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eBay to stop accepting American Express

eBay is parting ways with American Express.

eBay shoppers will soon no longer have American Express cards as a payment option.

In a statement emailed to Chain Store Age, eBay said that after "careful consideration," it has decided to no longer accept American Express globally effective Saturday, Aug. 17, 2024 due to what it called the financial service company’s "unacceptably high" fees for processing credit card transactions.

"At a time when payment processing costs should be declining because of technological advancements, investments in fraud capabilities and customer protections by merchants like eBay, credit card transaction fees continue to rise unabated because of a lack of meaningful competition," eBay said in the emailed statement. 

"eBay customers have been notified about this upcoming change to prepare them for a smooth transition starting Aug. 17 to the variety of popular and relevant payment options available on our marketplace. Based on internal research, we know that the vast majority of eBay customers are willing to use alternative payment options to continue enjoying buying and selling on our marketplace."

"Our customers have a deep affinity for eBay due to our unique inventory, attractive prices, and the meaningful role eBay plays in powering recommerce to contribute to a healthier planet. With 2 billion listings and 132 million active buyers worldwide, eBay connects buyers and sellers in 190 markets around the world, fueling small business growth and economic opportunity for our communities."

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and National Retail Federation (NRF) have both expressed continuing general concerns about fees credit card companies charge retailers, even with Visa and Mastercard reaching an estimated $30 billion settlement with U.S. retailers regarding credit and debit card fees in March 2024 (the companies did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement).

Both RILA and NRF stated that the settlement should not interfere with Congress' passing of the proposed Credit Card Competition Act, which would "bring true competition to a broken market," said RILA. The proposed act specifically exempts American Express.

Meanwhile, American Express issued an official response to eBay’s decision expressing disappointment in the e-commerce retailer’s plan to stop accepting its cards for payment.

"By doing so, (eBay) will limit customers’ payment choices and take away the service, security, and rewards that customers value when paying with American Express," said American Express in the statement. "Our research tells us that in the U.S. the cost of acceptance for American Express is comparable to what eBay pays for similar cards on other networks. 

"We find eBay’s decision to drop American Express as a payment choice for consumers to be inconsistent with their stated desire to increase competition at the point of sale. Additionally, eBay represents less than 0.2% of our total network volume. American Express card members can continue to use their cards with millions of merchants around the world."

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