eBay To Cut Off American Express Amid Credit Card Fee Negotiations

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay will no longer allow buyers to use American Express to pay for items on the site starting in August as credit card fee negotiations hit a standstill with neither side willing to budge.

Bloomberg has reportedly seen an email eBay plans to send to users announcing the change will be effective August 17, which states "After careful consideration, eBay has decided to no longer accept American Express globally effective August 17 due to the unacceptably high fees American Express charges for processing credit card transactions."

The two companies have been locked in negotiations around the merchant discount rates β€” also known as interchange fees β€” charged by Amex each time a card is used in a transaction.

Amex, however, said its fees are comparable to what eBay must pay to accept similar cards on other networks, like Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc., while providing more value, telling Bloomberg in a statement:

β€œAmerican Express Card Members have an average transaction size at eBay that is more than double the transaction size of cards from 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.”

Amex has presented challenges for the company ever since eBay split with PayPal and introduced Managed Payments using Adyen as their preferred processing partner.

Since the transition to Managed Payments in 2021, select categories like Fine Jewelry, Watches, and Coins have been blocked from using American Express for payments, likely due to card company policies and/or higher interchange fees.

eBay Blocks American Express For Select Categories In Managed Payments
It appears eBay may be blocking users from paying with American Express in Fine Jewelry, Watches, & Coins categories.

Unfortunately, those are some of the very categories eBay CEO Jamie Iannone has targeted as part of his "high value buyer focus vertical strategy" to try to bring more luxury buyers to the platform with various authentication and consignment schemes.

While eBay may be cutting ties with Amex, they're also looking to expand payments services in other directions is a recent survey asking for sellers' thoughts on funds availability, fee structures, access to capital and other features is any indication.

eBay Surveys Sellers On Payments & Financial Services
eBay surveys sellers on funds availability, fee structures, access to capital and more to gauge interest in new payment and financial services.

And eagle-eyed buyers have noticed eBay appears to be testing adding Venmo as an available payment option at check out as well.

eBay Tests Adding Venmo To Available Payment Options For Buyers
eBay tests allowing Venmo as a payment option for some purchases as they look to enhance the payments experiences for both buyers and sellers.

Sellers may relish the irony of eBay getting in a fight with a service provider over high fees, as recent moves to pressure sellers into passing shipping discounts along to buyers or accept post-sale price matching offers for lower prices have been met with pushback about how eBay's creeping take rate via Final Value Fees and ever increasing Promoted Listings ad fees are taking a bigger bite out of margins.

eBay Testing Price Match Post-Sale Offers Feature, Sellers Face Continued Discounting Pressure
eBay is testing a new price match post-sale offers feature that may allow sellers to save orders from cancellation - for a price.

How will eBay getting rid of American Express as a payment option impact your buying and selling on the site? Let us know in the comments below!

eBayFees & Payments

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!

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