UK Web buyers and sellers can now use a local version of the PayPal payment system, complete with links to local delivery companies and a seller protection service.

PayPal is an eBay company. The UK is PayPal's biggest market outside the US, and the company felt buyers would be more comfortable with recognizably local services, UK country manager Scott Braunstein said.

"We felt that people are trusting us with their money, and it's important to make them feel safe and secure. I don't know that seeing the word 'center' spelled with an 'er' is a big deal, but we wanted to instill confidence," he said.

The shipment tracking system in PayPal UK now links to the Royal Mail Group's Parcelforce service, Braunstein said.

Seller Protection

PayPal's Seller Protection service was previously only available in the US but has now been extended to the UK. It protects a seller against "chargebacks," where a buyer recalls a payment made on their credit card, the company said.

To qualify for protection, a seller has to have a bank account verified by PayPal, has to ship goods to the buyer's registered address in a "timely" fashion, and has to retain proof of sending the goods being sold, Braunstein said.

Scott Cumming runs a scuba diving business, Divefun Scuba, in his spare time from his home in Bedfordshire, England, and accepts PayPal payments at his Web site. But Cumming said he did not see much need for a local site.

"We don't use it a lot – most people pay by cheque, but some people use it when they book trips," he said. "But having a UK site, I don't know if there's much point. The Web's pretty much worldwide." Cumming is aware of the risk of credit-card chargebacks, but he said those hadn't been a problem for him.

This UK site is PayPal's first international Web site, the company said in a statement, and is part of a plan to expand the service in Europe. Last month the company set up a European headquarters in Dublin to provide customer service, fraud prevention and operational support for European members, it said.