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Eby upgrades consumer protection to increase sales

Eby upgrades consumer protection to increase sales

Online auctioneer, eBay, is upgrading its buyer protection security for customers using Paypal, its online payment service. The intention is to attract more big spenders to its booming UK marketplace.

Ebay’s UK unit is one of their fastest growing markets and is crucial to its long-term growth plans, yet the recent explosion in online fraud is seriously denting Western Europe’s confidence in the online medium.

"Our research shows that a third of online users are reluctant to spend more than fifty pounds online. This is a way to appease those customers and get them to spend more online," said Geoff Iddison, chief executive of PayPal Europe.

"With this new programme... Paypal is able to help increase the community's confidence when shopping on eBay," said a Paypal UK spokesman.

The introduction of a buyer protection fee for goods purchased on eBay UK through PayPal will insure customers for damages up to £250.

But they must have bought from a seller who has had feedback from at least 50 different buyers using the site.

Of this feedback at least 98% must be positive, and the seller must be based in the UK, US or Canada.

If a sale is not covered and fraud takes place, Paypal says it will still "attempt to recover any funds owed".

Now one of the world's biggest payment protection services, EBay claims that the rate of fraudulent transactions for PayPal is less than one-half of one percent -- or nearly four times as safe as the typical online transaction at the top 150 Internet retailers.

The company's primary aim for 2004 is to expand its PayPal business across Europe; a region where many buyers still use electronic funds transfers and debit cards to seal deals.

However, the payment service is not without its critics, especially in the US, where it has been criticised for having poor customer service.

Sources: BBC, Reuters

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