Thursday, March 23, 2006

PayPal Mobile Uses Text Messages

How will PayPal Mobile affect the wireless carrier billing monopoly?

From Reuters PayPay to offer paying by text message

PayPal , the world's largest supplier of online payment services, is preparing to offer a service for consumers to make purchases or money transfers using simple text messaging via mobile telephones, the company said on Wednesday.

The move to offer a mobile payment service holds out the prospect of reaching vast markets in the developing world where phones, rather than computers, are the main way to connect to the Internet.

When introduced, mobile phone users will be able to send a text message to 729725 (the spelling of PayPal on a numeric handset keypad) with the amount of money the sender wishes to transfer and the recipient's phone number.

A PayPal computer then calls back the text message sender on the phone and asks the user to enter a secret PIN to confirm the transaction. PayPal immediately notifies the recipient and tells it how to claim the payment online.

The mobile commerce application I like is "Text to Buy", and I think will be a huge mobile marketing tool.

One feature, called Text to Buy, would allow magazine readers, for example, to buy advertised items such as clothes, concert tickets or music or movie-video discs using their mobile phones, by sending product codes located in the ads

The service, known as PayPal Mobile, will be launched in the next couple of weeks in the United States, Canada and Britain, a spokeswoman said. Other markets worldwide will follow

7 comments: said...

Six digit short code. First one I have heard of in US.

Scott Shaffer said...

Good catch.

Anonymous said...

anyone try this with cingular phone, me thinks Cingular is blocking this, they can't seem to call my phone.

Anonymous said...

This is actually huge news. The market seems to take this as YAWTPFEBA (Yet Another Way To Pay For Ebay Auctions), but it is so much more. The paypal mobile service puts in the hands of anyone with a text-capable mobile phone (in the US, Canada and UK) the ability to pay pretty much anyone for anything. Add to that the existing user base for PayPal, Skype, (and don't forget the millions of Ebay transactors), and the simple math (and revenue stream is really big). Get the API into the hands of developers, and those futuristic apps from Japan where people point their mobile phones at vending machines and marketing meters and movie ticket houses becomes are reality.

Scott Shaffer said...

"Get the API into the hands of developers"... how true.

Many minds can produce so much more than the mindless.

Anonymous said...

Just think of the Ponsi schemes, "chain" calls (as in chain letters involving $$) and some very profitable, but illicit activity, that could be accomplished with the cell phone. Mobile massage therapists no doubt are anxiously awaiting roll out. Sorry. Just having some fun pondering the possibiIities. I believe this will be a hit. YJ.

Scott Shaffer said...

I'm thinking of QVC and Home Shopping Network and how they could adopt this.

Think of the expense they could remove with operators.

How many more people would buy an item if they didnt have to pick up the phone or go to their computer.

The pondering never ends....