What's Instant Digital Escrow?

Instant Digital Escrow has all the benefits of traditional escrow, enabling instant, face-to-face payments without the downsides of cost, time and complexity

Instant Digital Escrow vs traditional Escrow

Escrow is a great way for users who don’t know or trust each other to buy and sell without risk, by holding the funds with a trusted third party.

When the buyer and seller have reached an agreement and completed their obligations, the funds are transferred to the seller. If for some reason they don’t reach an agreement, the money is returned to the buyer.

The big problem with Escrow is that it’s slow, complicated and expensive and needs banks and lawyers to manage the process. That’s why it’s only really used for very large purchases such as property.

What are the risks?


Every time you carry cash there’s a risk that someone will threaten you or steal it from you. With small amounts of cash, in busy public places or surrounded by people you know, this risk is small. But there’s a real threat if you start carrying large amounts of cash to meet strangers away from trusted friends and family.

The popularity of online marketplaces such as eBay, Shpock, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace means that many people are now taking this risk using cash for P2P payments.


High street bank branches and cash machines are disappearing. What was once a 5-minute walk from your front door – to withdraw or pay in cash - has become a major logistics exercise. The instant purchasing power of cash loses its appeal if you have to make multiple trips to withdraw it or queue to pay it into your account following a successful sale.

And, if you’re selling, you also have to count and recount the notes to make sure you’ve received the correct amount of money.


Every seller’s biggest concern is that the cash turns out to be counterfeit – essentially you’ve given away the item for free and you’ve gone to the trouble to pay the money in before finding out that it’s worthless.

The Bank of England provides details on how to check banknotes and the official advice is:

  1. Learn the security features of genuine bank notes
  2. Take sufficient time to examine each bank note, particularly for large transactions

That’s easier said than done on a cold, dark doorstep.

How is Instant Digital Escrow different?

Hooha is all about building trust between buyers and sellers. Our Instant Digital Escrow has all the advantages of traditional Escrow, including class-leading fraud prevention and safety, but it's also quick, private and easy to use.

Hooha users buy and sell face-to-face in seconds, using our marketplace payments app instead of cash. Simply agree the amount to be paid and scan the other phone. 

Download the Hooha app now to try our Instant face-to-face payments.