eBay Inc, the world's largest Internet marketplace, introduced its PayPal payment-transfer service to local users in Taiwan this week. A subsidiary of eBay, PayPal enables individuals or businesses in 38 countries who have an e-mail address to send and receive payments online.

Users need to apply for virtual accounts and deposit money using credit cards or transfers from a checking account at a traditional bank into PayPal before starting transactions. The system receives US dollars, Canadian dollars, euros, British pounds and Japanese yen. The company hopes the introduction of this service in Taiwan will attract more users who can sell their products to the 95 million eBay users worldwide.

If currency transactions and exchange rates can be simplified, Taiwan is likely to have large potential in accessing overseas markets via the Internet–a current survey shows that 85% of the eBay's Taiwanese members are interested in exporting their products. eBay has approximately 200,000 goods posted on its Taiwanese Web site. Local users can post their auction items on any eBay Web site with their user ID to conduct transnational transactions.

There is still the concern, however, that few Taiwanese members are likely to sell their products to foreign markets, with the difficulty and expense of arranging shipping being cited as the main cause.


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