eBay said you won't need a PayPal account to sell on its platform once it becomes a payments intermediary (in other words, buyers will pay eBay, not sellers), although buyers can continue to pay with PayPal if they wish. Instead, eBay will disburse all payments from buyers into sellers' bank accounts.
A trio of eBay executives also said there's nothing sellers need to do right now. They were speaking at a webinar today held to answer questions about eBay's plans to become a "payments intermediary."
Scott Cutler, eBay SVP, Americas, said, "As it relates to disbursement, eBay will be disbursing the funds directly to sellers. And that's important because as we look at the journey that we want our customers to be on, eBay is going to play a central part in that relationship, that buying experience, and that selling experience, and that's what we're going to be on the journey for."
Alyssa Cutright, who joined eBay in 2016 as Vice President of Global Payments, also answered a question about disbursements.
Asked, "When and how can I get payments, where will I go to get paid," she responded:
"With eBay being at the center of your relationship in the future inclusive of payments, you will manage your funds through eBay. So you will have visibility to the funds and to proceeds of your sales. We strive to provide transparency about where those funds are along the process, and generally we will be moving those funds directly from eBay to your bank account.
"That is where we feel direct access to your funds is most beneficial to all of you as sellers. We will of course continue to explore other mechanisms that will allow you to have access to those funds beyond going directly to your bank account and welcome input on how you would like to access your funds.
"But we know gaining access to those funds is really important. That's your working capital, that's how you run your business day to day. And we're going to make sure there is full transparency and that we are working to get those funds to you as expeditiously as possible."
Executive Bob Kupbens talked about predictable access to funds - "you know when your funds are going to be there, you know then what decisions you can make in your business to allow you to be successful. This is a journey that we're on together. We're working towards creating a single source of truth for you to manage your business, and include all the payments information, like making sure that as we talk to you about what's important, that we put that front and center, and on top of it is this greater opportunity for reach."
eBay is becoming a payments intermediary because its 5-year operating agreement with PayPal will end after the companies split in 2015.
The executives talked a lot about "simplified" and "streamlined" experiences for buyers and sellers, and promised sellers greater insight into their business under the new experience that eBay will begin testing later this year. They also said that by offering payments that are preferred in local markets, such as Union Pay in China, "we believe that will drive more sales and higher conversions ultimately for all of you on our platform."
The reaction to today's webinar from sellers was disappointment at the lack of details, especially around fees.
One reader told us everything was generic. "I heard no specifics on fees, payment processing times, what fees will be withheld from sellers at the time of payment, will supporting tax reports be available, etc. I still have all the questions I had before the seminar."
Two sellers who attended the webinar reacted on Facebook. One came away believing eBay would do what they want to whether sellers like it or not. "All they did is go around in circles, not addressing the real issues that sellers have with this new program." Another wrote, "Webinar was not very informative..... we are in this together - and we will learn as we go."
Updated to correct Scott Cutler's title.