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PayPal now offers payments via text messages

March 23, 2006

PayPal said Wednesday it will soon offer a payment system for people that wish to make both purchases and money transfers using text messaging via cell telephones, without the need for an Internet connection.

PayPal's new service will be called "PayPal Mobile" and is expected to be available around April 15, 2006 in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., a PayPal spokeswoman said.

Other global markets will follow afterwards.

In the future, Paypal wishes to extend its new service to the more than fifty-five countries where its payment service is registered to transfer funds online, the company said.

But PayPal warns that it has no specific plans yet to do so and didn't offer any estimates when it would.

PayPal's new payment service was developed to make Internet and eCommerce payments much more convenient and faster for the nearly one hundred million existing PayPal users.

The company's move to offer a mobile payment service that dosen't require an Internet connection has the potential to reach larger markets in developing countries where mobile phones, rather than computers are the main way to connect with people across the globe.

The company said that "PayPal Mobile" will offer users 2 options for transferring funds. The two options will be able to be used to purchase gifts by mobile phone to anyone: individuals, companies, retail stores and even financial institutions.

According to PayPal's Web site, payments made through PayPal Mobile will be sent over a cell phone using either a text message or by simply calling an automated customer service number and using voice commands to transmit funds.

The company added that one feature, called "Text to Buy" could allow magazine readers to purchase advertised items such as clothes, theater tickets, downloadable music or even movie-video discs using their mobile phones.

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All they need to do this is to send a specific product code located in the related ads.

A PayPal merchant receiving such a payment would then deliver or have the product shipped to the mailing address stored in the PayPal Mobile user's account.

PayPal's new mobile payment service works the same way as any other existing PayPal transaction done via the Internet using computers.

As always, users must already have PayPal accounts and go through a verification process with their banks or credit card companies before any payments or fund transfers can take place.

Source: PayPal

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