As the deadline nears for sellers to comply with eBay's electronic payments policy, the auction giant says it's making improvements to its checkout system that will, hopefully, make purging paper forms of payment less painful for users.
eBay says it has approved two more payment service vendorsMoneybookers and Paymatewhich will be added to its checkout system on Feb. 19. Additionally, ProPaywhich is available to Gold PowerSellers and aboveplans to extend its payments service to Silver PowerSellers starting Jan. 22.
eBay was roundly criticized for its decision last summer to limit users' transaction methods to PayPalwhich eBay ownsand pricey payments services that cater to high-volume sellers. However, the company is making good on its promise to expand the range of options by early this year.
"These are established payment methods that increase the safe choices available to our buyers and sellers, which currently include PayPal, credit and debit card payment to a seller's merchant account, Propay or Pay on Pick-up," reports Dinesh Lathi, eBay's vice president of Seller Experience.
Moneybookers, London, is a global online payments provider that primarily serves small businesses, online merchants and individuals in the U.K. and European Union.
Paymate allows sellers in Australia and the U.S. to receive online payments via credit card without opening a merchant account through a bank or a subscribing to a gateway service. The Sydney-based company was among the more vocal opponents to eBay's unsuccessful attempt last year to restrict payments on its ebay.com.au site to PayPal or cash-in-person.
Pricing for the companies' eBay services has not been announced.
In a related effort, eBay is creating a more streamlined system to allow sellers to accept credit card payments through a merchant account. While the new system will make credit card transactions simpler for buyers and sellers, its main purpose is to restrict the checkout process to eBay's site, where the company can keep better tabs on security.
Starting in March, sellers will need to sign up for a Payflow Gateway account in order to connect their Internet merchant accounts to eBay, Lathi notes. This arrangement will enable buyers to enter credit card information directly in eBay checkout, instead of the current process, which redirects users to a site outside of eBay.
eBay says there will be no cost to sign up for a Payflow Gateway, nor will there be additional fees for using it.
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Auctiva staff writers constantly monitor trends and best practices of those selling on eBay and elsewhere online. They attend relevant training seminars and trade shows and regularly discuss the market with PowerSellers and other market experts.