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Skrill Offers Marketplaces a New Alternative to PayPal

Skrill has launched a brand new platform for marketplaces that want to offer a payment solution that enables their sellers to start trading instantly under their own accounts. The UK-based company, previously known as Moneybookers, is better known in Europe than in the U.S. and is one of the small number of payment services eBay allows sellers to accept for marketplaces transactions.

What’s different about Marketplace Payments is that Skrill offering a turnkey solution for the marketplaces themselves.

“The payments requirements for marketplaces are fundamentally different to a standard ecommerce site,” a Skrill spokesperson told EcommerceBytes. “A marketplace connects the users and facilitates the transaction but doesn’t sell anything itself, presenting a range of unique challenges.”

The new Marketplace Payments service is designed to appeal to any digital marketplace where users buy and sell products and services. “Auction sites are a classic example but several vertical marketplaces like Airbnb and Uber have had incredible success in recent years,” said the spokesperson.

The platform is brand new, so Skrill doesn’t have any marketplaces using the service as of yet. As for fees, each marketplace sets seller fees per transaction. “These fees can vary as required by the marketplace and are deducted from the transactions before funds are paid out to the sellers,” according to the spokesperson.

Many marketplaces have chosen PayPal to facilitate payments between buyers and sellers – including Etsy – but that leaves them using a service owned by a rival (eBay). That could put Skrill at an advantage, though it is at a disadvantage when it comes to name recognition in the U.S.

Skrill’s press release announcing the new service explains more about the value proposition for marketplaces and merchants:

The solution will help online marketplaces manage online payments between their buyers and sellers, without being involved in the flow of funds themselves and therefore helping to address compliance challenges. By using a third party service provider such as Skrill, a digital marketplace can reduce regulatory risks, establish local bank relationships to deliver lower processing fees and take advantage of free fraud scanning so that payments are as simple and secure as possible.

Payments can also be split, allowing commission to be deducted before funds are settled to sellers, which makes processing more efficient and cost effective. Sellers can be paid out in one batch using an automated process and can access funds via payment to their bank accounts or instantly through the Skrill Prepaid MasterCard(R), which is an integrated part of the offering.

Skrill Marketplace Payments offer a single integration access to 40 currencies and more than 100 local payment options. Buyers have the ability to pay in ways that are most familiar to them, and sellers can hold balances in several currencies.

In addition, the marketplace checkout flow allows buyers to make repeat purchases without having to enter payment information each time. “Payment details are stored securely, with sophisticated fraud management tools in place to mitigate shopper and seller fraud globally.”

Skrill’s Chantal Willis said in the company’s announcement, “At Skrill, we pride ourselves on investing and developing innovative and specialist solutions that help to address our customers’ complex payment challenges. Our proposition for digital marketplaces offers a scalable, global solution, delivered through a single integration. This means marketplaces can concentrate on running their business, knowing that their payments are in safe hands.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.