EBay narrows payment options
Wednesday Apr 9 23 AEST
New security changes to auction website eBay Australia will affect the way buyers purchase goods, and funnel more funds into its coffers.
Under the changes, direct deposits, money orders and personal cheques will no longer be listed as a payment option after June 17.
As a result, buyers will have only two options with which to pay: either cash-on-delivery, or via the online commerce website PayPal, which is owned by eBay.
PayPal accepts direct deposit or credit card payment on behalf of eBay sellers at a fee of between 1.1 and 2.4 per cent.
EBay defended the change, saying buyers were more likely to have problems with 'offline' payment options such as direct deposit.
'When you crunch the numbers and you look at the disputes that have occurred on the site you get to see some really powerful differences between how people pay and what happens,' eBay trust and safety director Alastair MacGibbon said.
'For example, you are four times less likely to have a problem on eBay if you pay with PayPal than all the other payments on the site, like direct deposit.
'The only other payment method that is safe is when you're paying cash-on-delivery.'
Mr MacGibbon acknowledged that some buyers would be upset by the change, but believed most would benefit from the increased level of security.
'Some people will take some time to accept the change. EBay will make every effort to educate people about why this is for their safety and why it will increase confidence in shopping on eBay,' he said.
The website has also bolstered its PayPal Buyer Protection insurance program in which buyers who fail to receive goods, or find they are not as stated, can lodge a claim to eBay for the amount lost. Buyers used to be able to claim up to $3,000, but this has now been increased to $20,000.
'These changes together with the increased protections provided by PayPal will give Australians increased confidence on eBay, regardless of whether they are buying or selling,' Mr MacGibbon said.