PayPal Mobile: your phone is now your ATM

PayPal Mobile: your phone is now your ATM


PayPal Mobile is official.

As we announced a couple weeks ago, you can now officially use your mobile phone to send cash via PayPal.

“Now, making payments is as easy as sending a text message anytime, from anywhere,” said PayPal President Jeff Jordan.

The key concept is buy, of course, which is what retailers want you to do a lot of. Major retailers are falling all over themselves to sign up as registered sellers for the new Text to Buy service. Want the latest LeBron James jersey? You can get it from the NBA Store with a few short clicks on your mobile. Want to buy something from TV networks Bravo and MTV? They’re onboard as well.

Charities are looking to cash in on your mobile generosity as well. Already signed up are UNICEF and Amnesty International, among others.

So how does it work? Well, first of all, you should know that you will have to choose a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for using Text to Buy. We strongly recommend that you use something other than one that you might already have. And if you don’t already have a PayPal account, you’ll have to create one and throw some cash in there.

To use Text to Buy, you send a text message to PayPal with the product code of your intended purchase (which you can get from browsing via your mobile or by already knowing it), wait for the callback from PayPal, and then approve the payment. Voila! Merchants thank you. This confirmation process also protects you against fraudulent purchasing.

At present, all purchases will be shipped to your PayPal address; should you wish to buy a gift for someone and actually have the merchant ship it directly to them—well, that’s what software updates are for, right?

You can also send money to anyone, anywhere, by just typing in the amount and the destination phone number. PayPal Mobile does the rest.