PayPal Mobile Payment Service Launches

PayPal, today CTIA Wireless 2006, announced a text message-based service allowing North American consumers the ability to send money from their mobile phones. Dubbed PayPal Mobile, is now available through a variety of U.S. and Canadian wireless carriers.

PayPal Mobile, said the online payment service, allows users the ability to send money, purchase items or donate to charities through their cellular phones. Consumers first register their phones by linking them online to their PayPal account. After registering the phones, a PIN is selected which is used in conjunction with each mobile payment made.

PayPal Mobile users make payments by sending a text message to PayPal. PayPal calls the user back to confirm the mobile payment, and then sends the money to the recipient. In the case of a Text to Buy purchase (i.e. like 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Bravo, MTV, and the NBA Store are offering items for purchase), after the merchant receives the payment, the item is shipped to the address already saved in the user’s PayPal account.

PayPal added they feel the entire system is quite secure, with financial information never being shared with the recipient as well as it being stored on their secure servers and not on the cellular phone itself.

“With the overwhelming popularity of mobile phones, the time has never been better for the merging of ecommerce and wireless devices,” said PayPal President Jeff Jordan, in a statement. “PayPal already has more than 100 million accounts worldwide, and our customers have already entrusted their personal and financial information to PayPal. Now, making payments is as easy as sending a text message anytime, from anywhere for the millions of customers that prefer to use PayPal.”