Bertelsmann, i-Escrow Launch i-EscrowEurope

[London, ENGLAND] Bertelsmann Financial Services
and i-Escrow, Inc. announced Wednesday a joint
European venture together with a deal that provides
secure transaction settlement services to users of
eBay UK.

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, i-EscrowEurope
will eventually expand to all the major European
countries. Initially, it launches in the U.K. and
Germany with person-to-person trading community
eBay as its main client.

Michael Menke, chief executive of i-EscrowEurope,
called the deal with eBay “a truly integrated
partnership.” He emphasized that the solution
offered by i-EscrowEurope would protect buyers and
sellers in a variety of e-commerce environments.

“We’re optimistic that our approach to mitigating
risk in online commerce will catch on quite readily
with online marketplaces throughout Europe,” said
Menke.

i-Escrow President and Chief Executive A. William
Schenck said the launch is the first important step
in a program to generate value for his company and
its partners by helping to facilitate e-commerce
across Europe.

The new partners mention that e-commerce in Western
Europe is likely to account for 35 percent of the
global total by 2004, a cool US $785 billion.

The new service will certainly be of benefit to eBay
users in the U.K., especially as many British people
tend to be cautious when trading online with each other.
Jennifer Mowat, country manager of eBay.co.uk, sees it
as a big step forward for the trading community.

“Security on the Web is a huge issue and this new service
provides an added value service to registered eBay users
who can be even more safe in the knowledge that their
finances are protected when buying and selling on
eBay.co.uk,” said Mowat.

Bertelsmann Financial Services, a subsidiary of the
Bertelsmann Services Group, has payment networks in
14 countries, and handles around 70 million payments
per year.

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