RBA, eBay set to discuss PayPal rules

The RBA will meet with eBay to discuss the removal of rules that favour the use of Paypal on the auction site.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is set to meet with online auction house eBay Australia and its subsidiary PayPal in the next 30 days to discuss the removal of eBay rules that favour the use of PayPal as a payment option on the site.

eBay Australia came under fire from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission earlier this year for attempting to force its members to use PayPal and making it difficult to use other methods of payment.

At the RBA’s last payment system board meeting — which took place in August — the Reserve Bank advised it had also received a number of complaints regarding the no-surcharge and no-steering rules that apply to payments using the PayPal system, as well as the mandated acceptance of PayPal on eBay.

The Reserve Bank has previously stated that “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”. The RBA is therefore going to seek a similar outcome with eBay.

At the meeting next month, which according to an RBA spokesperson will be the first in a series of talks, the RBA will discuss with eBay the removal of its ability to mandate that sellers must offer PayPal as a payment method on all listings, the removal of its no-surcharge rule (allowing sellers to charge a fee to buyers who pay by PayPal) and the removal of the no-steering rule to prevent eBay from banning sellers who express a payment preference.

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Julie Shingleton

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