The Payment wars are heating up (or Here comes the Q3 craziness!)

August 1, 2007

Marketplaces ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

Payment_warsThings have been really quiet this July, but here we are at August first and its time for everyone in ecommerce-land to wake up and get cracking for the Q4 rush.

In that spirit there are several interesting announcements/leaks around the payment wars.

First, TechCrunch reports that Amazon is working on a payment system in the vein of Google Checkout (e.g. it will be a checkout system you can put on a merchant’s site, vs. just sitting next to visa/mc/amex).  This is also how Paypal Express works.
Next, since raising a whopping $640m in debt financing last year, BillMeLater IPO rumors are swirling around.  Nobody knows their volume, but the speculation is that they are as large/larger than PayPal’s off-ebay (merchant) business.  BML certainly is on a lot of merchants out there and is making moves to come further down to the SMB level.

Some interesting questions:

  1. Will eBay allow amazon checkout/payment system for eBay purchases (I’m guessing it’s probably not proven or secure, just like gcheckout).
  2. Also, a reporter asked me which one processes more: Paypal or Amazon’s payment system?

Here’s some quickly math from the eBay and Amazon Q207 reports.  All math is quarterly:


  • PayPal Global TPV: $11.69B – $4.92 off-ebay (merchant services)


  • $2.89b Global Net Sales
  • Amazon’s net sales isn’t the same as TPV/GMV because it includes 100% of the GMV for Amazon sourced goods, but only the TAKE RATE (approx 15%) for third-parties.  Amazon doesn’t break that out, but they do say that 30% of orders are third parties.
  • If we really swag this (the number is too high because we don’t know the ASP and not counting for the fact that 30% of the orders have 15% of the revenue counted), you can get Amazon TPV of about $4-5b

So the answer is: If you count all of Paypal’s TPV, they are 2-3X ahead, if you look at just off-ebay, Amazon isn’t that far off.

I have a sneaking suspicion there are some more payment announcements on the horizon so stay tuned! 😉