Starting this fall, eBay will support Apple Pay, one of the first forms of payment accepted in eBay's plan to manage end-to-end payment processes itself for its marketplace, according to an eBay press release.
In separate news, eBay and Square Capital have forged a partnership under which the latter will extend financing to eligible eBay sellers who are trying to grow their businesses, according to another company press release.
Through that program, select eBay sellers will begin receiving invitations during the current quarter to apply loans of between $500 and $100,000. Square Capital will assess eligibility and risk, and decide on loan amounts and limits.
The Apple Pay announcement comes several months after eBay announced a shift away from its onetime subsidiary PayPal for payment processing and a plan to work with new partner Adyen to manage these processes itself. That migration remains a work in progress; eBay has said it will be 2021 before a majority of its marketplace customers have been moved to the new "payments experience."
Ultimately, PayPal still will be a payment option for eBay users, but it probably makes sense for the marketplace to broaden its payment options as it continues to face tough competition from Amazon and other marketplaces, some of which accept Apple Pay. EBay also may be hoping that it may help draw more purchasing on its site from Apple devotees who prefer Apple Pay through their iOS apps and Safari desktops to anything else. We’re guessing Apple isn’t the last new payments partner eBay adds as it continues its payments makeover.
Meanwhile, the partnership with Square Capital looks like a move to strengthen eBay’s relationships with its sellers, encouraging them to grow and broaden their own options. It comes a few weeks after Payability announced an Instant Advance offering aimed at sellers on multiple marketplaces with the goal of letting them access a large amount of capital against future receivables to help them expand and upgrade different aspects of their operations, such as payroll, inventory, equipment and marketing.
Both the Apple and Square relationships indicate eBay is on a mission to improve and expand the services that support its marketplace sellers. These announcements fit into the realm of financial services eBay offers those sellers, but eBay also has been making other efforts to help sellers, such as unveiling an augmented reality app earlier this year to help them with shipping issues. EBay also has been busy supporting shoppers, too, offering a curated shopping experience in its mobile app earlier this year, and launching image search late last year. As the online marketplace universe continues to grow, eBay must do whatever it can to strengthen its relationships on both fronts.