PayPal to offer payments via SMS
PayPal, the online payment company, owned by eBay Inc. is preparing to release a new payment service, called PayPal Mobile. The new service will enable users to make and receive payments as well as make purchases via text messages, using their mobile phones. The company has added new pages to its web site, explaining customers how to do so.
First users need to activate their mobile phone number for PayPal Mobile on the company's web site and create a special PIN number. After doing so they can send a text message to 729725 (the numeric spelling of PayPal), which includes the amount of money they want to transfer and the recipients number. A PayPal computer contacts the sender to confirm the transaction by entering his PIN. Then the recipient is notified of the transaction and instructed how to claim the money. Customers can also make money transfers by calling a 1-800-4PAYPAL number and follow the instructions.
PayPal Mobile will include a new service as well. It is called Text to Buy and will allow users to buy items such as clothes, DVDs, books, electronics, accessories, etc. advertised in certain magazines by sending product codes located in the ads.
PayPal Mobile, which is currently available only to eBay employees for a trial, will be initially launched in the United States, Canada and Britain in the next few weeks. Other markets are expected to follow, although there are no specific plans yet.