Tech Industry

eBay maps out Billpoint's demise

The online auctioneer will begin phasing out its online payment service in January, now that its merger with PayPal is complete.

eBay will begin phasing out its Billpoint online payment service in January, now that its merger with PayPal is complete.

Online auction giant eBay completed its $1.5 billion acquisition of PayPal in October. Both PayPal and Billpoint offer consumers a way to handle payments online. Through the services, buyers can make deposits in sellers' accounts using credit cards or existing accounts. Sellers can redeem the money through bank transfers or by check, or use the accounts to make payments themselves.

Although PayPal has become wildly popular with eBay buyers and sellers, eBay's own in-house service never achieved the same success. When it acquired PayPal, eBay said that it planned to replace its service with PayPal in 2003.

According to the eBay Web site, the company will wait until the holiday season is over before eliminating the Billpoint service. The phaseout will take place over a few months, with the Billpoint site shutting down completely April 30.

Billpoint will be removed as a payment option for all new auction-related, fixed-price and store inventory listings on eBay starting in mid-January. In mid-February, it will be taken off fast deposit on eBay Motors and replaced by PayPal. PayPal will also appear as a new option for eBay Store listings. By mid-April, the Billpoint refund function will be removed as well.

A large percentage of Billpoint users already have PayPal accounts, said eBay spokesman Chris Donlay. "We are hoping that (those who don't) will open PayPal accounts but they're certainly open to use whatever system they would like," he said.