EBay Inc. said its payments unit, PayPal Inc., continues to attract consumer and merchant users, thanks in part to the integration of a rival payment system it bought last year.

Almost a year ago, the San Jose auction company bought the instant online credit company Bill Me Later Inc. and merged it with PayPal. According to John Donahoe, eBay's president and chief executive, the two payment systems have proven complementary.

"The integrated sales team for PayPal [and] Bill Me Later is driving a strong pipeline," Donahoe told analysts during a conference call Wednesday to discuss eBay's third-quarter earnings.

Forty-four of the top 100 online retail Web sites in the United States offer PayPal, and 24 of these also offer Bill Me Later. Though Bill Me Later focused on large retailers before it was bought, its Web site penetration is twice what it was a year ago, Donahoe said.

Altogether, "PayPal had a strong quarter, with revenue, total payment volume and active registered accounts up across the board," he said.

PayPal's payment volume grew 19%, to $17.7 billion, in the third quarter from a year earlier. Its number of active registered users also grew 19%, to 78 million. Bill Me Later remains 1% of its total payment volume.

EBay has also streamlined its checkout system for online auctions, leading to further use of PayPal on eBay's own Web site. PayPal has also promised an open development platform, which it says will spur adoption of its payment system beyond its conventional e-commerce focus.

EBay's revenue rose 6%, to $2.2 billion, in the quarter from a year earlier. Its net income dropped 29%, to $350 million.