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 ZDNet.com.au 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.