RealTime IT News

eBay Bidding Bye Bye to Billpoint

Following through on its plan to make the recently acquired PayPal service its main payment mechanism, online auction leader eBay has told its legions of users that the old Billpoint (eBay Payments) service will be phased out early next year.

When it acquired PayPal last July for $1.5 billion, eBay said Billpoint would be phased out.

Now, eBay has begun the phasing, and says on its announcements board that it will be removing Billpoint "over the next few months, after the holiday selling season."

The first move will come in mid-January, when Billpoint will be removed as a payment option for all new auction-style, Fixed Price and Stores Inventory listings on eBay. The phase-out will continue until through April 30 when the www.billpoint.com site will be shut down. PayPal accounts will not be automatically created for Billpoint users, but they can be created via a link at Billpoint.com.

Billpoint never caught on with users the way PayPal did. Billpoint was founded in October of 1998 and was purchased by eBay in May 1999.

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay and Wells Fargo formed a strategic relationship in March 2000 to provide eBay's buyers and sellers with the integrated online payment service. At the time, Wells Fargo acquired a 35 percent equity stake in Billpoint. But last February, eBay bought that equity back for $43.5 million, although Wells Fargo continued to handle processing.