Buyers and sellers on local online auction site Bidorbuy can now transact with each other using the US e-payments service PayPal, which should help facilitate cross-border transactions, the company says.
Despite limitations to the service in SA, including the fact that PayPal doesn’t recognise the rand as a currency, Bidorbuy MD Andy Higgins says he expects the introduction of the service “will be welcomed by local sellers with international ambitions, as well as by international sellers”.
“Hopefully, this will lead to an increase in trading across national borders,” says Higgins.
Some buyers, especially those who are averse to online shopping, might be more likely to buy from sellers who accept PayPal payments, because this system has built-in safety measures similar to credit card charge-backs, he says.
“Unfortunately, this potential boost to SA’s e-commerce sector will be largely lost due to the fact that PayPal does not allow transactions in rands,” Higgins says.
For this reason, “PayPal probably will not be used widely in local transactions”.
Higgins adds that about 98% of all transactions concluded on Bidorbuy are done within national boundaries. The site has over 400 000 registered users and over 370 000 items listed for sale at any moment. The value of goods traded each month is about R30m.
For domestic use, Bidorbuy has developed bobPay-EFT, an Internet payment method covering all four big SA banks, which it says is free of charge.
PayPal, on the other hand, charges sellers between 2,9% and 3,9% of the value of the goods sold, plus a flat fee of aboutUS$0,30/transaction; on top of that, FNB, PayPal’s local partner, charges 1,5%.
Higgins says PayPal is not offered as one of the default payment methods on Bidorbuy. In order to be able to receive PayPal payments for items sold on the site, sellers need to request this option, he says. — Staff reporter, TechCentral