Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Paribus - Automatic Refunds Due to Price Reductions

Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission for the following link(s) and I greatly appreciate supporting the site:  Paribus

HT - Frugal Hack - #11

Paribus is a brilliant website I found out about today.  There are can be some major privacy and security issues, which I addressed with the company.

You link your email with Paribus.  Paribus has algorithims that automatically monitor your inbox for your purchases.  If the price drops at the same store or if there is a best price guarantee and the price drops elsewhere, Paribus will automatically send an email from your account requesting a refund on your behalf.  Creepy and awesome at the same time.

If they are successful, your money will be refunded and they will charge 25% of the difference to your credit card.  They do all the work and you keep 75% of the profit.  Genius!  Not too shabby!


I reached out to the owners of Paribus about the security issues and they had some pretty good answer for me.  Here are my questions and their answers:

Hello, I love your product, it's so intuitive. The only problem that I'm sure you are well aware of is security. You are going to store a lot of financial information. I'm sure your security is great but you will be a prime target for hacking. If that happens, what will your response be?

Chat started
Paribus Team joined the chat

Paribus Team
Hi Oren, thanks for reaching out
Eric with the Paribus team here
Totally understand your concerns (my whole family is on here too, so feel the same way). We have a number things in place. First and foremost, we've structured it so that as little sensitive information is stored as possible
The only information that hits Paribus servers is past receipt information/merchant communication -- everything else stays under the supervision of Google. We also do not receive, see or store any gmail passwords -- this also stays there (we just have a token for limited access). Credit card security is handled by (one of the largest payment providers in the world). So we're working to be proactive by not storing sensitive info in the first place.
And everything we do store is only transmitted and/or stored at 256-bit standard (SSL transmission/AES storage)
On top of this, we have monitoring in place and a number of hidden features in the backend to break any access in the case of a potential breach

that sounds pretty good so far

Paribus Team
That's at least how we think about it -- anything in particular you're wondering about?

well, let's say you are hacked and the credit card information that you use to collect your 25% is stolen. How will you rectify your customers?
...When did the company start?

Paribus Team
Got it. On the credit card -- Paribus never actually receives the information (except the last four digits). It instead is directly transmitted to -- they are a multibillion dollar company and handle all aspects of security on card storage (they are PCI Compliant and have very robust mechanisms in place). All Paribus receives is a token for specific uses -- there's not enough info we or a hacker could ever see to use the card to do anything other than charge a customer through Stripe (which they and the credit card issuer can reverse

Paribus Team
Designed to be as careful as possible (esp as a start-up, we really don't want to take on any liabilities that are outside of our expertise)

when did your guys start?

Paribus Team
We're quite new -- the site is a culmination of ~1.5 years work, but we've been running a hidden-in-plain-sight beta for the past few months. No marketing yet, so we've been spreading just by discovery and people talking about it

got it
still in beta?

Paribus Team
yes sir...
so may be things we need to fix from time to time, but we're here and always work quickly to take any feedback. Building this for ourselves and our members :)

It sounds like they take security very seriously, as they should.  If customer information is hacked one time, that could really hurt their business.

Even better, they have a referral program.  For every person you refer you can get one refund for free or $5, whichever you choose.

Here is my referral link.

Feel free to Use Frugal Hack's referral link as a thank you to him.



Here is a list of merchants they currently support, but they are working to add more

Best Buy
J. Crew
Banana Republic
Old Navy
Athleta Piperline