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Online payment firm sees silver living from eBay/PayPal decision

SmartCompany /

Australian online payments company Centricom says that while it is angry with eBay’s decision for force customers to use its wholly-owned subsidiary PayPal, it may actually benefit from a backlash against PayPal from other merchants.

Centricom, developer of the POLi online debit payment service, has made a submission to the ACCC’s inquiry into the eBay decision, urging the regulator to block the move. Centricom chief executive Simon Warner says: “It will severely limit competition, choice and innovation in the online payment space.

“Not only does it bar existing and potential competitors to PayPal in the sizeable eBay market, it will also stifle competition in the broader market by unfairly strengthening PayPal’s position with merchants who also operate outside eBay to the detriment of competitors and consumers.”

Warner admits that the decision is also disappointing in that it would prevent Centricom ever winning business from eBay. He says he would be happy to see a public debate about online payments, and says the publicity is helping to reinforce the fact that consumers want access to options for online payment.

“Merchants and consumers want choice. From the other merchants that we are talking to, [the eBay decision] could actually help us. There could be pushback from merchants against PayPal.”

The POLi system allows customers to pay an online merchant directly from their bank account via their internet banking facility, and is used by online retailers including carsales.com.au, dodo.com, directflights.com.au and sportingbet.com.au.

Warner says he is off to talk to another big merchant today. “I think that transaction (adopting the POLi system) is going to happen a lot faster because this merchant has seen what has happened with the eBay decision.”

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