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EBay Acquiring VeriSign Processing for $370 Million

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the spending-money-to-justify-spending-more dept.

Businesses 123

Forum124 was one of the first in a wave of readers to tell us that eBay is acquiring VeriSign's payment processing business for US$370 million. VeriSign will be merged with PayPal and is estimated to generate a 20 percent operating margin which eBay hopes to help offset the recently reported high purchase price of Skype.

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Uh-oh (5, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763002)

Great, all they need to do now is buy Amazon and they'll own half the internet.

Re:Uh-oh (5, Informative)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763059)

They are not buying ALL of VeriSign. Payment Services is just one of four divisions of Verisign [verisign.com] . Others include:
  • Security Services (formerly RSA)
  • Naming & Directory Services (formerly Network Solutions)
  • Communications Services

Re:Uh-oh (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763112)

No wonder they don't have any time for me this week! I'm on site, trying to get some measly performance test off the ground.

Re:Uh-oh (5, Informative)

kafka47 (801886) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763245)

Good clarification. Except :

Security Services (formerly RSA)

This was a RSA spin-off, and was not a part of RSA Security Inc. The Security Service that Verisign provides (and was the core of their original business) is that of a managed PKI service, Root CA signing, S/MIME certificates and code-signing.

/K

Re:Uh-oh (1)

Cally (10873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763546)

So, at the time of writing this factually incorrect headline is still up, four hours after it was posted. Is anyone awake at Taco Towers?

Silly Poster... (2, Insightful)

StringBlade (557322) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763773)

...factual headlines don't draw crowds.

Re:Uh-oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763788)

Network Solutions has not been part of VeriSign for almost 2 years. Please get your facts straight before posting...oh wait, this is Slashdot. Nevermind.

Re:Uh-oh (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763804)

So in other words if I type "dellgaminglaptops.com" into my browser, instead of getting a "Domain not found" page, I'll be redirected to an ebay search for "dell gaming laptops"? What a wonderful improvement over Verislime's previous activities.

Uhhhh... (2, Interesting)

xiphoris (839465) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763070)

They don't have the money to buy us :o) In your dreams...

Googlezon, on the other hand... that could be sweet.

-- Justin Crites, Amazon.com Software Development Engineer

Re:Uhhhh... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763085)

Why stop there? It seems like Republicans don't even know the meaning of the word 'antitrust'.

TimeMicroGooglezonburton?

Re:Uh-oh (1)

Jerk-O-Meter (907136) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763228)

When did eBay become pacman?

Re:Uh-oh (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763289)

and I for one welcome our new electronic marketplace overlords...

Re:Uh-oh (2, Funny)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763760)

Apparently they sniped Google at the last minute...

Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763005)

Three for the price of one.

Trust? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763008)

From the people who brought you the crazy frog: Secure online payment processing! We deserve your trust!

Re:Trust? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763016)

Please wait while we process your credit ca^^439 Ba ding ding ding bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaap bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaap boom bom ding ding ding...

does this mean (3, Interesting)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763009)

that micropayments are just around the corner ? Somehow ? Maybe I'm just thinking wishfully here .. :(

Re:does this mean (0)

Basehart (633304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763157)

There go the free pron thumbnails!

Re:does this mean (1)

Franklinstein (909568) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764752)

I honestly don't know why everybody is so friggin excited for micropayments. Actually wait...let me clarify...I don't see why CONSUMERS are so friggin excited.

Yes, micropayments will allow you to pay less for individual content. Very true. However given the greed of companies (RIAA anybody?) who want to raise prices, that won't be much.

Not to mention the fact that while this enables you to pay less, you will inevitably be paying more as every single content producer under the sun starts using micropayments to charge you for every little fraction of their website...except maybe newsletter sign-ups because they make money off the spam you'll get after you sign up.

Unfortunately, gamers are already starting to realize what a BAD IDEA this is in the wrong hands ever since Valve has begun buying up mods and selling them. DoD? Pay for it. Natural Selection? Pay for it. The glorious vision of pay-per-play on the internet is about to come, and you fools are ushering it in with open arms.

Re:does this mean (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765171)

The glorious vision of pay-per-play on the internet is about to come, and you fools are ushering it in with open arms.

I seriously doubt it. Micropayments may catch on for sites like WSJ or other premium content sites, but most people aren't going to pay for the majority of crap we see on the net. If it ever becomes a reality there will be a huge rush for every blogger and cheesy pron site out there to implement micropayments. Most people won't be willing to pay anything for the pathetic content and the sites will have to remove their micropayments or sacrifice the traffic.

This is even true for your gaming example. The more popular a game is the more they can charge. Games that are sucky or obscure can't charge as much as the hot game of the month. I actually don't see micropayments working at all. Most people bounce around the net, if I constantly have to be watching to see what site is charging my micropayments, watch how much I'm spending and re-enter my payment information for every site I want to look at, I'll go back to watching TV.

Re:does this mean (1)

Superfreaker (581067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766048)

Didn't you get the memo? They already are:

On August 31st, 2005, PayPal announced new Micropayments rate of 5% + $0.05 per transaction. The rate is available now, to U.S. merchants who sell digital content to U.S. customers, when PayPal is the sole payment solution offered to customers for micropayments transactions. Merchants who wish to use PayPal's micropayments pricing will need to open a new PayPal account through the account registration link at the bottom of this note. Each PayPal account is associated with only one merchant processing rate. That rate determines the fee that's applied to funds received into that account (additional information on PayPal's Standard Fees is available at: http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display- fees-outside [paypal.com] ). For example: if your Premier/Business Account rate for receiving funds is 2.9% + $0.30, using PayPal's 5% + $0.05 micropayments rate would reduce the total transaction fee charged to payments received below the value of $12 (per payment). However, if you accept payments that are greater than $12, you would pay a lower processing charge by accepting the payment into the account set with the 2.9% + $0.30 rate. If you wish to leverage PayPal's micropayments pricing, please open a new browser window and paste the link below into the URL field to open your new PayPal account with micropayments pricing of 5% + $0.05. http://www.paypal.com/activate_micropayments_5pct_ plus_5cents_new_account_pricing [paypal.com] If you have further questions about the micropayments pricing, you can send questions to: micropayments@paypal.com

Re:does this mean (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766243)

using PayPal's 5% + $0.05 micropayments rate would reduce the total transaction fee charged to payments received below the value of $12 (per payment).

Hahah, that's not micropayments. A micropayment might be a penny (or a fraction of a penny) per webpage view. Assuming the site wants to charge half a penny per web view, they'd have to charge 5.5 cents per web view... of which PayPal would get about 5.02 cents, or 91% of the money paid by the customer!

Micropayments my rear-end. :)

shite (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763010)

fuck you biotch!

No seriously, how do you spell bitch and sound uber-cool???

Re:shite (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763145)

That would be "be'atch"

Just a little warning about PayPal (4, Informative)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763014)

This might be the future of VeriSign:

www.paypalwarning.com (notice that this site hasn't been taken down due to libel)

www.paypalsucks.com (ditto)

Habitual VeriSign customers using VeriSign to collect payments may be wise to abandon ship.

Re:Just a little warning about PayPal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763034)

The one thing to remember is that PayPal is not a bank. If you don't treat it like one, you're going to be ok.

Re:Just a little warning about PayPal (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764431)

The one thing to remember is that PayPal is not a bank. If you don't treat it like one, you're going to be ok.
That's good advice. As long as you don't use Paypal as a bank, for example by using it for transfering money between people or storing such transfered money temporarily in holding accounts, you should be set. That's the critical thing: don't use Paypal for anything involving money. Paypal's great for non-bank stuff, I assume, but if you use it for anything involving money you're just asking for trouble.

Re:Just a little warning about PayPal (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763089)

That's okay, Verisign's payment services already suck.

The code does, at least. The Linux SDK is closed-source, and their customer support has the NERVE to say it's for "security". Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

Do you use PPC? AMD64? Sorry, you need to use the Java version. Bah.

Verisign is teh suck (4, Interesting)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763159)

If someone is already habitually doing business with VeriSign, they're accustom to abysmal service, so I doubt this merger will force them to abandon ship.

In my professional geek career, I have yet to met a business that could top VeriSign's ability to cause grief, stress, development delays, and outrageous legal fees.

VeriSign is responsible for the collapse of the last company I worked for. We spent 2 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars designing and developing a retail solution based around a particular domain name. Unfortunately, the CEO fell victim of identity theft before we launched and some a-hole was able to acquire our domain names though ****ing VeriSign.

You'd think we'd be able to get them back easily. We had receipts and we didn't authorize the transfer. But, nooo. They wouldn't cooperate with our lawyers or the California Computer Crimes Task Force. It was SUCH a pain.

And I know I'm not alone on this one. VeriSign is the biggest POS.
I have several, less destructive, examples of being screwed by that company. But I'll spare you for now.

Hopefully, Ebay will make VeriSign slightly less crappy.

Re:Verisign is teh suck (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763290)

Learn how to spell moron. VERISign Owns your Mom

Re:Verisign is teh suck (1, Funny)

speculatrix (678524) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763368)

spent 2 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars designing and developing a retail solution based around a particular domain name

Have you ever considered that putting all your eggs into SUCH a critical but easy to lose resource such as a domain name is really REALLY stupid? Did you really have no "plan B", to have a couple of other good (but maybe not QUITE so good) domain names that would allow continuity of business? Even if you didn't lose control of the domains, any kind of major outage or error on your DNS hosting for just a day would have been disastrous!

Of course, you might have been talking about sex.com, in which case, yeah, I'd be pissed off too, and maybe a tad bitter, as that case dragged on for *years*.

not to mention Jamba (5, Informative)

sangdrax (132295) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763467)

Not to mention VeriSign owns Jamba!: http://jamba.de/s/dcw/html/about-us_en.html [jamba.de] , which produces MAJORLY annoying ringtones and tv commercials to sell them. They try to rip off kids in a way which is actually often illegal (the fine print says you dont actually buy a ringtone, you buy a subscription.. which kids aren't allowed to. etc. that kind of stuff), and annoy the hell out of the rest of us. They operate all over Europe, and according to that link apparently also in North America.

Re:not to mention Jamba (1)

usrusr (654450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13766053)

This gets even more interesting: Jamba was founded by the Samwer brothers with money they made from selling alando, one of the more successfull ebay-ripoffs in germany, to ebay germany.

Interesting side point (2, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763861)

When I was working at Stream [stream.com] (a tech support outsourcer), in the beginning about three years ago, we had a Verisign call center. That always struck me as kind of odd, because it was the only contract that had to be cut off from the rest of the building, i.e., the others had windows to the "main hall" whereas the Verisign portion you could never quite see what they were doing. I mean, I can understand (kind of...) outsourcing first and perhaps second level customer service for the desktop division of someone like HP (the contract I was on) but outsourcing the primary customer contact for a security company?

They went internal some time afterward from what I heard but I often wonder if we actually just lost the contract to a lower bidder.

Re:Verisign is teh suck (1)

Rahga (13479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764005)

"VeriSign is responsible for the collapse of the last company I worked for. We spent 2 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars designing and developing a retail solution based around a particular domain name. Unfortunately, the CEO fell victim of identity theft before we launched and some a-hole was able to acquire our domain names though ****ing VeriSign."

I don't think Verisign could be responsible for the downfall of a company if such a place couldn't survive a domain name change.

Re:Verisign is teh suck (1)

j-turkey (187775) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764550)

I don't think Verisign could be responsible for the downfall of a company if such a place couldn't survive a domain name change.

I'm not the original poster, but let's think about the scenatio for a second. The poster described a startup Internet company, likely recgonizable to its customers only by a domain name. Presumably, the business is only able to generate revenue by customers visiting the site (generating sales and/or ad revenue). The poster said that Verisign refused to cooperate with their legal team or the California Computer Crimes Task Force. Given the parties involved, this appears to be a long and drawn out process. Perhaps we can assume that it went on for a month -- maybe two?

To a small startup, the loss of 1-2 months of revenue is significant. Remember that since they were a startup, marketing another domain name is probably out of the question. Perhaps it wasn't Verisign's fault entirely, but their customer service issues led to the downfall of a company. Lesson learned: Verisign doesn't care about customer service, and it costs customers. Don't do business with Verisign.

Another black hole (1)

ke4roh (590577) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764661)

In my professional geek career, I have yet to met a business that could top VeriSign's ability to cause grief, stress, development delays, and outrageous legal fees.
I dunno, when I was trying to work with Pitney Bowes [pb.com] over a postage meter and scale for small business, talking to customer service seemed like fighting with a tar baby [wikipedia.org] . We returned the scale that was included as part of the package because it cost something like $5/month to lease (which we thought was absurd since we could buy a scale just like it for $50). They said they hadn't received it and continued to charge us the extra fee. We tracked the shipmenet and went 'round and 'round with customer service until they finally got it right - but we spent way more in hourly wages straightening out the mess than we saved by returning the scale!

Anyhow, the point is, yes, customer service can stink. I'm pretty sure today's model is, "Build a product and hope it works. Throw in a customer service department to keep the idiots happy, and hope they do a good job, and if they don't, push the complaints back to the coders/factory/whatever." The problem with the model is that we can engineer better solutions [amazon.com] if we put our minds to it.

THEY ARE NOT BUYING VERISIGN! (4, Insightful)

Numair (77943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763242)

God could this article be ANY MORE MISLEADING? eBay is buying Verisign Payment Services, which offers software that connects merchant accounts to websites. This represents only 3-4% of Verisign's overall revenues.

Verisign is a MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY. What sort of moron would piece together "eBay buys Verisign" from the news reports?! We really need to do something about people doing rapid-fire posts on Slashdot just to see their name / their company's news website in lights. Totally ridiculous.

Re:THEY ARE NOT BUYING VERISIGN! (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765598)

What sort of moron would piece together "eBay buys Verisign" from the news reports?!
Not a moron, just ignorant. Which describes a lot of people around here. And also sloppy/lazy, which lately seems to describe all the Slashdot editors.

The amusing part is that the headline makes it sound as if eBay is going to take Verisign's best-known subsidiary, Network Solutions, and make them a department of PayPal. Yeah, that makes sense!

Re:THEY ARE NOT BUYING VERISIGN! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13765981)

We really need to do something about people doing rapid-fire posts on Slashdot just to see their name / their company's news website in lights. Totally ridiculous. Shouldn't slashdot also be responsible for verifying the validity of news stories they accept.

Re:Just a little warning about PayPal (2, Insightful)

MooUK (905450) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763266)

I have to be suspicious of the fact that the first of those is selling it's own merchant service. In other words, if it convinces people it stands to gain directly.

just payment processing.. (4, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763019)

the headline is misleading, very misleading.

which explains why the sum might seem low to some.

Re:just payment processing.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763035)

hey well fuck you then.

I can't fucking believe the attitude pouring out of you.
I can't talk to you anymore, I'm too upset.

Wrong wrong wrong. (4, Informative)

sakusha (441986) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763020)

The headline is just plain wrong.

EBay is buying one DIVISION of Verisign, not the whole company.

email from Verisign CEO Stratton Sclavos (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763024)

October 10, 2005

Dear Colleagues,

Today, VeriSign took another step forward on our Journey--this time with a respected technology leader and trusted partner, eBay. VeriSign and eBay have formed a strategic alliance that calls for our two companies to collaborate globally on payment services and security initiatives for e-commerce.

This alliance brings together two leaders in online commerce and security to benefit customers and merchants with greater protection, improved technologies, and more streamlined payment processing.

As part of the alliance, PayPal, an eBay company, will acquire our Payment Gateway assets and combine them with their leading merchant services platform. Additionally, we will provide eBay and PayPal with a suite of security services that includes the deployment of the VeriSign Unified Authentication service and up to one million two-factor authentication tokens to be rolled out in 2006. The deployment of VeriSign Unified Authentication will cut across all eBay companies, and we believe it will constitute the largest consumer authentication deployment in history. Please see the fact sheet for details.

Along with our Payment gateway assets, eBay will also be integrating the majority of our Payment Services employees into PayPal, and will be moving them to eBay's San Jose, California campus. I want to thank all of our Payment Services employees for their hard work and incredible results in building this successful business, and for contributing to a strategic alliance that will support the VeriSign mission to enable and protect all forms of digital interactions over the world's voice and data networks.

Sincerely,

Stratton

RTFA - EBay not acquiring VeriSign (4, Informative)

robla (4860) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763027)

EBay is acquiring the payment processing unit of VeriSign. The headline on this story (as of this writing) is HORRIBLY misleading.

Re:RTFA - EBay not acquiring VeriSign (1)

Fulton Green (40325) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763031)

And it's a specific unit of eBay (i.e., PayPal) that is acquiring the VeriSign payment gateway business.

Re:RTFA - EBay not acquiring VeriSign (5, Funny)

stevey (64018) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763325)

Shame I was looking forward to the browser updates:

Do you trust this certificate?

"A++++ excellent certificate, would do secure business with it again!!! "

Boost to Paypal? (4, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763032)

Legg Mason analyst Scott Devitt said the deal promises to give PayPal a leg-up in becoming the accepted payment mechanism system on VeriSign's 100,000 or so small business sites.

My experience tells me otherwise. I've been developing small business ecommerce sites for the past 10 years, and on every single development I've been part of we've tried to avoid Paypal integration simply because it puts users off. As I'm based in the UK I've had very little experience of Verisign's payment gateway, but if users have a worse perception of it than they do of Paypal's then I'd be really suprised.

Well, let's put it like this (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763167)

"I've been developing small business ecommerce sites for the past 10 years, and on every single development I've been part of we've tried to avoid Paypal integration simply because it puts users off."

Let's even skip over the bad perception of PayPal, and trusting my money to someone who's ostensibly not a bank, makes no guarantees, isn't backed by the government, and generally is just some dot-com.

But let's put it like this: if an e-commerce site can't afford to just make a contract with a bank to deal with credit-/debit-cards, why should I feel confident in them. We're not talking some starving web-cartoonist taking micro-payments for a living, we're talking a business and trusting them with, say, a few hundred quid for a new PC or a new 20" TFT monitor. Then I'd expect them to, you know, act like a business and inspire some confidence.

If they can't even afford to get some credit-card processing capability, can they even afford a warehouse, or will I get to wait for a month while they order the stuff directly from the manufacturer? Can they even afford employees, then? (E.g., will I have to wait for a month if it's a one man business and the guy is on vacation?) Will they be around next month, if I need support or to file a RMA?

Plus, I suspect for a lot of people it's also a matter of "usability". Yes, I know it doesn't really fit the real definition of "usability", but please bear with me. It's the same idea: making people jump through extra hoops and go through extra web pages just to buy your product is bad. If someone doesn't have a PayPal account, having to go through all those hoops to register a PayPal account, get confirmed, etc, then finally return to get the product they wanted... some may lose interest and go shop somewhere else.

Re:Well, let's put it like this (1)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763218)

Plus, I suspect for a lot of people it's also a matter of "usability". Yes, I know it doesn't really fit the real definition of "usability", but please bear with me. It's the same idea: making people jump through extra hoops and go through extra web pages just to buy your product is bad. If someone doesn't have a PayPal account, having to go through all those hoops to register a PayPal account, get confirmed, etc, then finally return to get the product they wanted... some may lose interest and go shop somewhere else.

I think it fits the conventional definition of poor usability rather well actually. The customer has money that they're willing to part with, and they have to fill in extra forms, then wait days, or longer if they don't have online banking, for a Paypal code to appear on their bank statement. It's not exactly user-friendly.

Re:Well, let's put it like this (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763260)

If the business on the far end had bothered to set up their PayPal correctly, they would be able to accept credit card payments without the person on the far end needing to sign up for a full PayPal account (although the option is there). Admittedly the cost of the CC transfer is higher than *most* straight merchant accounts with major banks, but it's just as convenient as using WorldPay, and only one page more than an extremely cut-down SSL e-payment system running on my own server.

Re:Well, let's put it like this (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763431)

If the business on the far end had bothered to set up their PayPal correctly, they would be able to accept credit card payments without the person on the far end needing to sign up for a full PayPal account (although the option is there).

I've seen that on eBay. I went through the process, and if PayPal weren't actually saying that I *needed* to set up an account, they were certainly trying to give that impression. Either that or they were trying to coerce or mislead me into setting one up (by which I mean that they'd have set up the route through the payment screens such that if you weren't paying it your full attention you'd end up unwittingly following the "Yes, I'd like to set up a full PayPal account after all" route at some stage, and inadvertantly "set up" an account).

I might be wrong about this, but that was the impression I remember from back then.

Since I've heard enough about PayPal not to ever consider setting up an account with them, I decided to avoid using that payment method altogether. Now I will not have *anything* to do with PayPal. Any business that *requires* me to use PayPal (even "without" an account) will lose my custom, period.

I'll happily use Nochex for the same purpose, though. Their process was clear and straightforward.

Ok, let me ammend that (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763324)

"I think it fits the conventional definition of poor usability rather well actually. The customer has money that they're willing to part with, and they have to fill in extra forms, then wait days, or longer if they don't have online banking, for a Paypal code to appear on their bank statement. It's not exactly user-friendly."

What I meant was that when (or rather "if") most people think of usability, they only think of their own site. Their site is user-friendly, has a cool shopping cart and all, and you surely already have a PayPal account so you only need to click here, right? Even the usability books I've read tended to deal only with what's on your site, and not with such issues as needing paypal accounts, or having signed up with a piss-poor ad provider whose ads take 2 minutes each to load. Or maybe I've just read the wrong books, I guess.

But yeah, once you look at the whole user experience, you're right, it fits the conventional definition of bad usability like a glove.

Re:Well, let's put it like this (3, Insightful)

squaretorus (459130) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763494)

"If they can't even afford to get some credit-card processing capability, can they even afford a warehouse"

Welcome to the hollow enterprise.

Businesses chose not to have certain parts of the traditional infrastructure in order to reduce costs and bring products and services into price bands that couldn't be achieved with the higher operating costs associated with 'fully tooling up'.

Take the low cost airlines as an extreme example of this. "If they can't even afford to give me some food on board can they even afford servicing?". Yes - they can - and because they dont feed you lots of people who couldn't afford traditional air travel can now fly easyjet or ryan air.

My butcher is closed on wednesdays and for an hour between 1:30 and 2:30 every day. I still use him because unlike Tesco he doesnt treat the food I'm going to eat like shit. He can't afford to (or choses not to) pay someone to cover those extra hours - which is a pita sometimes - but I'd rather he was there without the assistant than just didn't exist.

The same goes online - if someone has a product to sell, in an unproven area, the bank will simply tell him to come back when he has 6 months of good sales - which he can't get without a paypal style system.

If you chose to avoid using these smaller establishments and prefer to buy everything from Amazon and Walmart then thats your choice. Would I buy a £30,000 new car from a guy using paypal? No. Would I buy a £150 flat screen from a small retailer offering kick ass pricing because of minimised overheads - yeah - probably.

Re:Well, let's put it like this (1)

Mnemia (218659) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764347)

I think this is a false dichotomy you've set up here. It's not like there aren't small online retailers who have real CC merchant accounts. In fact, a lot of the more reputable ones do have that, and it can be obtained relatively cheaply (probably cheaper than Paypal) assuming you are doing about $500 a month in business. So they can easily institute this unless they are TINY (like some guy selling stuff out of his garage on Ebay). My options are not just Paypal or a giant megastore.

Running your business on Paypal is shoddy, period. It shows both a lack of professionalism and a lack of respect for your customers. It's also incredibly stupid since you're risking the money that makes your business run - Paypal can (and does, frequently) basically confiscate any transaction they feel like. It's not like a bank, where there is due process to go through before they can do that. Paypal even makes you agree that you won't sue them if they steal your money.

Re:Well, let's put it like this (0, Flamebait)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764010)

Point of clarification: for roughly a year now, perhaps longer, PayPal has allowed you to set up a checkout/payment loop that does NOT require the buyer to create a PayPal account - they just fill in the CC info and go. They CAN start a PayPal account if they want, but they don't have to. I've found it to be pretty non-intrusive when I've seen it used. No, it's not as smooth as integrating proper merchant account processing, but for many small businesses, it's just fine, and their customers know who they're dealing with.

Seriously bad mix (4, Insightful)

melted (227442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763044)

eBay and PayPal aren't exactly known for instilling confidence in their customer base. This is a slippery slope for Verisign, who issues SSL certs and must by definition be trustworthy.

Re:Seriously bad mix (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763126)

Go fuck yourself.

Re:Seriously bad mix (2, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763138)

eBay and PayPal aren't exactly known for instilling confidence in their customer base.

True. Although it appears as though the slashdot summary is inaccurate and eBay is only acquiring the payment processing division of Verisign. Now, why a random part of an online company is worth $370 million is beyond me.

This is a slippery slope for Verisign, who issues SSL certs and must by definition be trustworthy.

They don't have to be trustworthy by definition, only trusted. Big difference, and being trustworthy helps being trusted, but its not a requirement. Many people distrust the government, but have no problem trusting the value of their money.

Re:Seriously bad mix (2, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763769)

Now, why a random part of an online company is worth $370 million is beyond me.
I was going to answer "Because it has .com on the end and it's like to do with intarwebs and stuff", but I was interrupted by a call from the 1990s asking when I'm going to return their business model.

Re:Seriously bad mix (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763810)

and its not like users get any choice in who to trust for ssl certs anyway. thats controlled by the browser manufacturers the dominent on of which is ms....

Versign? Trustworthy? (1)

Stormbringer (3643) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764334)

You're new here, aren't you.

Good and Bad Buys (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763048)

Skype - Bad Buy...

Versign - Good Buy...

Good and Bad Guys (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763113)

Skype - Good Guy...

Versign - Bad Guy...

ICANN (1, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763053)

Now is the time for ICANN to take action, if anytime. I don't want another wildcard case from Verisign, tyvm.

Re:ICANN (0)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763065)

Forget what i said, as some others already pointed out, the headline is highly misleading.

wow, just wow.... (0)

maeddi (184281) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763079)

people don't even read the summaries?

Re:ICANN (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764531)

Well, the good news is that from now on, if you try to complete a Paypal transaction with an invalid credit card number, Paypal will redirect you to a search of millions of available credit card numbers you can use instead.

Before anyone else says it before anyone else... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763124)

I, for one, welcome our eBay overlords. Go on, mod me +5 Funny, you know you want to. You could also mod me +5 2001 Quote. Or +5 Irrelevant Slashdot fodder. Or +5 Irrelevant (see, Slashdot, is). Or just go read a real story on a real site where a bunch of idiot wankers don't say things like "I, for one, welcome our eBay overlords!"

Re:Before anyone else says it before anyone else.. (-1, Redundant)

mar1no (559482) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763146)

Well I don't know what you're getting all worked up over, but I for one welcome our new eBay overlords.

ndc restart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763202)

* IN CNAME ebay.com

With all these acquisitions, it's risky to (2, Funny)

TarrySingh (916400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763224)

look for a job currently. I think I'll just wait till we're down to a handful of companies before starting to look for job again.

Large Corporations != Economy (2, Insightful)

Numair (77943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763259)

You DO realize that most Americans are employed by small- and medium-sized businesses, right? If you are only looking for employment at large firms, you are buying into that horrible myth that the Fortune 500 = American Business.

eBay must have lots of experience with this (4, Funny)

gringer (252588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763334)

eBay you say?

I wonder how many bidders there were in the auction...

CLOSING SOON! Payment processing division of an ENORMOUS leading software company.

Current Bid: US $30,000 (Reserve not met)

Buy It Now price: US $370,000,000
Condition: very good condition
Item Location: Mountain View, CA 94043
Ships to: USA only
Shipping costs: ChUS $39.00 - US Postal Service Priority Mail (within United States)

Please check out my other divisions at http://www.verisign.com/verisign-inc/index.html [verisign.com]

Re:eBay must have lots of experience with this (1)

A.Chwunbee (838021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763790)

Ships to: USA only
That is jolly foolish. Best place to sell USA software companay's is India!

Correction... (1)

JedaFlain (899703) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764920)

If it's anything like most eBay auctions, it should read:

Buy It Now price: US $39.00
Condition: very good condition
Item Location: Mountain View, CA 94043
Ships to: USA only
Shipping costs: ChUS $370,000,000 - US Postal Service Priority Mail (within United States)

Can't buy credibility (3, Interesting)

shanen (462549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763341)

This advertising-related post [slashdot.org] has already drained my insight resevoir for the day, so for now I'll just note that there is a relationship, though it is from a slightly different angle, where the (usually artificial) credibility is the key. However, I predict that eBay will not be able to buy credibility, though that's the main "product" of VeriSign. You can't "stabilize" a situation that intrinsically has negative dynamic stability. Having given that big hint, I'm not willing to offer a prize for the first person to see the rest of the problem...

Since I'm evidently too tired to focus properly on the topic, I'll go ahead and add another CSS-related comment, since this seems to be a new symptom afflicting the abandoned-by-/. users of Opera. Now most of the left side links are dead, especially at the top. The overwriting problems aren't as bad as before, so it seems like they're tinkering with it.

great (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763352)

now we have to compete for ssl tickets

Internet Overlords (1)

ThatWeasel (113982) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763400)

Let me be the first to say, "I welcome and bow down to our new Internet eOverlords."

Summary is misleading (4, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763413)

EBay doesn't hope that the new purchase will offset the loss from their bad purchase. That wouldn't make sense -- that's done, and it is in the past.

If it is good to by Verisign, they'd buy Verisign, whether or not they bought Skype. Unless buying Skype (and paying too much) was the very thing that allowed them to buy a chunk of Verisign.

The purchase of Skype is what's called a "sunk cost".

Re:Summary is misleading (1)

Blittzed (657028) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764340)

I think it is quite ironic that the company who run auctions (where I am sure people are artificially bidding to inflate the price) end up buying something which has an artificially inflated price...

This sucks (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13763415)

Well you guys sat back and let this all happen. Let us all rejoice in 2, possibly 3 megacorps owning the entire internet. that's healthy and American. What's wrong with all you commies ? Let us all pray to Google, Ebay and whoever the other one is, Yahoo or whatever. But no. Something is wrong. It's just not American enough.

I know! Let's merge Google with Yahoo and with Ebay and create:

Gayoogle-Bay !

Bow down and worship this beast. Then let's consolidate all the hosts and ISPs into one blob. Then a global currency and lets all stick microchips that track us everywhere into the lining of our rectums.

ooooh it's the future. ooooooh its like coool duuuuuuuude. What's wrong with you

Re:This sucks (1)

Orgazmus (761208) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763615)

Gayoogle-Bay!
*snickers*

Re:This sucks (1)

aesiamun (862627) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763842)

Then let's consolidate all the hosts and ISPs into one blob.

This is already happening with Dialup services in the US. What we're seeing is the end up ISPs actually using their own technology and instead buying modems, email services and tech support from other people. This causes a lot of problems, if Ikano, global pops, Allegiance or any other of the big name modem providers go under, probably 50%+ of the ISPs in the US go dark.

Nothing makes these ISPs stand out anymore, you lose the technical edge and stand out on marketing alone...

Paypal, Verisign, Numbers (5, Insightful)

salmonz (697297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763416)

Do analysts ever consider the revenue for the next year when eBay takes over Verisign payments be lower than expected? If I was a merchant, I wouldn't have any ties with Paypal. If I had an account with Verisign, I would be looking for another merchant provider such as Moneris to protect my business.

Paypal doesn't bring any value to those processing credit card payments. I am not saying it because it seems to be the norm these days bashing Paypal, but the fact of the matter is Paypal has conflict of interests everywhere. Merchant providers are supposed to be in favor of the merchant and the bank's credit card business is in the favor of the cardholder. Paypal likes to be bank and provider at the same time.

Lastly, Paypal already offering merchant services. Paypal is simply buying customers to add to their existing clientel. I see a lot of former Verisign merchants leaving.

Quickening? (-1, Offtopic)

Thorwak (836943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763485)

In the end there can be only one

gravity well (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763522)

is it just me or is ebay becoming this big black hole and just sucking in everything near it?

Re:gravity well (0, Offtopic)

magicRob (815117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763967)

is that when their portal becomes goatse.cx?

Re:gravity well (1)

archen (447353) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764312)

It is and it actually makes some sense. See you have a couple different models. Google's make cool stuff yourself. Yahoo's (and many other companies) aquire vaguely related stuff and run it into the ground, and ebay's suck in things near it.

In the world of Internet based business, companies are extremely flakey, and of the 4-5 internet cornerstones you can name off the top of your head, ebay is one. When ebay depends so heavily on paypal, why leave it up to chance that they are going to screw it up and damage your company? At least the companies aquired by ebay are directly related to their business, as apposed to Yahoo aquiring geocities for example.

Not again... (1)

iansmith (444117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763649)

I am just getting things on my site converted over from when VeriSign bought the last provider I was using.

PayPal better not change a THING about the SDK or interface or web interface, as I don't really care for them and if I have to re-code anything I might as well find someone better.

Anyone know of any good, reliable processing systems for online stores? Perl SDK requred.

Great News! (3, Funny)

Trix606 (324224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13763690)

I'm sure they'll be sending me an e-mail shortly to update my account settings due to the merger.

So... (2, Insightful)

slapout (93640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764128)

"estimated to generate a 20 percent operating margin which eBay hopes to help offset the recently reported high purchase price of Skype."

Let me see if I understand this. They buy Skype. Then, to help pay for it, they buy something else?

New rating system (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764174)

"EBay says they'll be moving from the tradition 'VeriSign Garantee' to a rating system for certified sites based on feedback. So if you want to be sure your secure look for 3 blue stars and a smiley face!"

Here come the eBay jokes (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764329)

I hear it went for five million kidneys and twelve sandwiches looking like the virgin Mary. Although I can't understand why they bought from VeriSign - they're no A+++++ WILL BUY AGAIN.

Re:Here come the eBay jokes...Virgin Mary (1)

rheotaxis (528103) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765153)

Virgin Mary? eBay got it...miracle Madonna and Baby Jesus painting [anrdoezrs.net] Go ahead, mod me -1 for crash commercialism with an eBay affliate account.

I Predict... (1)

sallgeud (12337) | more than 8 years ago | (#13764434)

Dish Network will buy TiVo

They are giving up a huge money maker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13765333)

After working for VeriSign for a few years, I can say that their sole money maker in that time was their Payment services product that they bought from Phillipe Courtot (Signio). All of their PKI services and suites were cludgy and proprietary to the point that they were damn near impossible to keep working correctly for any long duration. So, hopefully Stratton can float the rest of VRSN on jamster. My $.02.

VeriSign as a Credit Card Processor (3, Interesting)

RebrandSoftware (817021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765456)

I own a small business and recently switched to VeriSign as my credit card processor.

I've actually had a great experience with them so far. They have excellent filters for blocking fraudulent orders (before switching, almost 10% of our orders were fraudulent), and the customer service has been excellent.

The payment services are basically a middle-man to your merchant bank. The customer is sent to VeriSign, they enter their payment information, VeriSign verifies the address, zip code, and CSC (three numbers on the back of the card). If all is well, they send the transaction through to your merchant bank. Your merchant bank then deposits the funds directly into your personal or business account.

Along the way they each take a small chunk of the transaction, and you also have to pay monthly fees to both VeriSign and to your merchant bank.

Taking credit cards in addition to PayPal definitely increased our sales. I can see why they want to merge this with PayPal, making it a much more versatile payment processing solution.

FUCKING GREAT... (1)

andyr0ck (847274) | more than 8 years ago | (#13765838)

...now they can make even fucking more money off of me everytime i want to sell something! argh!
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