Click and Buy was a method enabling people to pay for goods and services online. It was in effect an e-wallet. People who signed up to this system were required to give their banking details to this London based financial organisation in order to make deposits into their own unique account. When they then wished to make a purchase on line, they just had to click on the “Click and Buy” icon. This would then take them to the company’s web page, where they would log on with their e-mail address and password. They would then authorise the payment, which would be forwarded instantly to the vendor, who would then be happy to despatch the goods or provide the services requested.
The disadvantage was that the Click and Buy account had to be funded first. As this could only be done effectively via a credit or debit card or bank transfer, you had to have a bank account in the first place. Not only that, but there was an additional charge for depositing and withdrawing money from your account. This made the service inefficient and relatively expensive. People were (and still are) worried about data theft and fraud, but the sheer convenience of simply using your credit and debit card, together with the fact that there were no transaction charges for doing so, tended to overcome this fear, and the service declined in popularity. The company’s prospects were further hampered by the emergence of more competitive rivals, who would make fewer charges, and the emergence of pre-payment methods (like Paysafecard) and pre-payment accounts which did not require a pre-existing bank account, nor involve a credit check.
Deutsche Telecom took over the ailing service in 2010, but failed to revive its prospects. The final nail in the coffin was provided by its reputation for poor customer service. Complaints on online forums were a regular occurrence, with some concerned account holders even concerned that the whole service may be a scam. That was not the case – it was licenced and regulated by the UK authorities, but not to put too fine point on it – better alternatives were available.
It appears that toward the end of 2015, the new German owners finally pulled the plug on things, and at the time of writing, Click and Buy appears to be no more. The entry on German Wikipedia “Die Freie Enzykloapedie” declares that the service was finally withdrawn on April 30th 2016.
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