eBay announced today that it has acquired Billsafe, a provider of purchase-on-invoice technology in Germany. eBay plans to combine Billsafe with its PayPal subsidiary in Germany, a provider of online and mobile payments. eBay already took a minority stake in Billsafe in October 2010 and now owns 100 percent of the outstanding shares. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Billsafe's technology lets customers buy an item online but pay for it by invoice later, a method of e-commerce that is popular in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. In Germany, 19.6 percent of payments are billed via invoice and 84.8 percent of German shoppers have already purchased on invoice. Billsafe has more than 15 million accounts in Germany; the hope is that this acquisition will round out PayPal's payment offerings to German consumers and merchants.

"German customers are extremely security-conscious, and they enjoy the convenience and safety of invoicing when they shop online. One of PayPal's greatest assets is the security of our system, and we're glad that we can now offer customers even more peace of mind with a payment method that they already know and prefer and that drives more sales for the merchants," said Arnulf Keese, managing director of PayPal Germany, in a statement. "Together with Billsafe, we can offer even more choices to our customers -- whether they prefer to pay with their bank accounts, their credit cards or now through purchase on invoice."

"Purchase on invoice is an ideal addition to the payment options available with PayPal and makes it the most comprehensive service for consumers and merchants alike," stated Alexander Ey, managing director of Billsafe. "Security-conscious shoppers can receive and inspect the merchandise they bought online before paying for their purchases. And merchants can sell to customers who were previously skeptical of buying online. It's an ideal match."