Online retailer of handmade & vintage clothes, gifts, and homeware Etsy is introducing its own direct checkout system, giving sellers the option to manage customer payments within the site. Etsy provides a front-end for arts & crafts manufacturers to sell their goods online, with the frontpage currently showing everything from dark chocolate lollies to a mid-20th century sofa. Until now, sellers have been restricted to using third-party payment systems like PayPal, whereas the new checkout system means that a customer remains on the site at all times. Etsy sees having its own in-house system as a key element of creating a more "streamlined" shopping process.

The advantage to Etsy is also clear — on top of the existing charges for selling goods on the site, those using the direct checkout system will pay a three percent + $0.25 fee for the privilege, which is marginally more expensive than PayPal's rates. However, those who wish to remain with PayPal are not being forced to change to the new system. The new checkout is rolling out to US-based sellers over the next few months.