December 22, 2011, 10:18 AM

eBay buys a German online payment services firm

BillSafe bills online shoppers via invoice, allowing them to inspect items before payment.

Thad Rueter

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

EBay Inc. today said it has bought BillSafe, a Germany-based payment service that enables online shoppers to receive invoices for purchases. The online marketplace says it made a minority investment in the German firm in October 2010 and has now acquired all of BillSafe’s outstanding shares. EBay did not say how it paid for the company.

Online consumers using payment-on-invoice receive their items and also an invoice, allowing shoppers to inspect the products before payment. EBay says such a system is popular with online shoppers not only in Germany, but also in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In Germany, eBay says, 19.6% of online purchases are conducted via payment-on-invoice, and nearly 85% of German online shoppers have paid for their purchases through invoices.

EBay says it will combine BillSafe with the German arm of its PayPal payment processing service, which includes 15 million accounts.

"German customers are extremely security-conscious, and they enjoy the convenience and safety of invoicing when they shop online,” says Arnulf Keese, managing director of PayPal Germany. “One of PayPal’s greatest assets is the security of our system, and we’re glad that we can now offer customers even more peace of mind with a payment method that they already know and prefer and that drives more sales for the merchants.”

 

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