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March 23, 2006

PayPal's Goin' Mobile

Rob Hof

eBay's PayPal is getting back to its roots as a person-to-person payment service with a new mobile service. You can find out more here, but essentially, you can use your cell phone to quickly send payments to people. Interestingly, the person-to-person payments never really took off before, and PayPal instead became eBay's defacto method for paying for stuff.

But whether or not that takes off this time--and I think it might, given the ease of using cell phones to make the payments--PayPal's offering another interesting new mobile payment service as well. You can punch in a few numbers you see in ads or posters that bear the words "Text to Buy," buy the item advertised in a snap, and the merchant will ship it to the address stored in your PayPal account. Obviously, that's going to take a lot of deals with merchants, but I have to think the potential for instant payments is going to be appealing to just about all of them (except maybe eBay rival Amazon.com). Clearly, PayPal isn't easing up on its big ambitions.

12:20 AM

PayPal, e-commerce, eBay, mobile computing

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I like the idea of person-to-person payments but the "text to buy" concept seems to be at odds with itself. That idea is designed to tap into impulsive buying habits but it doesn't exactly jive with the slow process of shipping products to consumers' mailing address. On the flipside, I can't see the masses buying higher-end items this way either - "great looking stereo, think i'll ship it to my house without ever seeing, touching, or hearing it."

Posted by: joe k. at March 24, 2006 12:51 PM

payzee.com is an interesting twist - a paypal mashup

Posted by: wazzally at March 24, 2006 07:51 PM


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