PayPal heads across the ditch

PayPal has finally reached across the Tasman to bridge the online trading space between Australia and our Kiwi neighbours. The New Zealand Dollar (NZD) was among ten new currencies added to the PayPal currency mix today.

New Zealanders who have previously had to incur foreign exchange costs when conducting e-business through PayPal can now transact with greater efficiency on the domestic front as well as internationally. The added convenience is expected to encourage and develop e-commerce in New Zealand.

"I think it's a very positive thing from a cross-border point of view between Australia and New Zealand," said Andrew Pipolo, Managing Director of PayPal Australia.

"New Zealand is a very sophisticated market and e-commerce is quite vibrant there," he said. "For Australian e-businesses, [the NZD addition] is a really good thing, because buyers and sellers will be able determine which currency they prefer to trade in, and I think that's just going to make it a lot easier, and a lot more efficient, for both markets to be able to trade."

PayPal has been expanding its currency mix in accordance with eBay's footprints, Pipolo explained. The ten new currencies that were added today were chosen on the basis of the volume of online business transactions and feedback from buyers and sellers.

The service will now allow its 114 million worldwide accounts to access funds in the New Zealand Dollar, Czech Koruna, Danish Krone, Hong Kong Dollar, Hungarian Forint, Norwegian Krone, Polish Zlotys, Singapore Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc.

These ten new additions join an existing seven: US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling, Canadian Dollars, Japanese Yen and Chinese RMB.

The Australian Dollar was introduced into PayPal's currency mix in January 2005, due to the popularity of eBay trade in Australia.

"eBay was very strong in Australia, so our priority was to launch in Australia with the Australian dollar and localized site," Pipolo said.

"Obviously there is strong cross-Tasman trade, so our next opportunity was to launch the New Zealand dollar. It was really just a matter of time; it's not a trivial exercise to launch a new currency in the market."

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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