PayPal launches AU Web site

PayPal has launched its local Web site today -- www.paypal.

PayPal has launched its local Web site today -- www.paypal.com.au -- which is designed to cater exclusively for Australian users.

The new PayPal Web site will allow Australian online buyers and sellers to send and receive payments to nearly 64 million PayPal member accounts around the world.

The launch of the PayPal Australia Web site, along with the integration of PayPal to the eBay Australia Web site over the next few days, is expected to make it easier for Australian eBay members to use PayPal when buying or selling online.

PayPal Australia managing director Andrew Pipolo said the local Web site was brought on by the strong demand they've received from the eBay Australian community.

Pipolo said that according to an eBay survey, 67 percent of Australian Internet users believe that online shopping is becoming safer.

"PayPal offers a secure online payment method, because a buyer's personal and financial information is never shared with a seller. In fact, PayPal maintains one of the lowest loss rates due to fraud in the online retail industry," he said.

Pipolo assures that PayPal employs "leading security experts and utilises state-of-the-art systems to keep members' financial information safe from intrusion, preserve customer satisfaction and minimise losses."

The total dollar volume of payments initiated through the PayPal system in 2004 was US$18.9 billion (approximately AU$25 billion).

Earlier this month, PayPal.com announced it accepted payments in Australian dollars, eliminating the need for Australian users to convert currency and pay exchange fees for purchases and sales.

PayPayl also announced that a portion of the Australian PayPal homepage has been devoted to raising money for UNICEF's tsunami relief program at no charge, enabling donations to be made to UNICEF through PayPal.

eBay acquired PayPal in July 2002 as a replacement for its own Billpoint payment system.

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