It’s a rare occasion, but eBay has made the news. The online commerce site, one of the Web’s oldest and most stable, is holding its X.commerce conference in San Francisco Oct 12-14. The company is set to announce a new PayPal service called “PayPal Access” and possibly a partnership with Facebook at the conference, Reuters and Bloomberg report.
From what we understand, PayPal Access will turn the PayPal system into a login credentials platform, much like Facebook has become in the last year. Websites will be able to let their users register and login using PayPal Access instead of taking the time to fill out and create a login just for that site. And since it’s PayPal, shopping sites know that users already have money at their disposal the moment they log in.
“You can create an account wherever you’re shopping without giving the merchant your information,” Anuj Nayar, an X.commerce spokesman, told Bloomberg in an interview. “These retailers don’t have the time and resources necessary to figure it all out.” And by ‘it’ he means storing and handling financial information. PayPal Access sounds much like Facebook Connect, which many sites have begun adopting, allowing them to tap into Facebook’s userbase and friend network.
While services like this and Facebook’s login are certainly convenient for sites, it means that online stores would be giving all ownership of their customers information to PayPal, essentially tying their fortunes and their users’ experiences to the vitality of the PayPal system. Should PayPal go off the deep end and make terrible decisions, a lot of businesses could be hurt. Then again, PayPal has been one of the more stable systems.
Linking up with Facebook
We don’t know any details, but Reuters believes that eBay and Facebook will announce a new partnership at the X.commerce conference this week. EBay already works with Facebook a bit, allowing users of PayPal to purchase Facebook Credits and ads, but its possible that a deeper collaboration could happen. The social network recently made a substantial partnership with Skype, integrating the company’s video chatting service deep into its platform.
“We believe a deeper partnership could be announced at the conference,” wrote Doug Anmuth, an analyst at JPMorgan, in a note to investors yesterday.
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