PayPal UK to launch “pay later” feature for shoppers?

image imageWe had an interesting tip-off yesterday. One of our readers spotted a new feature in PayPal that we haven’t heard about. It looks like a trial is underway for a “pay later” feature on PayPal.

From what we can gather, buyers on some purchases will be able to “buy” goods using PayPal on eBay and only have the payment taken 14 days after purchase. It seems fair to assume that this will be a service only offered to PayPal users with a decent track record.

Our Sherlock also took the plunge and made a purchase using the feature. It has gone through successfully and the text of the confirmation email sheds a bit more light on the service. (I’ve redacted the personal details).

“Dear XXXX,
Receipt for your xxxxx purchase — your payment has been scheduled.

You purchased an item from xxxx for £XX.XX GBP and chose to pay after delivery. It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in your PayPal account.

What happens next?
- PayPal debits the money from your bank account on 5 Feb 2014, 14 days after your purchase (most items are received within this time frame).
- We’ll send you a reminder email before we debit the money. Or you can pay for your purchase now by logging in to PayPal and selecting your transaction.
- If the item doesn’t arrive or it’s significantly not as described, you have 45 days from the date you placed the order to report a problem. See full details.

The payment will appear on your bank statement as a PayPal purchase.

You can change how you want to pay by selecting My Money from your Profile page.

It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in your account.”

And this gives you an idea of how it will appear in your PayPal dashboard:

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We asked PayPal for comment yesterday and we haven’t heard anything from them. So we’re speculating on what this feature is and who can benefit from it. But it does bear some similarity to the US service Bill Me Later that eBay bought some time ago.

But rather than being pitched as an immediate credit facility that enables you to buy something if you’re a bit skint, this feature is being positioned as a safety feature where you can examine your purchases before paying.

Of course, we have no idea how it works from a seller perspective. We have no idea whether it will be compulsory to take it, or even if you’ll actually know that someone will “pay later”. Does a seller get the funds straight away? There are plenty of questions that need answers and we hope to find out in due course.