Reserve Bank denies eBay review

Reserve Bank denies eBay review

Summary: The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) today said it had not initiated a formal review into auction giant eBay's move to force sellers to offer PayPal as a payment method, despite complaints from a group which claims to be composed of disgruntled sellers.


The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) today said it had not initiated a formal review into auction giant eBay's move to force sellers to offer PayPal as a payment method, despite complaints from a group which claims to be composed of disgruntled sellers.

In April, eBay notified the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it intended to force Australians to make online payments only through PayPal, an eBay subsidiary. However, eBay reversed the decision shortly afterwards following pressure from the regulator and other groups.

While sellers will still be able to receive payment via methods other than PayPal, they must still offer PayPal as a payment option, leading a group which claims to be eBay sellers, represented by spokespeople Robert Vandermeer and Anthony Green, to write to the RBA this week in the hope of an intervention.

"We have advice that this letter will be taken most seriously and it will initiate a formal review process by the RBA," a spokesperson for the group wrote.

However, the bank has not been moved to action as yet. "The letter referred to by the eBay members was only received by the bank yesterday," an RBA spokesperson told today. "The bank has not yet responded to the letter (other than to acknowledge its receipt) but will do so in due course. The bank has not initiated a formal review process."

The eBay users group claimed forcing PayPal as an option left the door wide open for a "tricks campaign" where the payment method would be shoved down buyers and sellers' throats through devices such as circulating misleading information on PayPal security and creating computer "glitches" which would make bank details for alternate payment methods disappear from the system.

"eBay have been and continue to pursue through stealth the objective denied it by the ACCC," the spokesperson for the group said. The group said it has also written to the ACCC, as well as other authorities such as the banking ombudsman.

Topics: Government AU, Browser, E-Commerce, Government, Enterprise 2.0

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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  • ebay & paypal are not to be believed

    the ACCC have said :The evidence available does not support the view that PayPal is the most secure method of payment or offers the best service for all transactions

    the Australian Bankers Association have said : Clearly, the public benefits (of paypal) are exaggerated or illusory

    yet ebay boast at every opportunity that paypal the company they own is the safest method of payment

    the ebay website trumpets the false impression that paypal is like insurance ... it is not

    paypal security is a sham
  • Reserve Bank denies eBay review

    There are a number of vocal, passionate Paypal haters with very little rational argument to offer that might persuade informed people.
    The core elements of most of their arguments against Paypal are nothing more than conspiracy theories, misquotes and miscomprehension of issues.
    Paypal is far from ideal but doesn't deserve the intense smear campaign perpetrated by this small group of irrational Jerry Springer candidates.
  • Reserve bank

    I agree with Bruce, we have watched as this so called group has tried to drum up support on the RT and PSB on ebay and start a new thread everytime they get a article published.
    I believe the so caled group is such a small minority of sellers who are making a fool of the media with the articles they are posting everywhere, all we are seeing on forums are STOP PRESS getting quite embarrasing and im shocked that the media dont have access to some of the forums to see how this Group are making a fool of them with all the articles and duplicates they are getting a small minority of people to send to the RBA and the ACCC
    I cant see why ebay cant use their own payment method on their site if offering other methods also
  • Ebay RBA ACCC

    EBay/PayPal have done a lot of underhand dealing while this frustrating mess is being slowly handled by the various Beauraucrats.

    I have had several item have the Bank Details Available until payment has been tried. Then I have to negotiate to try & get the Bank Details.

    PayPal have taken Cash from my Account & turned it into an Echeque without any reference to me causing a degree of angst between Buyer & Seller as neither Ebay nor PayPal showed any interest, each Co telling me that the other Co was responsible.

  • "Not initiated" DOES NOT MEAN "denied"!

    Suzanne, how about you take a few moments to learn the difference between "had not initiated" and "denied", or is a basic understanding of English no longer a requirement for journalists?

    And to the PayPal-hater-haters, have a look at eBay's boards which are filled with complaints of the gutter-level antics of eBay and PayPal, before you toe eBay's "vocal minority" line.

  • hmm

    i can only say that locking users into paypal was an extremely ill-advised move and rightly came back to bite them on the bum. it is not at all surprising overseas tech sites have published stories along the lines of "what is Ebay playing at, and why did they trial this?"

    a US company unders external regulation vs local regulated aussie banks who have processes already in place for mistaken payment/fraudulently obtained payment etc, i think it is a stretch to exalt paypals virtues there particularly when the same banks are used to fund paypal accounts without issue!

    if its good for the gander, good for the goose and all that.

    that said the outcome is acceptable to me; mandate paypal be offered by sellers, by all means. but allow them to offer and accept existing legitimate and established methods also. there should be no prescription of one method over another.

    insofar as insurance goes yes paypal OFFERS insurance but it IS not insurance against fraud; there will always be those regardless of the payment methods used.

    i have to agree that the overseas paypal experience in their forums is concerning. for most of my transactions i have not had any issues with paypal (touchwood) but that said i prefer DD in every instance the seller offers it.