Tuesday , November 24, 2020

EBay Sets Its Sights on the U.K. As It Prepares to ‘Go Hard’ With Its Managed-Payments Plan

Online marketplace giant eBay Inc. said last month it has an aggressive expansion blueprint for its fledgling managed-payments program, and late on Wednesday the company announced its latest gambit by laying out a plan to move into the United Kingdom this summer. The service has been available in the United States since September 2018 and was introduced in Germany a year later.

“Taking control of the payments process on our platform is a key component of our strategy to enhance the eBay experience by breaking down barriers and removing complexities for our customers,” Alyssa Cutright, vice president of global payments, said in a statement. “We’ve seen great success in the U.S. and Germany and we’re thrilled to expand to the U.K.”

Historically, eBay relied on PayPal Holdings Inc., which it had acquired in 2002, to process users’ payments on its marketplace. When PayPal separated from eBay and went public in 2015, the two companies signed a five-year operating agreement that expires later this year. In the meantime, eBay introduced managed payments and signed with Amsterdam-based Adyen NV to provide gateway processing services that give users access to a broad range of payment choices, of which PayPal is one. 

For now, however, the operating agreement governs the rate at which eBay can expand the program geographically. Since the 2018 launch, eBay has processed more than $2 billion in volume for nearly 25,000 sellers on its platform, according to information it released last month.

The company said Tuesday it plans to offer Google Pay and Apple Pay in the U.K. alongside PayPal and credit cards, among other choices. It said it will have moved “a majority” of its U.K. business sellers to the new platform by year’s end. Next year, eBay expects to have enrolled most of its U.K. marketplace sellers in managed payments, it added.

“By starting to manage payments in the U.K. this year, we’re taking another step to deliver improvements for our customers,” said Rob Hattrell, vice president of eBay U.K., in a statement. “In the coming months, we will make the transition as smooth as possible for sellers so they can take advantage of this important update quickly.”

The company indicated last month it has aggressive plans for managed payments starting later this year. “We will go hard at not only the markets that we’re in … but we will expand into the markets in other quarters,” said interim chief financial officer Andy Cring, according to an earnings-call transcript.

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