Tuesday, February 21, 2006

EBay safe payments policy

eBay wants to ensure that the marketplace offers an array of safe and convenient payment choices for its buyers. As described in our safe buying guide, eBay strongly encourages sellers to offer payments through PayPal – PayPal is not only convenient to use, but it also offers buyers and sellers industry leading protection against fraud, chargebacks and theft of financial data. Merchants with their own merchant credit card processing account, and those who use a third-party processor, may also offer their buyers the option of paying directly with a credit card online (including through third party checkout) or by phone.

Safe Payments Criteria

From time to time, as new payment services arise, eBay will evaluate them to determine whether they may present trust and safety concerns and are appropriate for the marketplace. eBay will consider the following factors, among others, in making its determination:

* Whether the payment model offers substantial financial, privacy and anti-fraud protection for buyers and sellers
* Whether the payment model raises the potential for confusion among eBay users, or involves incentives that may present fraud concerns
* Whether the payment model involves precious metals, or other non-cash (points, miles, minutes, coupons, discounts) as consideration
* Whether the payment service has a substantial historical track record of providing safe and reliable financial and/or banking related services (new services without such a track record generally cannot be promoted on eBay)
* The identity, background and other business interests of the payment service sponsor
* The licence/regulatory status of the payment provider in the countries where it provides payment services

Offline payment methods generally do not offer the same level of protection or convenience as online payments. Nonetheless, they may be appropriate for certain types of transactions and sellers may use listings to offer acceptance of most valid financial instruments, including personal cheques, bank cheques, money orders or COD.


Permitted on eBay.com.au: Sellers may offer to accept PayPal, credit cards including Mastercard/Visa /Amex/Discover, debit cards, bank payments as well as bank-to-bank transfers. Sellers may accept COD (cash on delivery) or cash for in person transactions. Sellers may offer to accept personal cheques, money orders, bank cheques and other negotiable instruments.

Not permitted on eBay.com.au: Sellers may not solicit buyers to mail cash. Sellers may not ask buyers to send cash through instant cash transfer services (non-bank, point-to-point cash transfers) such as Western Union or Moneygram. Finally, sellers may not request payment through online payment methods which fail to comply with the safe payments criteria, above.

Violations of this policy may result in a range of actions including:

* Listing cancellation
* Forfeit of eBay fees on cancelled listings
* Limits on account privileges
* Loss of PowerSeller status
* Account suspension

This policy does not affect any payment method commonly offered on eBay today. However, there are some sellers who have listings offering to accept cash and Western Union instant cash transfer, and a few who offer other payment methods that are not permitted under this policy. To avoid disruption of these sellers’ business during the holiday shopping season, eBay will delay enforcement of this policy against existing payment methods until 15 January, 2006.


1 comment:

Margaret Gold said...

Australians are protesting this move:

PayPal push puffs eBay - The Australian
Simon Hayes
FEBRUARY 14, 2006

INTERNET auction giant eBay has moved to funnel more of its users through its PayPal online payments subsidiary, angering some customers about the fees they pay to sell items online.

EBay, which already bans wire transfers, has moved to make direct bank deposits less attractive, in the name of "encouraging safer payment methods".

Sales completed using PayPal almost double the commission that eBay receives from a successful auction.

In January the company reported a profit of $US1.08 billion ($1.44 billion) on revenue of $US4.55 billion last year.

PayPal has 96.2 million accounts, which sent a total of $US27.5 billion over the network, up 45 per cent on 2004.

EBay acquired PayPal in 2002 and integrated the payment system into its local site in 2003.

Since then it has worked hard to get more users to sign up to the system.

To encourage sellers to promote PayPal as their preferred method of payment, PayPal is using its Safe Payments Policy to reduce the number of users paying by other methods.

EBay bans buyers from paying by sending cash in the mail, using wire services such as Western Union and Moneygram, and using online payments services that do not meet its safe payments criteria.

The auction company has now gone a step further, removing the bank deposit express logo from auction listings and replacing it with a link to reveal the seller's bank account details.

EBay's security watchdogs argue the policy is intended purely to protect buyers and sellers from fraud and loss.

"The safe payments policy focuses on unsafe payment methods such as wire transfers and sending cash in the post," eBay trust and safety director Alastair McGibbon said.

"We did that purely on the basis of consumer protection for payments and personal financial details."

Most sellers were reluctant to post their bank account details to strangers, while buyers wanted the protection offered by PayPal, Mr McGibbon said.

Sellers can still accept credit cards for standard bank merchant accounts, cheques and bank telegraphic transfers, and cash when the buyer pays in person.

Bank deposits will remain, but under the less-attractive name "Bank Deposit (seller's bank details will be displayed on checkout)".

"Bank deposit express was a confusing payment method, and the name implied it was a third-party payment method," Mr McGibbon said.

"There was an implication that it was an express payments system, when it wasn't.

"This is a clarification."

But not everyone is happy with eBay's moves to snare more transactions for PayPal.

Sellers pay a minimum of 30 cents to list an item for sale with eBay, together with a 5.25 per cent commission on the sale price.

PayPal charges up to 2.4 per cent of the value of cash received, plus a 30 cent transaction fee.

"When I sell on eBay I quite specifically state that I don't accept PayPal payments," said Rob Studdert, who runs a photographic agency in Hurstville, a Sydney suburb.

"If the potential buyers avoid me because of that, well and good, I'd rather not deal with them."

Mr Studdert said he would leave eBay if PayPal became mandatory.

"Most buyers in Australia tend to use direct deposit to facilitate payment and this is easy to organise outside the prescribed eBay checkout," he said.

"If it becomes mandatory in any way I'll stop selling via eBay."

Other eBay sellers say PayPal's fees are a cost of doing business.

Shawn Hickman, whose two eBay stores My-Makeup, stores.ebay.com.au/My-Makeup and My-Threads, stores.ebay.com.au/my-threads turn over $1000 daily, said sellers should not be turning customers away.

"I can't see any reason you wouldn't like PayPal apart from the 2.5 per cent," said Mr Hickman, who sells cosmetics and designer-label clothes.

"You have to make it easy for people to pay you."

Mr Hickman has no security fears about bank deposits.

About half of his customers paid using PayPal, and most of the remainder used direct bank transfers, he said.

"We've had no problem with bank transfers," he said.

"With people depositing money directly we haven't got that much exposure."