Posted by: Rob Hof on March 23, 2006
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.