In the not-particularly-near future, eBay's checkout process will become a simpler affair. The company announced today that it intends to stop supporting third-party checkout solutions on June 30th of next year.
This seems like a wise move for several reasons. For starters, it will grant eBay more complete control over its site, and search boxes and Facebook widgets aside, it's usually wise for companies not to rely on others. Too many things can go wrong, diluting the brand and/or spoiling the users' experience.
Then, another key point is that the change shouldn't affect many sellers. Todd Lutwak, Vice President of Seller Experience, explained in an announcement that fewer than one-tenth of all eBay sales involve third-party solutions, and "[f]or those sellers who do use third-party solutions, eBay checkout is being enhanced with key functionality including advanced tax reporting, more credit card integration, and advanced shipping solutions."
Lutwak even promised, "We are also working closely with each service provider to ensure a smooth transition to eBay checkout. You can expect to hear from your provider with more information in the coming weeks."
Finally, it'll be hard for anyone to complain that eBay has sprung this change on them, considering the company's given both sellers and buyers a little more than ten months to get used to the idea.
The only negative piece of eBay-related news we have to report doesn't tie at all to this development. It just seems worth mentioning that eBay's stock fell 1.72 percent today.