In the ever-evolving world of mobile commerce, a logical area of future opportunity is payments made through mobile devices. It is only natural that as mobile search grows, so should the ability to process mobile payments.
Don’t think that PayPal is not aware of this. As one of the most popular online payment options already, the step into mobile commerce is not a big one for PayPal. In fact considering that they were originally a company that developed software designed to transfer money between cell phones and handheld devices, this step appears to be even smaller than one might have thought. There are even those out there, like Dan Schatt of Celent (as reported in Business 2.0), who feel PayPal could launch its mobile payment application by June of this year.
Moving mobile commerce forward into the realm of texting is not reliant on PayPal though, even if they aren’t able to develop and release this service in the near future, companies like TextPayMe are positioned to fill this space in a hurry. In fact their 25 year old CEO, Phil Yuen, has said “PayPal has done a great job online…we feel there’s more to be done in the real world, where the Internet is not involved”.
This raises the question as to what the possible real world applications of this technology really are. Beyond simply purchasing ring tones and other mobile device oriented items; this technology could be used to buy that tasseled floor lamp from the neighbor’s garage sale, or grab a delicious corndog from the friendly carnies at the local festival. Even though the cell phone to cell phone applications are plentiful, maybe we should be thinking even bigger than that. Combine text message payments with GPS enabled point and shop cell phone advertising and it becomes clear that we are at the dawn of a brave new world of mobile commerce.