PayPal Rolls Out Free Return Shipping Service

As the holiday shopping season lurches toward us, PayPal has doubled down on its free returns service known as “Return Shipping on Us.” The company is beginning to push the service in the United States, its largest market, as it had only been available internationally, and with the addition of the U.S, its reach grows to more than three dozen countries globally. In tandem with the U.S. launch, the returns service is debuting in Italy, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and Malaysia.

The service aims to boost cross-border commerce (currently at roughly 25 percent of sales) and, as TechCrunch noted, promotes activity with PayPal sellers, with a layer of protection that brings more peace of mind to buyers if they are doing business with a site or merchant that may be new to them.

The “Return Shipping on Us” program works as users pay with the payments service, perhaps not surprisingly. In addition, as reported by TechCrunch, PayPal said that it has seen a holiday sales jump that began at the end of last month, with early shopping likely to persist.

TechCrunch noted that the shipping feature mandates completion of an online form and a sales receipt copy, within a time limit of two weeks of shipping. PayPal says it will process the return within 10 to 14 days. In terms of limits, refunds top out at four purchases and $30 each, according to PayPal.

In other recent PayPal news, the company unveiled its vaulted payments upgraded service, through which merchants using the service (powered by Braintree) can choose from multiple payments sources and utilize two-factor authentication. The company also boosted its security technology earlier this year through its acquisition of CyActive, as part of a longer range strategy to combat fraudulent emails and spoofed domain attacks.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.