August 20, 2008

eBay Responds Regarding My PayPal Posting

Greetings. After my posting earlier today regarding eBay's move to require electronic payments in the U.S., I was contacted by a senior eBay public relations official -- and we had a pleasant chat.

While there aren't any fundamental changes in the story, I wanted to pass along a few details gleaned from our conversation.

As you might expect, eBay's position is that their move is a win-win-win situation for eBay, buyers, and sellers, especially since reportedly some 90% of eBay transactions are already in electronic form -- and they note that as part of the transition to the "100%"-electronic requirement, eBay will offer 100% purchase coverage insurance. eBay also points out that eBay has no direct financial interest with at least one of the electronic payment options -- credit card acceptance system ProPay.

It was also mentioned that buyers and sellers who meet in person to consummate a transaction would still be free to use whatever payment means they wished -- though in my view this is a highly atypical situation for most eBay users, and it seems clear that eBay will be monitoring transactions carefully to to avoid abuse of this "loophole" in the otherwise rather dogmatic electronic payments regime being implemented.

eBay also asserts that the regulatory reaction situations in Australia and the U.S. are not directly comparable due to differing specific particulars in eBay's plans for the two countries.

As you might imagine, eBay apparently will be offering inducements to try convince eBay sellers that the loss of the ability to continue routinely accepting checks or money orders is nothing to get worked up about. And after all, we're only talking about a measly 10% or so of transactions, right?

Anyway, that's eBay's take on the situation. The eBay seller community has the final say of course -- one way or the other -- by voting with their auction items and/or their feet.

Thanks much to eBay for reaching out to discuss this interesting controversy with me today.


Posted by Lauren at August 20, 2008 01:42 PM | Permalink
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