eBay is a leader in enabling global trade. Cross-border commerce represented approximately 20 percent of eBay's business. eBay has a diverse community of buyers who may wish to purchase an item in a different currency than the site listing currency. In 2015 eBay and PayPal split into two separate companies. In 2021, eBay started managing cross-border trade payments instead of going through PayPal. Known as the Buyer FX (Foreign Exchange Checkout) initiative, it is a product inside eBay online checkout that allows people to pay in the currency of their choice. It affects 70 million eBay listings to international buyers, ~$100M+ GMV, and spans the whole eBay eCommerce ecosystem.
Beginning in 2021, I was the lead designer for Buyer FX. I was responsible for the design strategy, end-to-end experience design, and alignment with teams that coexist in the checkout while collaborating with a wide range of partners, including PMs, engineers, content designers, researchers, and legal folks across the eBay global team.
2021/10 - 2022/2
Native App (iOS & Android)
Cross Board Checkout
Product Design Lead
Developer: Jason Zhang, Peicheng Yu, Yi Zhou, and 20+
Research: Aide GuWerreez
Content: Camille Wilder
Legal: Olympe Leflambe, Ben Hendricks, Holly Paulus, Lisa Ngyuen
The lack of currency conversion functionally in cross border trade
“As a buyer, I prefer to pay with the currency of my choice so I can know exactly what I will spend … but, when I pay I don’t always know what the amount would be.”
eBay customers buying a cross border item could not pay in their local (understandable to them) currency in eBay Checkout. Customers didn’t know the actual price until the transaction was completed and charges showed up on their credit card statement or PayPal account, and post transaction in eBay would show a different currency than the buyer actually paid.
In addition - unknown costs, high card fees, and no safeguarding FX rate during the Return process brings ambiguity to our buyers when trying to make a purchase decision.
Why the low adoption rate of the save feature is a problem?
Currency conversion was often complicated and frustrating.
Currency conversion tasks often cause a high cognitive load as buyers don’t understand how the currency-selection process works and the implications of selecting a different currency.
Currency selection is a complex decision to make and difficult one to understand, with individual users often having different preferences.
Buyers are not sure why they should use eBay’s currency converter vs. their credit card issuer’s currency converter (Some participants thought that sites were just trying to make additional money from them).
How might we make complicated cross-border payment processes as simple and as easy to use as possible？
Goal and Guiding Principle
Consistency - Consistent end-to-end currency presentment experience on eBay from the home page to post transaction.
Simplicity - Don’t make me think. Keep it simple with a “Just in time” information reveal approach.
Transparency - The buyer understands their choices and how much they will pay in their preferred currency and has access to conversion information, including applicable rates.