Don’t get caught in the ‘I want it now and to hell with the consequences’ trap this festive season when you transact online. Take your time, breathe and apply the 5 tips below.
FNB reports that general credit card spend increases by approximately 25% in December. Online shopping however, starts increasing in the months leading up to the holiday season.
“Our statistics show that November 2013 online credit card spending on travel and entertainment increased by 30% and all other online purchases by 27%, when compared to the rest of the year. Given customers’ increased comfort with online shopping we expect this trend to accelerate over the 2014 holiday period,” says Chris Labuschagne, CEO of FNB Credit Card.
Convenience paired with the safety of online transacting and the ease of goods being delivered to your door step is driving up online shopping volumes and frequency of purchases in general.
For those who decide to do their festive season gift or grocery shopping online, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Leave adequate time for returns
If you are shopping for gifts, order them well in advance to allow time for returns if you are not happy with the item delivered. Also make sure that you take note of the exchange and return rules before making your purchase.
2. You have purchase protection
Remember to find out whether you have purchase protection. If merchandise or services ordered were not received by the expected delivery date or not of the quality promised, you can apply for a refund on the grounds of “Services Not Provided” or “Merchandise Not Received”. Note however that this is subject to investigation, terms and conditions.
3. Make sure that your delivery address is correct
If you are shopping online from your holiday destination on websites that you have used before, make sure that you have changed the delivery address to your current location so that items aren’t delivered to your home.
4. Draw up a budget and don’t get tempted
Your approach to online shopping should be no different than how you think about normal shopping: draw up a shopping list and stick to it. If you know what you are looking for you will be less likely to spend excessively or unnecessarily. You can also make use of the ability to compare prices by opening various retailers’ tabs or by simply using a price comparison app.
5. Transact safely
There is a level of risk involved in any transaction, whether carrying cash after an ATM withdrawal or shopping in a store and running the risk of shoulder surfing. That being said, safety precautions are easy to apply irrespective of whether you shop in store or online.
“The bank together with card issuers has put various security measures in place to give our customers peace of mind when they transact online. FNB Online Secure with the added support of Verified by Visa provides another layer of security as customers have to verify the transaction with a PIN sent via email or SMS,” adds Labuschange.
In addition to the bank’s layered approach to secure online shopping customers should apply the following precautions to further reduce any risk:
- Always look for a padlock displayed in front of “https” in the browser – this indicates a secure site
- Update your anti-virus and spyware software on all your digital devices regularly
- Try to store your credit card details on as few sites as possible
- Before transacting online, check the overall functionality of the website
“For those still hesitant, the upcoming festive season is the ideal time to put online shopping to the test. Spending on your credit card is a great way to earn loyalty points such as eBucks this festive season. At the same time customers are encourage to spend their eBucks to reduce the financial pressures that most consumers experience during year-end,” concludes Labuschagne.
*Note that statistics are based on main account holders
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