PayPal to Offer Payment via Cell Phone
Online payment company PayPal said it was preparing to offer a service for consumers to make purchases or money transfers through text messages via cell phones.
Known as PayPal Mobile, the service will be launched in the next couple of weeks in the United States, Canada and Britain. Over time, PayPal Mobile may extend to the more than 55 countries and regions where PayPal is registered to transfer funds online.
Customers will be able to send payments over the phone via text message or by calling an automated customer service system and using voice commands. Offering options to transfer funds by phone to nearly anyone they choose, PayPal Mobile in effect turns a cell phone into electronic wallet.
Through text messaging, called Text to Buy, magazine and newspaper readers would be able to buy advertised items by sending product codes located in the ads. A PayPal computer would then call the text message sender on the phone and asks the user to enter a secret PIN to confirm the transaction. Once the merchant receives the verified payment, the product would then be shipped to the address stored in the user's account.
A second option allows customers to call 1-800-4PAYPAL, enters a secret PIN, the amount of the transfer, and the phone number where the payment is to be sent.
PayPal already allows customers to check their accounts through cell phone browsers.
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