eBay to Google Checkout — get lost

It appears that the gloves are off in the battle for online-payment supremacy, one which pits Google’s new payment feature Google Checkout against PayPal, owned by auction giant eBay. According to a report on Thursday, eBay has added its competitor’s service to the list of payment networks that eBay sellers are not supposed to use (a list that also includes AnyPay.com, FastCash.com and MoneyGram.com).

According to eBay’s “Accepted Payments Policy” the company “wants to ensure that the marketplace offers buyers an array of safe, appropriate and convenient payment choices for the marketplace. As described in our safe buying guide, eBay strongly encourages sellers to offer payments through PayPal – PayPal is not only convenient to use, but it also offers buyers and sellers industry leading protection against fraud, chargebacks and theft of financial data.”

So is adding Google Checkout to the banned services list an anti-competitive act designed to favour its own in-house solution or is eBay just looking out for its sellers? The company says in its policy that “as new payment services arise, eBay will evaluate them to determine whether they are appropriate for the marketplace. Payment services that are not permitted on eBay may, in fact, be outstanding services for consumers in other contexts. eBay’s evaluation relates only to whether a particular service is appropriate for the eBay marketplace.”

The company says that it considers a number of factors when it approves a payment scheme, including whether it offers privacy and anti-fraud systems, whether it has a track record of providing safe and reliable services, and the background of the payment service. For its part, Google said that it has “a long history in billing and payments for AdWords and for premium services, such as Google Video.” And what services does the auction giant approve of, other than PayPal? Well, there’s Bidpay, Certapay, Checkfree and, yes — Canadian Tire money, believe it or not.

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