Reserve Bank weighs in on eBay’s PayPal push

Takes issue with no-surcharge, no-steering rules and mandated acceptance of PayPal.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Payment Systems Board is entering discussions with PayPal and its owner eBay to encourage the payment provider to voluntarily remove the no-surchage and no-steering rules that have come under fire by the ACCC for being anti-competitive.

The no-surcharge rules prevent eBay sellers from charging additional fees to recover the cost of a buyer using a particular payment method, like PayPal.

The no-steering rules relate to eBay’s aggressive promotion of the PayPal payment method which has drawn heavy criticism from users and competitors for suggesting that PayPal is the default, safest and accepted method of payment. Sellers and buyers claim they aren’t provided with readily accessible information about other payment methods.

eBay owns PayPal, and charges a fee for using the service per credit card payment in addition to its standard fees for buying and selling items.

The ACCC expressed concerns in June that eBay could use its massive online market share to lessen competition in the market where PayPal operates if its intention to make PayPal the sole payment offered was achieved.

"PayPal currently competes with a range of other providers to supply online payment services to users of online marketplaces. If the notified conduct is allowed to go ahead, there will be no competition for the supply of such services to buyers and sellers using eBay," said ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel at the time.

eBay jettisoned the controversial PayPal-only plan, but has now attracted the attention of the RBA over the no-surcharge and no-steering rules, as well as the “mandated acceptance of PayPal on eBay’s auction site” that requires all sellers to offer the payment method.

“Where no-surcharge and no-steering rules have existed in other systems, the Board has encouraged their removal on the grounds that these rules can diminish competition in the payments system. Consistent with this, the Bank will shortly be holding discussions with PayPal with a view to seeking the removal of these rules,” read an RBA media release announcing the discussions.

Last month Anthony Green, a representative of a “group of people who use the online auction platform eBay to buy and sell goods”, posted on an eBay forum a copy of a letter that had been sent to the RBA’s Payment Systems Board chairman calling for the RBA to take action against the auctioneer and its payment provider.

The RBA can invoke its regulatory powers to force PayPal into adhering to its recommendations as it controls all payment systems in Australia, but is entering discussions in the hope of achieving voluntary compliance.

The RBA was unable to provide comment.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags NBN

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Andrew Hendry

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?