ProPay for payments – A first look

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ProPay is the only third party payment system integrated into eBay checkout. Although currently only available on, it could be the first of many payment systems in the future.

My first question had to be “Why would anyone pay other than by PayPal on eBay?”. ProPay explained that they can offer a very simple checkout experience where a user can simply enter their card details much as on any other ecommerce site. For first time buyers on eBay that’s a lot simpler than opening a PayPal account and for many of my buyers, who make business purchases, to be able to pay on eBay with a company credit card makes a lot of sense.

Other advantages are ProPay provide sellers with a full merchant account and merchant ID (recognised by the banking industry) the ability to take payments both on and off eBay along with the customer service you’d expect from a merchant provider.

Currently ProPay is currently available on eBay for Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Titanium PowerSellers based in the US and offer an eAuction Account, with an eAuction Pro Account coming early next year.

There is a $24 annual fee for the eAuction Account, which is refunded as a processing credit if more than $3000 is processed in the first six months. The only other fees are the transaction costs which are as low as 2.4%. Transaction costs are not based on the volume of payments (as with PayPal) but on the sellers PowerSeller level making ProPay extremely competitive to use alongside other payment methods.

Added benefits for the eAuction Pro Account will be an online virtual terminal, touch-tone telephone processing, secure email invoices (send an email and the buyer clicks a secure link to make payment), direct API and encrypted ProPay Card Reader. The enables sellers to take payments both on eBay and from other website or off-line payments.

ProPay were pretty honest and up front explaining that the initial integration on eBay wasn’t as smooth as they and eBay would have liked. That’s not surprising as it’s the first time eBay have opened up their checkout for a payment provider other than PayPal. For the future other third party payment providers following in their footsteps should find the integration much easier.

PayPal have had the exclusivity of eBay online payments for many years, although more of their revenues now come from off-eBay transactions than from eBay generated payments. The future will be interesting and anyone that’s had their PayPal account limited will welcome the first approved alternative payment option for trading on eBay.

Next year as well as launching the eAuction Pro accounts, ProPay will make the eAuction Account available to Bronze Power Sellers and later to all eBay sellers. With a track record of handling payments for on and off-line home based businesses ProPay is one option I look forward to seeing in the UK and well worth considering if you’re based in the US.

12 Responses

  1. Haven’t I read somewhere that approx 95% of ALL eBay transactions are paid using Paypal, leaving 5% (which is still a sizeable chunk of money) to be ‘shared’ amongst other allowed payment services – assuming that 5% opt for a CC payment and not any other method they may prefer or are offered during a TP checkout!

    Its OK for ProPay now whilst they are by themselves, but once that 5% pot has to be shared with other similar providers, and assuming PayPal does not become more ‘in yer face’ for buyers, then I feel that the ever diminishing pot available will not be be of enough volume to be shared by multiple alternative payment providers.

  2. Hey Eddie, why not look at it from a slightly different angle…..

    95% of all eBay transactions are paid using an eBay-integrated online payment provider….. That leave just 5% for cheques/money orders/bank transfer/cash on collection/nochex etc and 95% which ProPay et al can compete for ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Chris I note you said it’s currently only available in the US ….

    But it’s not even available in Canada yet – what makes you think it’ll be coming to the UK? Remember the UK has got all the issues with the Consumer Credit License and the OFT to clear long before that can happen.

    What you did fail to mention is that not only is the service only for US resident sellers, it’s also only for US-resident buyers, and then only in the lower 48 states I am told – i.e. Alaska, Hawai, and protectorates like Puerto Rico cannot use it.

    This implies it has to expand fully to US-only, before it can cross borders.

    I’m not convinced the UK or Europe will be able to use ProPay this decade, and it may be the middle of the next one before that happens.


  4. …..that’ll be what ProPay (and others) will be thinking Chris – nice theory. In practice though I think Paypal will still rule the roost

  5. Paypal could blow them all out of the water if they needed to
    they do bugger all in give aways and discounts at the moment
    A few carrots and the odd perk and the others would not get close

  6. I’m sticking with Paypal…I think the simplicity for the consumer is the key. We have nochex, and nobody ever uses it on my site…Google checkout is a great system, but we know that’s never going to make it onto ebay’s approval list!!

  7. Hi Chris, thanks for the positive post. I think we’re pretty great, too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I especially appreciate your take on our 95% online payment opportunity on eBay. I like those odds!

    Brandon Crotts
    Senior Account Manager

  8. So if I understand everything this would be about 0.2% more than what I’m paying PayPal per transaction but I’d actually get customer service?

  9. keeping options open. I have many sellers that complain not being able to Pay using Paypal. For what ever reason, I would recommend to have alternative payment methods available. Plus you do want to spread the wealth ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. @ # 10

    The problem is I don’t trust myself with a merchant account and virtual terminal. The next time I get someone from Vietnam wanting to send me $500 by emailing me their credit card number I might actually take them up on it. At least with only offering PayPal I can’t accept their payment in the first place.


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