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PayPal Goes Mobile

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the pay-on-the-go dept.

103

Stitch_Surfs writes "PayPal has gone mobile. MobileCrunch breaks the news (with images) of PayPal's (un) surprising move onto mobile phones. According to the site, money can be sent,received and goods purchased all via PayPal from your mobile phone."

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103 comments

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Not surprising (5, Interesting)

turg (19864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977820)

I signed up for PayPal when they first started. They started out as a service for beaming payments between Palm Pilots. You put money into your PayPal account from your credit card or bank account. Then you'd sync your Palm with your PayPal account and you could beam money (via IR) to/from other peoples' Palms. And, as a secondary feature, you could transfer money to other people's accounts on the web site too.

Well, it turned out that the the secondary feature was the one that took off and the one that was originally the whole point eventually got dropped. So this is really just a return to their original concept from 8 years ago rather than some suprising new idea.

Re:Not surprising (2, Interesting)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977854)

as much as it was a novelty, it was great. it was incredibly dorky to be at a restaurant and have one person charge the meal on a credit card and everyone else to pull out their palm pilots and beam the card owner for their portion of the bill.

i thought i heard there was some issue with security, or people not hot syncing enough or something that helped end the Palm based payment fun?

Re:Not surprising (1)

ksheff (2406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977916)

That was one of the things that I thought was cool about PayPal too. Unfortunately, by the time I got a PDA, they cancelled the service.

Re:Not surprising (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978004)

Before it was "paypal" wasn't it X.com?

Re:Not surprising (2, Informative)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978082)

Before it was "paypal" wasn't it X.com?

No. X.com was a banking service that was later merged with Paypal. Paypal existed for processing payments before X.com was absorbed. I know this because I had accounts with both, and after X.com was taken over, they killed off the checking services.

I was rather pissed that Paypal dropped the beamable cash idea (I chose not to pursue the same line of business for my startup at the time because they already had one up and running), so I'm glad they're finally putting those patents to use.

Re:Not surprising (2, Funny)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978207)

And given their latest business practices, it will take them 3-4 days to recover that money to a real bank account....

I don't get this (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977823)

Why wouldn't you just have some sort of smartcard reader system that automatically charged the purchase to your phone bill?

Re:I don't get this (2, Insightful)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978137)

You can buy things today with your phone (like ring tones, wallpaper, etc). The problem is the phone carriers charge 20%-40%. Paypal charges a tenth of that, so the companies can either make more profit or lower their prices.
Also, PayPal will allow you to buy all sorts of products, and it will handle the ordering, payment, and shipping, all you have to do is read the confirmation emails.

Re:I don't get this (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978161)

I'm talking about paying for groceries with your phone rather than with a credit card. Any face-to-face transaction where you would normally use a credit card could be replaced with a phone swipe. Since the SIM can hold encrypted validation, it should be reasonably easy to come up with a safe scheme to put charges on the phone and have them show up on the monthly phone bill, like a credit card.

Yes, operators charging usurious rates to use such a service is not good, but with sufficient competition in the mobile market, such a service could eventually be offerred as part of the standard package (i.e. free, for all intents and purposes).

Re:I don't get this (1)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 7 years ago | (#14978906)

Credit cards already have an excellent system in place to do that, and the big chains (Walmart, Kroger, Safeway, etc.) can negotiate a really low rate with Visa/MC.
For that to be done through a cell phone, the phone would have to somehow carry a pre-pay balance, or they'd have to extend credit, which requires a banking charter in the US. So really what you'd essentially be doing is tying a Visa account to your cell phone, rather than a plastic card. One less item to carry around.
PayPal will probably enter into the brick and mortar payments industry in the next several years, they just need to find a method that they can provide cheaper/better/faster than the traditional credit card industry, or nobody will use it.
What I'd like to see would be a smart card that can carry all your crap (driver's license, credit cards, insurance card, etc.) on one card, and be encrypted with a biometric key, in case it gets lost or stolen. Then you just look into the retinal scanner, wave your card past the reader, and pick which item in it to charge. It would need some way of ensuring that the reader only read the "card" you selected (e.g. so the grocery can't get your car insurance policy), but that shouldn't be too hard.

Re:I don't get this (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979781)

PayPal will probably enter into the brick and mortar payments industry in the next several years,

If that's the case, then won't they be bound by banking laws that they're basically immune from right now?

Re:I don't get this (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979011)

Since the SIM can hold encrypted validation, it should be reasonably easy to come up with a safe scheme to put charges on the phone and have them show up on the monthly phone bill, like a credit card.

  1. Not all phones use SIMs. (Only GSM phones do, IIRC...CDMA, TDMA, iDEN, and analog phones (does anybody still use analog?) don't.)
  2. On the last GSM phone I used, the SIM was buried under the battery. I don't think having to dig it out of the phone to make a payment would be all that convenient.

Re:I don't get this (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979027)

1. All 3G phones use SIM cards; it is so mandated in the 3GPP spec.
2. There is no reason to extend such functionality backwards to people who aren't willing to upgrade.
3. Surely you don't take the smart chip out of your security badge every time you need to unlock a door! The SIM stays inside the phone and the smartcard talks to the reader via radio. Also see FeLiCa.

Now, it requires a bit of motivation on the part of operators, and that's the primary reason why we're all stuck without this functionality.

Re:I don't get this (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979797)

1. All 3G phones use SIM cards; it is so mandated in the 3GPP spec.

I don't know what your point in saying that was, but the OP stated a fact. Not all phones have SIM cards; what does 3G have to do with anything? Not all phones are 3G.

Ask anyone with service through Sprint - our fancy CDMA phones don't have a SIM card.

Re:I don't get this (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979906)

Also, 3GPP doesn't cover all 3G phones. 3G GSM yes, 3G CDMA2000 no. CDMA2000 1xEV-DO is 3G and has no requirement for SIM cards, and in fact does not even support SIM cards.

Re:I don't get this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14981820)

iDEN does. My Nextel from work has a SIM card.

Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14977825)

Is this really needed?

Strip clubs... (3, Funny)

poopie (35416) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977828)

Great - no need to use my ATM card at strip clubs anymore.

Oh, wait... at least with my ATM card, I'm limited to *TWO* days maximum withdrawls for monetary damage (max out before midnight, max out after midnight).

Re:Strip clubs... (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977843)

With an ATM card, you simply swipe it between her buttocks.

With paypal phone...what am I supposed to do? shove it up there?

Grump

Re:Strip clubs... (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978001)

With an ATM card, you simply swipe it between her buttocks. With paypal phone...what am I supposed to do? shove it up there?

Yes. Just don't ask for change.

Re:Strip clubs... (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978174)

With paypal phone...what am I supposed to do? shove it up there?

-- still looking for a wife...

Go figure. ;)

Re:Strip clubs... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979102)

With paypal phone...what am I supposed to do? shove it up there?

Yes. But put it on vibrate mode first.

yaeh scary (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980452)

It's really a determinant of where you are. Here in Ohio and Illinois the strip clubs aren't all that. Standard cock tease, go home and whack off, probably ruin the sheets.

Key West though. . . the only rule is "don't put your fingers in my poon" . . . and they encourage you to squeeze their fake breasts. I lost hundreds of dollars finding that out, then "experimenting" with the rules. I should have just gone right for the poon and gotten banned for life.

More info on PayPal site (3, Insightful)

snoozebutton (570866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977833)

Info from the PayPal site, since there's only a screen capture at mobilecrunch:

How do I activate my phone to send and receive mobile payments?
You can activate your phone for use with PayPal by following these steps:

    Here's How:

Go to https://www.paypal.com/mobile [paypal.com]
Click the Activate button.
Log in to your PayPal account or sign up for a PayPal account.
Select or add a phone and create a mobile PIN.
Click Continue.
PayPal will call and prompt you to enter your mobile PIN to confirm that you have possession of your phone.

Easier way... (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 7 years ago | (#14982072)

If you already have a paypal account, just log into it and go to your profile. If you go to edit your phone numbers, there's an "Activate for payments" link beside it.

It's also important to note that you only have to activate to be able to SEND money to other people. If you have a paypal account, and have put in your phone number and such, then people can send payments to your number and it will know it is you. You may need to activate in order to receive the payment though.

Actually, from further reading, you can send money to any phone number. If the number is not in paypal's system, it will call the number and attempt to get them to sign up for a paypal account to receive the money, basically.

Security? (1)

glebfrank (58922) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977838)

Hmm, I couldn't find any mentions of passwords.

Re:Security? (1)

snoozebutton (570866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977873)

looks like a 4-digit PIN.

Re:Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14978040)

It's a N digit PIN... with call back to confirm

Re:Security? (1)

iwsnet (946715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978249)

Just wait for all the PayPal phishers to get a hold of this. I have it bad enough with e-mail, now they will hit your cell phone.

Mobile sounds well and good, but.. (5, Insightful)

MasJ (594702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977839)

Well, Paypal on the go sounds pretty good, it's an alternative to putting your credit card number in over a mobile network, and sounds much safer. However, how many people here feel that this would open up an entire audience of really susceptible users to phishing scams ?

Wouldn't it be harder to spot a phishing scam over a mobile device considering that the display on a mobile is pretty limited in screen real estate ? On good ol' 'puters you can just move your mouse over the hyperlink and make out that it's a scam.

Re:Mobile sounds well and good, but.. (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978008)

Credit cards are issued by banks and have strict federal regulation. Paypal is NOT a bank, as decided by a federal court, and is under no regulation. I'd rather use a credit card.

Re:Mobile sounds well and good, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14982301)

The internet is NOT a trustworthy source of information, because there is no regulation as to what may be posted. I'd rather get my news from the PRC.

Re:Mobile sounds well and good, but.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14978211)

"Wouldn't it be harder to spot a phishing scam over a mobile device considering that the display on a mobile is pretty limited in screen real estate ? On good ol' 'puters you can just move your mouse over the hyperlink and make out that it's a scam."

Technically, no..
Mobile to Mobile - shows the phone number "MIN" of the original sender
SNPP and Email to SMS - shows the same MIN as destination. IE. it appears to be from myself

Which basically leaves only a few options left, but this Paypal thing I presume is being done via SMPP, which means it will be assigned to a short code. Only privaleged accounts can spoof short codes, as in, you must authenticate to the SMSC server beforehand. Which usually means, firewall access + an account.

Phishing should be much more difficult.

Phone/wallet (1)

dave1212 (652688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977844)

Well, if I use this, I'll be sure to put my phone on lock mode. I never really felt the need before, since it's a small hassle to punch in the pass every time I want to use it, but I'm sure I'll lose it somewhere at some point.

Looks like it could be handy, and there's a lot more info at the PayPal site, do a search for 'phone'.

Cool, but I'm still nervous about the firm (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977866)

Until Paypal address the issues presented by PaypalSucks [paypalsucks.com] and similar sites, I'm going to continue to feel disillusioned about what was once the cat's pajamas.

But anyway, looks like O'Reilly will need to update Paypal Hacks [amazon.com] with information on this new mobile device support. The 2004 edition is getting noticeably out-of-date.

PaypalSucks (2, Interesting)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977885)

After reading that site and a few stories of users that have had their accounts locked by PayPal, I'm convinced that that is no rare phenomenon and I try to avoid using PayPal as much as I can.

I am eagerly looking forward to an alternative like GBuy (is it really?) so I can feel a bit safer making transactions on the web. Knowing that I might create something that finally allows me to make a decent bit of money only to have PayPal lock my account and take all of it isn't very reassuring.

Stories are old. PayPal got better. (1)

Man in Spandex (775950) | more than 7 years ago | (#14978731)

My friend two weeks ago had an issue where he did not receive $120.00 which was sent by someone who confirms that he sent it. A typical story of "Wtf PayPal didn't work..". Unlike what many fo those stories say, there is a phone number on the PayPal site to contact somebody to speak to (and not a machine). Idin't hear the whole conversation but basically the PayPal guy explained the steps to do in order to fix the problem and receive the money he should of had and he got it.

The point is that many of these stories are not up to date. PayPal has addressed to many of these issues. They just didn't directly say it. Customer Service is there. It's just a long wait on the phone, gotta listen to that boring music....

As for accounts freezing up. Well, you know. I just don't leave any money in my account. I transfer the exact amount and send it right away and never leave a penny. Wy should I? I wouldn't use PayPal as some sort of wallet.

Re:Stories are old. PayPal got better. (1)

nblender (741424) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979721)

Wow. a whole _one_ datapoint!

Look at the number on the website. Area code (402)? Doesn't look toll-free to me. Of course they make you wait on the phone. It's not costing _them_ anything to leave you on the phone for 20 minutes.

Until they provide a 1-800 number that works from Canada; then they're still scumbags.

Re:Stories are old. PayPal got better. (1)

derF024 (36585) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979972)

Look at the number on the website. Area code (402)? Doesn't look toll-free to me.

Who TF actually pays extra for long distance these days? No one. What, are you calling paypal from a coinop pay phone or something?

Until they provide a 1-800 number that works from Canada; then they're still scumbags.

They may be scumbags, but not catering to the whims of one guy in canada who can't be bothered to get reasonable phone service isn't why.

Re:Stories are old. PayPal got better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14981235)

The point is that if Paypal is really that customer oriented, they'd provide a toll-free number. Why should I pay for Paypal's stupid mistakes?

Re:Stories are old. PayPal got better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14983548)

"Who TF actually pays extra for long distance these days? No one."

Huh? You get free (legal) long distance? Cellphone doesn't count - cellphone minutes are more expensive than long distance! And for those of us who don't normally need to make long-distance calls, a $40/month all-you-can-talk plan doesn't make any sense.

And who has 20-30 minutes to waste sitting on the phone listening to muzak? Unless your time is worth nothing, that probably costs _you_ between $10 and $40.

Re:PaypalSucks (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979833)

I am eagerly looking forward to an alternative like GBuy (is it really?)

Me too. I have an excellent business idea that will only work if transactions can be accepted for less than $0.30 + 2-3%.

I'll be dealing with a few thousand transactions for items in the $1-$2 range, and unfortunately I don't see any current method of making this work based on transaction fees.

Mod parent up... (1)

TheNoxx (412624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978263)

If you haven't heard about the shady dealings of paypal, then you need to visit the website posted in the parent. A much more reliable and safe alternative can be found here [995merchantaccounts.com] .

But who knows. Maybe this'll get them in shape... at least enough to not fuck with people's money.

Re:Cool, but I'm still nervous about the firm (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#14980288)

You know, I've always been a bit suspicious of that site. I'm not saying Paypal is the best company in the world or anything, but a lot of the stories sound like "I'd managed to scam this guy and it was great but then Paypal locked me out, maybe if I make enough noise and embarrass them enough they'll open my account long enough for me to grab the money and run".

I'm by no means a high volume Paypal user, but these stories do make me suspicious, especially when someone is advertising some competitor I've never heard of (rule 1 of online transactions: If somoene ONLY wants to go through some "escrow" site you've never heard of, run).

Re:Cool...Hacks Author (1)

Superfreaker (581067) | more than 7 years ago | (#14982968)

Hey there. I authored the PayPal Hacks book. We hope to begin working on an updated version of the book. They have come a long way since its release, but it still should be some help to people just starting out. The advanced stuff is what is mostly outdated.

Thanks.

SS

Um... (4, Insightful)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977878)

I don't recall ever having the need to pay something with credit card on my phone. If I'm there, and I have my phone, why not just..er...pay with a credit card? Its not like I'll be ebaying on an 1 1/2" screen... Am I missing something?

Re:Um... (4, Insightful)

turg (19864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977899)

I think the idea is that you can use this to pay anyone (rather than just businesses who take credit cards).

Re:Um... (1)

hritcu (871613) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979231)

Does that mean you can pay prostitutes this way?

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14983093)

If it's okay with the prostitute. But I'd guess they'd prefer non-traceable forms of payment.

Re:Um... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979827)

Kind of like cash then? I use my credit card for large purchases and because it is convenient.

If some yahoo tried to buy my car with paypal, I would make him get a cashiers check.

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14978059)

I forget the phone now (great ad then) but there was an advert on TV I spotted a few days ago advertising a mobile phone because it had internet access so you could use ebay from anywhere and not miss winning an auction because you were out of the office/home when the bidding ended and missed outbidding any last minute bids. So yes, you might. (Why not pay once you get home an hour later though?)

Re:Um... (1)

illtud (115152) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979304)

Its not like I'll be ebaying on an 1 1/2" screen... Am I missing something?

Maybe. The UK press have been running ads for 'ebay on your mobile' for a couple of weeks now. Google says: Monitor Ebay on Your Mobile [whatpc.co.uk]

Also qicture [qicture.com]

PayPal already has a mobile (WAP) interface... (4, Informative)

nxtw (866177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977898)

PayPal has had a mobile interface for years, via WAP.
http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=p/gen/mob ile-outside [paypal.com]

Re:PayPal already has a mobile (WAP) interface... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14978733)

doesn't work on my Nokia 6010

Are you freakin' kidding me? (4, Informative)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977901)

Paypal has a hard on for "limiting" account access for just about any reason today. Does anyone see the nightmare of trying to use paypal on a mobile phone? You had might as well call paypal and ask them to suspend your account, because 10 seconds after you sign up for "paypal mobile" your paypal account will suddenly have "suspicious" activity (you actually using it)and will be limited for "your" protection. Paypal limited my account access when I was using my paypal debit card out of state (one state over) to buy GAS. It was just ONE transaction and -that- triggered their fraud flags?! Maybe if google was doing this, but paypal, forget it.

Re:Are you freakin' kidding me? (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977946)

That's odd. I don't believe that was the sole reason your account as limited.

They should have called and confirmed that you made the purchase if they suspected fraud, like any responsible financial institution. Perhaps they locked the account temporarily because you weren't reachable?

I have yet to be marked for "suspicious" activity for something so silly. PayPal did limit my account until they had a verified banking account & verified identity (by that point, I had made a lot of transactions already). Since then, I've gotten a PayPal debit card and have used it for many purchases. They actually called me once, on a Saturday, after making spending $500 in three purchases. They called, their computer explained what the call was for, I talked to a North American woman, she asked if I was the account holder, and asked if I had made the three purchases.

That was it. I would expect any bank who had reason to suspect fraud to call and confirm it quickly.

Re:Are you freakin' kidding me? (1)

mc bean (941767) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978037)

'Reasonable financial institution' aren't really words I would ever use to describe PayPal's services. I've of course read PayPalSucks.com, but I've also been charged three times for a single purchase among other ridiculous screw-ups. The last thing I'd want is another avenue for them to screw up my financial transactions.

If you have a way of making payments that's currently working for you, my advice is to stick with it.

Re:Are you freakin' kidding me? (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 7 years ago | (#14982952)

You did, of course, fund the purchases from a credit card so that you could have your bank issue chargebacks?

Re:Are you freakin' kidding me? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978026)

Why didn't you fill a travel plan in advance? Do you have something to hide, citizen?

Re:Are you freakin' kidding me? (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#14982676)

Well, from what I hear, the most common thing to do after you steal someone's plastic is to check it out by going a ways off and then trying to buy gas with it. Gas stations are more about getting you through quickly than card security, and the preliminary $1 charge is pretty much guaranteed to go through if the card is valid. So unfortunately, going somewhere unusual to buy gas happens to make you look a lot like a card thief to the computers.

More importantly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14977904)

Can I now pay my phone bill through PayPal?

TextPayMe? (4, Interesting)

MostlyHarmless (75501) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977920)

It sounds like they're placing themselves squarely as the 800-pound-gorilla against TextPayMe [textpayme.com] -- one of the Y Combinator [ycombinator.com] -funded startups. This may be interesting for both parties.

Muggers (1)

foqn1bo (519064) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977935)

This is going to be a boon for tech-savvy thugs. Now you don't even have to lead a guy to his ATM at gunpoint anymore.

It is Intriguing (1)

BigDiz (962986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14977944)

From TFA:
After you activate your phone, you can send money one of two ways:
* Text to 729725 (PAYPAL) with the amount and recipient's phone number.
Example: send 5 to 4150001234
Or * Call 1-800-4PAYPAL (1-800-472-9725) and follow the instructions.
Sounds easy, I could see merchants (or vending machines) having barcodes that you take a picture of and do this all automatically. I do wonder though, what happens if someone else is using your phone, I don't see where you'd endter a pin or password, sounds sketchy.

Re:It is Intriguing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14978088)

You send an SMS. Paypal will call you back, you must give a N digit PIN. The barcode's should start showing up in a month or so...

Re:It is Intriguing (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978095)

I don't see where you'd endter a pin or password, sounds sketchy.

It calls you back a few seconds after you press SEND for you to enter your pin. It addresses you by name, I just tested it by sending some money to my wife's phone - confused the hell out of her (she *was* sitting beside me) cuz I didn't tell her what I was doing ... now I need to sign her up for a PayPal account.

Re:It is Intriguing (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979477)

"I just tested it by sending some money to my wife's phone"

great, that's all they need, another way to get money out of us! ;-)

Number spoofing risk? (2, Interesting)

tokengeekgrrl (105602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978020)

Cell phone traffic isn't encrypted, is it? Couldn't someone spoof someone else's phone number and have them send money to them and then they disable the account as soon as they've collected?

When you consider the lengths that identity thieves and phishing scams will go to, it's not completely unfeasible.

But I could be completely on crack so if what I'm saying is completely ludicrous, please disregard.

- tokengeekgrrl

Re:Number spoofing risk? (1)

talornin (745646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978569)

Its encrypted. Encryption is done via the SIM-card number to the base station.

I'll feed the troll. (1)

woolio (927141) | more than 7 years ago | (#14978874)

Well, yes they are. But does it really matter? If the encryption is too difficult to break, then much easier ways exist [viruses, con artists, phishing, etc].. After all, nobody today downloads ringtones or plays games on their cell phone...

Besides, I remember hearing that the encryption was blatantly crippled with digital cell phones when they first came out. Not sure if anything was improved or not.

Re:Number spoofing risk? (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979492)

Spoofing the originating phone number could only be done from inside the carrier's network (difficult in itself, especially if you're intended to not be traceable), and someone else mentioned they do a callback to the originating number to ask for your PIN, so you'd have to be able to intercept the call and know the PIN also to do it.

So should be okay.

It uses a callback methodology... (1)

Otto (17870) | more than 7 years ago | (#14981845)

The gist of sending money from the phone appears to work like this:

1. You text message them or call an 800 number and tell the system to send money to another phone number.
2. The system calls you back and asks you for a PIN for confirmation. You put in the PIN.
3. Money gets sent.

Activating the service to work from your phone in the first place requires a) A paypal account, and b) for you to do the whole PIN confirmation thing once to get the idea of it and make sure that you have the phone and that they can contact you and so forth.

Of course, somebody could probably spoof a text message from you to send money to themselves, but it would then call you back and ask for your PIN to confirm.

Aircharge (1)

frackinfrell (962282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978024)

Using manual entry for cards is old news. Companies like Aircharge (Aircharge.com) have been doing it for 5+ years, and currently have serial swipers and printers that allow mobile card present transactions that offer better rates for companies. It also allows you to print out the reciept right there, add a tip, and print duplicates. This still may be useful for simple person to person transactions.

This is exciting news! (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978061)

Just think, in a year or so local businesses might start supporting this, allowing you to pull out your phone and pay for goods, just like that!

Re:This is exciting news! (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978120)

Just think, in a year or so local businesses might start supporting this, allowing you to pull out your phone and pay for goods, just like that!

I just tested it. It takes longer than swiping a debit card and typing in a PIN. It'll be useful in some situations though.

Re:This is exciting news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14978122)

It's also unusable in non-coverage areas and retailers who don't take PayPal.

Why not? (2, Funny)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978090)

PayPal has gone mobile.

Why not. Everything else about my cell phone is designed to suck money out of my wallet.

TextPayMe (1)

spludge (99050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978145)

TextPayMe [textpayme.com] has been doing the same thing for a while now and it works pretty well for me. Paypal has too many horror stories for me to want to use them. I'd prefer that they have some successful competitor that forces them to improve. They need successful competition in this mobile market place, otherwise it will become just like the online marketplace where their customer service suffers and they can lock accounts at will because, well, you don't really have many other options.

No PayPal for me, I'll be using TextPayMe instead and I suggest you do too.

Just about time... (1, Flamebait)

aralin (107264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978186)

If I remember correctly, you could pay with a mobile phone since 1998 in developed countries. I am pretty sure that teens in Czech Republic would laugh at the things you consider "new features" as something that surely existed before they had been born. The state of mobile market in US is indeed pathetic.

Would be even better for merchants (1)

mlantz7 (953704) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978354)

What I would like to see is the ability to take a credit card for payment over the phone. There are some services that offer something similar... So, if I could say use the virtual terminal to have someone pay me for a transaction (think flea market or the like), or even call into a number and enter the payment info over the phone... that would be worth talking about.

Re:Would be even better for merchants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14978437)

PayPal has a virtual terminal. Costs $20 a month.

PayPal started on PDAs, so returns to roots kinda (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 8 years ago | (#14978469)

The original PayPal was a Palm app, that let you beam money back and forth between your friends. Say bob picked up the bill, mary could beam 3 bucks to him to pick up her Latte. I think I have $5 of money beamed to me someplace i can't pick up.

The problem it was too clunky. You could get real money, but you'd have to have a computer, connected to the palm, and the internet. You'd upload your transactions, backing it with your credit card account.

Eventually PayPal learned that the clunkiest part was getting money in and out, whetehr or you had a Plam or not (making the accoutn was a small pain) so if you kept your money in the system, have all the small transactions just be virtual, until once a month get real money, you'd be on to something. and they made a hell of a lot of cash doing it. witht he new mobile technologies (1 bitdepth WAP phones, no java or other languages, were cutting edge then) i think they have a better shot at the interface problems now.

this doesn't change something important... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 7 years ago | (#14978791)

... and that is that paypal simply sucks.

No, their service is kind of solid but...

You'll never want to be a merchant with paypal and get frauded/scammed or so forth... in fact, not as a customer neither. You'll never see your cash again... In fact, you'll never hear of customer support neither...
Oh yeah, and apparently "No one" gets the cash, in this case, the no one is Paypal.

(I've had this happen, somebody buys some stuff of me with stolen paypal info. This is shortly catched and paypal is informed etc. Cash is taken away from my paypal account, but never returned to the paypal account which WAS stolen, but control had been regained. Needless to say, i don't support paypal anymore, and their very high fees for nothing.)

Oh great, another way for them to screw us (1)

seabreezemm (577723) | more than 7 years ago | (#14978834)

Paypal, biggest scammers on the net. They will steal you money at the drop of a hat and give you no indictions as when they will release funds. Hate these bastards.

Why not a J2ME application? (1)

NusEnFleur (460584) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979012)

I don't like the idea of sending money with just a text message (SMS). We have built a fully working prototype using barcodes on mobile screens. The user has to enter a pin code in order to display his ID as a barcode that get scanned. In this case we're running a small shop. This is not a transaction from user to user but this can easily be adapted as long as there is a remote server using a data connection that handles the actual transaction. There are quite a few advantages to using an application: enhanced and uniform user interface, added security layers.

For anyone interested in our prototype (for a small shop):
http://mobile.link-u.com/index.php?p=mobile_paymen t_index [link-u.com]

Paypal Mobile More than a little underwhelming (1)

DHancock (963045) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979126)

Micropayments using cell phones is a great idea, but I see I'm not the only one who thinks Paypal's solution is an underwhelming mess, especially when much better solutions are right on the horizon. I've been beta testing a mobile money solution for a few weeks now from a startup called Obopay, and from what I've seen it's a much smarter solution than what TextPayMe offers, or even what Paypal is offering here. It's really all about creating a robust, simple to use solution, and using text messages for mobile payments is not it. The Obopay service I've been using has its own little java app that has simple menu commands like "Pay", "Request Pay" and "Check Balance" "See History" which creates a nice streamlined interface from which to send money around. The difference is like using a Windows or a Macintosh vs. DOS or a Command Line Interface. Having an application makes all of the difference in easy of use and utility. Combined with a linked debit card I can spend the money in my Obopay account anywhere that MasterCard is accepted, or take money from any ATM instally, as soon as someone sends me money. Also, the Obopay mobile application is perfect for someone like me who often sends medium sized increments of money around to people like my friends and family, but doesn't require me to use an ATM or hassle with carrying around cash. It's a lot like the Paypal web service, except you can access it anywhere you are and it doesn't have any of the clutter, it's just a simple pay and be paid service for my cell phone. I've already used this service to loan money to my mother-in-law (who is also a beta tester) as well as let my boyfriend pay the check at restaurants while I send him the exact amount for my half of the bill. I can really see this sort of thing revolutionizing the way I handle money, especially if enough people get onboard. I think that mobile payment services like Obopay's have a lot of potential to replace a good chunk transactions involving cash. At the very least it's going to put companies like Western Union out of business (who the heck wants to send money for a ridiculous fee from fixed locations when they can do it from their cell phones for practically nothing?), but I also think it's going to replace the vast majority of cash transactions since the cell phone is such a ubiquitous platform; literally everyone and their grandmother has a cell phone which is all you need to send/receive money instantly. Looking ahead, I'm glad I'll have my Obo phone with me when I go to Europe in a month since I won't need to freak out about getting emergency cash if I need it, I can just get my parents to send me money and I'll have it in my account seconds later.

Re:Paypal Mobile More than a little underwhelming (1)

DHancock (963045) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979133)

Whoops, that should look like this:

Micropayments using cell phones is a great idea, but I see I'm not the only one who thinks Paypal's solution is an underwhelming mess, especially when much better solutions are right on the horizon.

I've been beta testing a mobile money solution for a few weeks now from a startup called Obopay, and from what I've seen it's a much smarter solution than what TextPayMe offers, or even the service that Paypal is preparing to offer.

It's really all about creating a robust, simple to use solution, and using text messages for mobile payments is not it. The Obopay service I've been using has its own little java app that has simple menu commands like "Pay", "Request Pay" and "Check Balance" "See History" which creates a nice streamlined interface from which to send money around. The difference is like using a Windows or a Macintosh vs. DOS or a Command Line Interface. Having an application makes all of the difference in easy of use and utility.

Combined with a linked debit card I can spend the money in my Obopay account anywhere that MasterCard is accepted, or take money from any ATM instally, as soon as someone sends me money. Also, the Obopay mobile application is perfect for someone like me who often sends medium sized increments of money around to people like my friends and family, but doesn't require me to use an ATM or hassle with carrying around cash. It's a lot like the Paypal web service, except you can access it anywhere you are and it doesn't have any of the clutter, it's just a simple pay and be paid service for my cell phone.

I've already used this service to loan money to my mother-in-law (who is also a beta tester) as well as let my boyfriend pay the check at restaurants while I send him the exact amount for my half of the bill. I can really see this sort of thing revolutionizing the way I handle money, especially if enough people get onboard.

I think that mobile payment services like Obopay's have a lot of potential to replace a good chunk transactions involving cash. At the very least it's going to put companies like Western Union out of business (who the heck wants to send money for a ridiculous fee from fixed locations when they can do it from their cell phones for practically nothing?), but I also think it's going to replace the vast majority of cash transactions since the cell phone is such a ubiquitous platform; literally everyone and their grandmother has a cell phone which is all you need to send/receive money instantly.

Looking ahead, I'm glad I'll have my Obo phone with me when I go to Europe in a month since I won't need to freak out about getting emergency cash if I need it, I can just get my parents to send me money and I'll have it in my account seconds later.

paypal..there are continents other than EUROPE/AME (1)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979402)

Ha Now I see https://www.paypal.com/row/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/ cps/mobile/MobileFAQ [paypal.com] (you may have to login) "you can send money from your PayPal account to any phone number or email address within the U.S., Canada or the U.K." Dear paypal. There are people living outside UK and US ..

Re:paypal..there are continents other than EUROPE/ (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979526)

"Dear paypal. There are people living outside UK and US"

yeah, there are also people living INSIDE uk/us/canada, what's your point?

Aside from the "under no obligation to offer a service" issue, do you have any idea how much work's involved in rolling out a service, worldwide, that's reliant on each different network operator in each country, all at once? Especially with the required security in place for this kind of service?

The fact that they'd want to try it in some places, monitor it's success, tune the service, before rolling out to other countries, seems pretty reasonable to me.

And no I'm not just saying that because I live in the UK myself, I don't use paypal, and have no need for this service.

Re:paypal..there are continents other than EUROPE/ (1)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979544)

The fact that they'd want to try it in some places, monitor it's success, tune the service, before rolling out to other countries, seems pretty reasonable to me.
I'm not sure whether I'm will go with that. They are still trying to find a way to withdraw money into banks in INDIA ! If you are a paypal user in India you need to wait atleast 28 days or even more to get your hands on your own money !

Re:paypal..there are continents other than EUROPE/ (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979565)

That definitely adds to their case... they need to sort out the basic service before offering new ones - if anything, for pure marketting reasons. If they released this service in india under those conditions, it would become known for it. If they sorted out the 28day thing first, /then/ released the service, it would become known as the new service without the bad name that it would have otherwise.

It doesn't seem that complicated to me.

Re:paypal..there are continents other than EUROPE/ (1)

chrisranjana.com (630682) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979601)

Yes that brings us back to my original premise "Dear paypal..there are people living outside UK and USA too" When services like cash2india.xoom.com, westernunion and moneygram can offer moneytransfer within 48 hrs ..why paypal cannot do so ??

Re:paypal..there are continents other than EUROPE/ (1)

x2A (858210) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979627)

I don't know enough about those to answer that... perhaps they can link to banks in different ways because of the way they're regulated... perhaps paypal just aren't motivated enough, they're happy with what they offer where?

Bubble 2.0 Most Analysts Are Overestimating the Si (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#14979676)

Mr Wave Theory thinks that there is a Bubble 2.0 for Web 2.0 and Most Analysts Are Overestimating the Size of Google's Total Addressable Market for Internet Advertising [blogspot.com] I am sick and tired of hearing analysts make wild projections about Google's growth prospects based on wild projections about the size of Google's total addressable market. Continued ... [blogspot.com] http://mrwavetheory.blogspot.com/2006/03/bubble-2. html [blogspot.com]

Paypal is evil ! (1)

da.phreak (820640) | more than 7 years ago | (#14979779)

Avoid paypal if you can. They are not a bank and so are not regulated in a way banks are. When signing up you basically agree that they can do with your money what they want, like freezing your account, fining you or whatever. Of course, they decide what surpicious activity is. I think a judge should decide if this is to be done, not some employee of paypal.

For example they held back a lot of donated money for Katrina victims:

Click [somethingawful.com]

What credentials are they going to use to verify ? (1)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 7 years ago | (#14981064)

I meant to verify that you are actually you, not someone who stole your phone/callerID/ESN etc ? I did not see it anywhere I looked so far. As we all know know, caller ID and ESN are just jokes in the hands of real hackers and can be duplicated without much effort if you have the right hardware. What will prevent this kind of activity of syphooning money out of your account with hacked cell phones or what kind of guarantee are they going to provide to the victims of such activity ??

Not using Paypal (ex spamcop mail user) (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 7 years ago | (#14981071)

Spamcop.net is still free for reporting but it gives extra features when you pay, especially when you have mail account there.

I reported every single paypal phishing mail to Paypal. Paypal was even refusing them for sometime, they reenabled them.

As I have guts (in fact, since I use OS X) I kept on checking the sites I reported using report history feature. Even after a WEEK later, the phishing sites were well and alive asking for paypal account details.

98% of users has no sort of "sense of security" on Mobile platforms, just see what happens when Frisk tries to inform how dangerous Symbian malware could be. They are not taken serious, and even people claim they sell "snake oil." A company like F-Prot.. Sigh btw.

Yesterday I had a very suspicious "new net settings received" apparently from Turkcell, my mobile provider. As I know GPRS is mostly DHCP and I did not ask any kind of settings; I refused to install settings. I wonder what would "Joe Public" do.

With a company like PayPal who ignores FREE security reports which other companies pay for, I have major suspicion about this new invention and I am afraid if something happens, it will hurt sense of security on Mobile platform (J2ME).

interesting (1)

edstromp (522727) | more than 7 years ago | (#14981742)

This will be interesting! Perhaps finally an end to cold hard cash!

So far, this is HORRIBLE. (1)

Tigwyk (855379) | more than 7 years ago | (#14982061)

Well, after seeing this article, I figured I'd try out their service. I have a business account with paypal (had a personal account for years, business account for less than 6 months) and I thought this would be easy enough to set up. I was wrong. The website portion was fine, I added a pin number for the confirmation call, the first 20 times I tried to get them to call me... nothing happened on my end. 21st time, the call came through but the quality was awful. Finally I tried again, and the calls started coming through properly. The problem now is that they won't accept my pin. I double-checked it, but no luck. So I changed the pin (wasn't too hard), and they didn't accept the new pin either! I changed it again, still didn't accept it! So I'm REALLY annoyed. It seems that PayPal really doesn't want me to use their new mobile service.

I'm in Canada, and I don't know if anyone else has tried this service yet, but I'm tempted to email paypal letting them know how dissatisfied I am with it. Is it that hard to check an up-to-date database for the pin number I added? I've changed it 3 times, each call that came through, I tried all 3 pin numbers I had changed it to, and nothing worked. Not a single success.

Guess that's what I get for trusting PayPal. ;)
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