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PayPal Launches Mobile Payments By Cellular Phone

Posted by iNext - 2006-04-10

PayPal on Thursday said 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, National Basketball Association (NBA), and a host of other businesses have begun to accept payments from a new service allowing purchases by mobile phone text messaging.

PayPal Mobile lets consumers buy goods and services, such as DVDs and shoes, by sending a text message. Giving customers an option to pay by cellular phone bridges a gap technology companies have been trying to close for years.

The new service offers three options to send money anytime via mobile phone in the United States and Canada: Peer-to-Peer to transfer money between friends, Text to Buy with merchants, and Text to Give to charities.

Other applications are in the works, said Amanda Pires, PayPal spokesperson. "There are tons of ideas where you could use this application," she said. "For now we'll focus on these three applications because this will keep us busy for awhile."

The application rides on top of the wireless infrastructure, allowing the service to work with all carriers. PayPal, a business unit of online auctioneer eBay Inc., receives the text-based transactions, which moves funds from the consumer's account to friends, merchants or charities. No hardware or software required to download on the phone.

To use PayPal Mobile, customers first activate their cellular phones by logging into their PayPal accounts. After registering their mobile telephone numbers, they choose a secure Personal Identification Number (PIN) meant to protect mobile payment.

Although the PIN helps to secure messaging, each time funds are transferred the consumer will receive a phone call from PayPal asking to verify the transaction.

PayPal also has signed up for the Text-to-Buy service Bravo, MTV, Universal Music, L'Oreal and Air Jordan. Charities signed-up for Text to Give include Amnesty International, Starlight Starbright, Unicef and Magic Johnson Foundation.

PayPal has more than 100 million customers. To use PayPal Mobile, customers must activate their mobile phones by signing on to their PayPal accounts here.

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