ensures that Harvest Haven receives their profit margin.

Another Safe, Secure and Successful transaction by TradeSafe

Joe is a website developer

Joe knows the risk of completing work and not receiving payment. He is also more comfortable with progress payments (payment on a milestone basis). Joe opts for peace of mind and decides to use TradeSafe.

Joe signs up a TradeSafe account and completes his profile.

He then creates a freelance transaction and structures the transaction by milestones.

Joe creates four milestones, each with their own description, price, or percentage to be released, delivery period, and trigger release event. Joe slots in the email address of the client onto the system, and VOILA! TradeSafe sends off a trade invitation to the client.

Qhawe (the client) receives an email from TradeSafe requesting acceptance of the transaction. Qhawe realises that if Joe does not deliver then she will get her money back. So, she accepts.

Both parties can negotiate the deal if either party is not happy with the price or milestones using the TradeSafe platform.


Now that the terms have been agreed by both parties, Qhawe deposits the funds in full via EFT with TradeSafe to be held in escrow. Payment can either be made by manual EFT, Ozow or with funds already in Qhawe's escrow wallet.

Standard Bank has management oversight of the escrow account, making the funds doubly secure. TradeSafe will notify the parties once the funds have been cleared and issue Joe with a letter of comfort.

Knowing that the funds are being held securely by TradeSafe, Joe begins the work on the first milestone namely the website wireframes.

Joe cannot wait to be paid 25% of the project fee when he delivers the work to Qhawe.

Qhawe receives the first batch of work from Joe and performs an inspection to ensure all is good. She is happy and signs onto the platform to release the 25% project milestone fee.

(Should the first milestone not be up to scratch, Qhawe can either reject the milestone release or request an adjustment to the milestone price – a portion would be refunded either back to her bank account or her escrow wallet.

Further details regarding dispute resolution and adjustment processes can be found in TradeSafe’s FAQ section.

TradeSafe then makes payment of 25% to Joe using Standard Bank’s host-to-host payment technology.

Familiar now with the process, Joe gets cracking on the next milestone.

Fast forward to the last milestone. Qhawe is now reviewing the completed website. Qhawe is delighted with the results and signs onto the platform to authorise TradeSafe to release the final payment to Joe.
TradeSafe then makes the remainder of the payment to Joe. 100% of the project is now completed and paid for.
Another Safe, Secure and Successful transaction by TradeSafe

Meditech wants to invest in a Biotech start-up called Biomed Pharmaceuticals

Meditech wants to ensure that the funds they invest in are used efficiently and won't be squandered. They decide to utilise the TradeSafe Drawdown option to monitor the capital usage throughout the investment lifecycle.

Meditech creates a TradeSafe account and completes their profile, providing the necessary information and documentation for verification.

Meditech creates a transaction through TradeSafe, selecting the drawdown option. They enter a description of the investment, the capital amount, and provide other relevant documentation.

Meditech includes the email address of the CEO of Biomed Pharmaceuticals, Sarah, and TradeSafe sends a trade invitation to her.

Sarah receives the invitation from TradeSafe, recognizing it as an opportunity to secure funding for her company's crucial research.

She signs up on TradeSafe, and the platform verifies Biomed Pharmaceuticals' corporate documents.

After her company has been approved by TradeSafe, Sarah on behalf of Biotech accepts the transaction's terms as created by Meditech.

With the agreed-upon transaction terms, Meditech proceeds to deposit the funds in full via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) with TradeSafe. The payment can be made through various methods, including instant EFT or using funds already in Meditech’s escrow wallet.

TradeSafe, with the oversight of a trusted financial institution like Standard Bank, securely holds the funds in an escrow account. Once the funds are cleared, TradeSafe notifies the parties involved and issues Biomed Pharmaceuticals a signed letter of comfort, ensuring the security of the funds.

With the assurance that the funds are being held safely, Biomed Pharmaceuticals can focus on advancing their research and development efforts to develop life-saving drugs.

At a certain point, the company requires additional funds to acquire specialised laboratory equipment and conduct clinical trials.

Sarah signs into TradeSafe and issues a drawdown request to Meditech, specifying the amount needed by Biomed Pharmaceuticals. She uploads supporting documentation, such as the equipment requisition documents and invoices from suppliers.

Meditech receives the drawdown request from TradeSafe. Their corporate representative signs in to the TradeSafe platform, reviews the supporting documentation provided by Biotech, and approves the drawdown request based on its validity and alignment with the investment agreement.

In the event that any issues arise with the drawdown request, TradeSafe provides a robust mechanism to enable price adjustments or dispute resolutions.

Further details regarding dispute resolution and adjustment processes can be found in TradeSafe’s FAQ section.

Once Meditech approves the drawdown request, TradeSafe releases the payment from the escrow account to Biomed Pharmaceuticals' approved bank account, utilising Standard Bank’s secure host-to-host payment technology.

All escrow account balances are automatically updated, ensuring transparency and accuracy.

The drawdown process continues as Biomed Pharmaceuticals requires funds for different stages of drug development, such as clinical trials, regulatory approvals, and production scale-up.

Once the capital amount is fully depleted, the transaction is closed.

Another Safe, Secure and Successful transaction by TradeSafe

Funky Finds Emporium is a marketplace...

… who wants to incorporate an escrow payment solution into their store. How do they go about doing this?
The owner, CEO, or an authorised representative of Funky Finds creates a profile on TradeSafe.
The authorised user adds their company to their profile (sole proprietors are welcome).

The user can have their organisation verified at this stage, or wait until they are ready to go to production.

TradeSafe has a number of integration options including a direct GraphQL integration or shopping cart plugins such as WooCommerce and Magento.

The CEO is not a technical person, so he invites his development team and adds them to the merchant account.

The developer registers their application with TradeSafe in staging.

To set up an application between Funky Finds and TradeSafe, the developer has access to a number of playgrounds and other tools. They obtain their API keys at this stage.

More information can be found in the API documentation found here.

The developer can configure a number of settings including the gateways they want displayed, callbacks, and who receives payment receipts etc.

No real money is used in testing…

Once the developer is satisfied with integration and testing, the developer's involvement is now complete, and the owner of the merchant account can request to go live.

The account owner completes their organisational profile (if not done so already), and uploads a signed merchant agreement.

TradeSafe verifies all documentation, performs a Quality Assurance exercise of the integration , and then activates the account for production.

Funky Finds Emporium is now ready to transact.

Another Safe, Secure and Successful transaction by TradeSafe
Want to learn more. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Anyone can sell confidently with escrow

TradeSafe removes the risks associated with online transactions and large-scale orders. Let’s put your fears of fraud and financial loss to rest, so you can deliver confidence and get paid fast.


Whether you’re selling a car or a collectible, TradeSafe’s easy-to-use digital escrow service helps you to outsmart scammers and make private sales safely.


Sell with Standard Bank-supported escrow to enjoy upfront confidence in your buyers and eliminate the stress of not being paid.

Simon Just Standard Bank

Simon Just

Head Payments
standard bank small
Standard Bank clients have a deep need to protect their businesses by ensuring they are able to control the flow of funds for the procurement of goods & services. Conversely, their suppliers look for assurance that payment is guaranteed. TradeSafe offers an escrow solution for buyers & sellers to transact safely and securely. Whether you are working with commercial buyers & suppliers, or checking-out at an online marketplace, TradeSafe ensures all parties are protected, building a safer South Africa.
Jan van den Handel img

Jan van den Handel

Executive Operational Finance

Our company frequently concludes contracts with clients that require us to use the services of smaller BEE partners. These smaller BEE partners do not have the financial capacity to meet the capital requirements of the client contract. The TradeSafe platform enabled us to effectively fund the BEE partner to meet their contractual obligations. The TradeSafe platform provided the assurance that the BEE partner met its obligations to its suppliers using the funds we had made available
Prince Chiramba

Prince Chiramba

Acquiring clients was easy. Getting the client to pay me was another story. Simply because both parties could not trust each other. With TradeSafe the client can’t scam me, and I can’t scam the client. I freelance comfortably without worrying about payments.
Gavin Deysel

Gavin Deysel

Co-Owner & Director
bounce online
Thank you TradeSafe for building a highly usable, user friendly gateway that has added measurable increases in first-time buyers and sales in general to our business.
Daniel Trevethan

Daniel Trevethan

TradeSafe’s attention to detail, commitment to customer service, and dedication to continually improving has been absolutely incredible. Choosing TradeSafe was a great move for our company and the products that TradeSafe offer have been vital for the smooth running of our website. Thanks again TradeSafe, keep it up!

Beat the risk, with TradeSafe

TradeSafe is South Africa’s longest-running digital escrow service, protecting businesses and individuals from transactional fraud and bad debt.


in transactions processed across 40 industries


as the longest running escrow provider in Africa


using the TradeSafe merchant integration


Standard Bank has management oversight of the escrow account.


Escrow funds are insured by iTOO, a division of Hollard


EY performs agreed-upon procedures in terms of international standards on related services


Authorised Third-Party Payment Provider with the PASA

Your money has never been safer

From multi-million rand commodity deals to antiques, luxury timepieces and second-hand cars, TradeSafe has been protecting online transactions since 2015.

Frequently Asked Questions about how TradeSafe Works