It's no secret that consumer expectations for speed and choice are on the rise across all areas of eCommerce - delivery options, order fulfilment and customer service, just to name a few.
Well, these same expectations apply to the checkout experience.
In fact, in order to meet the ever-evolving expectations of today's customers, more and more platforms are releasing their own native quick-pay options, with the intention of streamlining the process and increasing checkout completion rates.
eBay's Managed Payments.
But what exactly is eBay Managed Payments? And how does it affect you as an eBay seller?
In this post, we’ll not only answer these questions, but we'll also help you make sense of whether you should be striving to enroll on this invite-only programme based on your specific circumstances.
What are eBay Managed Payments?
For a long period of time, many online merchants - eBay included - relied heavily on PayPal for payment processing.
After all, many consumers had PayPal accounts and it was an easy way for merchants or eCommerce sites to process payments quickly.
In fact, eBay has historically been all-in with PayPal, even requiring their own customers to have a PayPal account in order to make a purchase.
Since launching eBay Managed Payments, their own payments system in September 2018, this is no longer the case.
eBay’s managed payments program specifically allows the platform to process the payments directly instead of relying on PayPal, enabling customers to enter payment information and process it without having to travel to a third-party site and leave the eBay interface.
This is made possible by a gradual switch over to the payment processor Adyen, which is also used by Uber and Shopify to create their payment management systems.
Right now, the program is still pretty exclusive, requiring an invite to be able to participate (though you can “express interest” in an invite here).
According to eBay themselves, however, managed payments will become the default payment system by 2021, at least for the majority of sellers. To date, over 6,000 sellers are currently participating in the managed payments program.
The idea here is simple: Merchants can sell and get paid all in one place, without the need for an additional account on another interface.
Consumers will have the benefit of easy, fast payment all through eBay's site, which includes multiple payment options such as credit cards, debit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay and even PayPal if they choose.
This means PayPal becomes an option, rather than a requirement.
The payment options available will depend on several factors, and eBay will automatically offer all checkout options that aligns with what’s in your customer's cart, their location, their browser and their device.
Purchases made on an iPhone, for example, may have Apple Pay automatically appear as an option.
The pros and cons of using eBay Managed Payments
Like with all decisions you will need to make as a merchant, there are both pros and cons of eBay’s managed payments system.
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages and how each may impact you as a seller.
Advantages of using eBay Managed Payments
When it comes to eBay's managed payments system, there are some clear advantages to participating in the programme.
While the option for multiple payment methods is an obvious one, this also comes with lower fees (which we'll get to in a minute) and a smoother process.
The ability to sell and get paid from one single account is also an asset, especially if you are trying to keep things simple as a merchant.
This also means simpler invoicing and payment management.
In fact, you'll see all your selling fees and commissions taken out on a single eBay invoice, which is much easier to keep track of and you'll get direct deposits straight into your bank account with automatic payouts. Funds can be seen quickly, even if you're accepting multiple payment options through eBay.
eBay also claims that there will be "lower buying reluctance" for merchants participating in the program, which is backed up by data; the more ways there are for buyers to pay, the more likely they are to do so.
Having a variety of different forms of payments - including instant-pay options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay - do significantly increase the likelihood of purchase.
And, since mobile payments are expected to increase to 28% by 2022, having those mobile-friendly eWallet options will likely contribute to higher purchase rates.
Sellers will also have more protection when using the eBay Managed Payment system, including for claim and chargeback disputes.
For sellers using PayPal, it is not uncommon for eBay to approve a disputed claim but for PayPal to refute it, or vice versa, sometimes resulting in the rightful party never seeing the money they're entitled to under eBay's guidelines.
With everything happening under one roof, however, what eBay says goes, and the money will follow accordingly. This will protect you as a seller (as long as your account is in good standing, you're eligible for eBay seller protection), as they only need to work with one person for support on claims, refunds, and returns.
And speaking of returns, as a seller you will have more flexibility in this department too.
You'll have the ability to distribute full or partial refunds either by item or on the entire order, all through eBay.
Finally, there's one more sliver of good news: eBay Managed Payments won't interfere with any third-party tools that you're using to either manage your listings and inventory, or for issuing refunds or tracking finances.
Disadvantages of using eBay Managed Payments
There are clearly plenty of advantages that come once you're signed up to use eBay Managed Payments, but there are certainly disadvantages to consider as well.
To start with, there are some glitches with using PayPal, with some sellers claiming that it's not showing up as an option yet. This could be due to the fact they initially eliminated PayPal as an option from managed payments, before announcing that it would be included.
In addition to this, there have been some reported temporary issues with the platform. For instance, there are no options for exchanges or replacements, only refunds. There's also no eBay for charity. It is likely that this will all change over time though.
If you're looking to create a third-party integration for eBay's new payment system, unfortunately this isn't possible as there is currently no open API.
It's also worth noting that there are restrictions on international selling with this programme. At present, only US sellers are able to sell internationally and you must meet criteria such as fulfilling the shipment yourself, as opposed to using eBay's Global Shipping Program, and having the buyer purchase from you on eBay.com and not another eBay site.
Finally, the system is currently only available on an invite-only basis. You can apply to be considered for a formal invitation, but keep in mind that it is currently restrictive, particularly for smaller merchants who may not have gotten eBay's attention yet.
eBay Managed Payments fees & costs
So far, the advantages of using eBay's managed payment system outweigh the disadvantages, and that carries over when you're looking at costs too.
It's all about that bottom line, after all.
The good news is that eBay's managed payment system is more affordable than PayPal's current fees.
Where PayPal usually charges 2.9% +$0.30 per transaction, eBay will charge 2.75% +$0.25 per transaction. Keep in mind that this $0.25 fee is new and will be going into effect at the end of September 2019.
So, there you have it, everything you need to know about eBay's new payment system.
Ultimately, eBay Managed Payments is for the most part good news for you as an eBay seller, enabling you to offer more eBay payment options and streamline the process along the way.
If you're looking to streamline your eBay operations beyond solely the checkout, it's worth considering the use of an inventory and listing management system, which can help you scale your eBay business both domestically and internationally, while saving you valuable time and money.