EBay's online processing unit PayPal is rolling out a new service that allows customers to use mobile phones and other wireless devices to pay for products and services by text message.
The new PayPal Mobile service, so far announced for the US and Canada only, will be demonstrated at the CTIA Wireless trade show in Las Vegas.
The announcement, predicted here comes as numerous handset makers and operators introduce devices and services for making mobile electronic payments. On Tuesday, for example, Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo launched its DCMX mobile payment service.
To use the PayPal Mobile service, consumers must first open a PayPal account and then log in to the account on a mobile phone. After registering their mobile phone number, they must choose a secure PIN (Personal Identification Number), used to protect payments, it said.
Users make payments by sending a text message to PayPal, which calls them back to confirm the mobile payment and then sends the money to the recipient. The service also allows them to buy goods and services, such as CDs, DVDs and tickets by sending product codes via text message, PayPal said.
PayPal has already signed up several companies that will offer "text to buy" codes, including MTV, the NBA Store and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.