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PayPal Brings Mobile Payments To U.S.

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the lol-i-pay-kk dept.

130

An anonymous reader writes "PayPal is bringing the eastern use of the cellphone as a payment method to the United States. The company's mobile service aims to use secure text messages as a payment method for direct-marketing initiatives and other 'on-the-spot' mercantile opportunities." From the article: "To the extent that digital money doesn't feel like real money, it may increase spontaneous purchasing ... " This story offers more details on a discussion we had last month.

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130 comments

Oh good! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140105)

Now I can fall victim to a phishing scam anywhere

Re:Oh good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15141217)

Indeed.
If you already brought it up, does anyone know of some anti-phishing solution that's not for your desktop browser but for mobile devices?

Re:Oh good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15141240)

Forget about that. Just give me an anti-phishing solution that I can trust that won't track my browsing habits and sell them or do god-knows-what with them *cough*Google*cough*Microsoft*cough*

Open Phishing Database (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15141270)

Then I guess I should mention Netcraft :)
But there's the "Open Phishing Databse" for you. They don't seem to have any evil firm behind them: http://opdb.berlios.de/ [berlios.de] .

PayPal sucks (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140107)

So, what's wrong with PayPal?
What do I need to know about PayPal and what about the lawsuit?

http://www.paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com]

1. According to PayPal accepting their ToS (Terms of Service) in effect means you waive your rights to credit card consumer protection laws if you want to use their service, and that you may not issue a chargeback for unauthorized use of your credit card and PayPal account, or if you do, then they have the right to limit your account. Is this legal? We don't know. But it's how Paypal operates. See my credit card waiver page for more information.

2. Their customer service is horrible. They used to hide their telephone number, (intentionally - by their own admission) and only provided support via "form" emails:

"As for the customer service, Sollitto said they intentionally make the phone number very difficult to find in order to save costs."

This is confirmed in the book "PayPal Wars". If you have a problem, you are at their mercy! (And you will eventually have a problem.) The only reason their number can be found now is because they were forced to by law (EFTA Electronic Funds Transaction Act) due to complaints from users of this website. You can also click on our FAQs page. Just scroll down a bit, and you'll find their phone numbers, plus their toll free numbers as well, plus a huge list of unpublished PayPal phone numbers.

3. Their terms of service are not completely disclosed upon signup and some key "conditions" are not disclosed. They fail to mention their total lack of security to prevent your account from being compromised by phishing & spoof sites. That if your account is accessed by a criminal using one of these methods, PayPal will hold YOU monetarily & legally responsible! Also, no place do they openly tell potential members that their money is 100% at risk. That PayPal can, will, and has in the past, completely cleaned out customers' accounts, (including your checking or savings account) with no appeals process available. Instead they bury in the fine print of 37 pages of their "Terms of Service" (ToS) where they disclose to you that PayPal can close your account for any reason what-so-ever, or no reason, and then you have to wait 180 days to get your money. Think that'll never happen? Think again. That's what everyone thinks till it happens to them.

4. If PayPal feels your actions are questionable, PayPal is the investigator, judge, jury and executioner. "Telling your side" of what happened, in most cases seems to be irrelevant. They also refuse to provide you with the details of their investigation and withhold documents they relied upon to make their decisions. Your only contact will be an email that says:

Thank you for contacting PayPal. We apologize for the delay in respondingto your service request.

After review, the decision has been made to keep your account locked. This decision cannot be appealed.

If you have any further questions, please reply to this email.

That will be the end of it as far as PayPal is concerned. You can email back, but you'll just get more of the same. Oh yea, and you'll have to wait 180 days to get your money.

5. If you are a bona fide, up-standing individual with hundreds of successful transactions, but someone pays you with a stolen credit card, your account (by PayPal's own admission) is immediately flagged as being "criminal behavior" and any money in that account is confiscated. If a customer "disputes" the charge, same thing happens. (See email above.) PayPal claims that they will fight chargebacks, but read this before you fall for that one.

6. Paypal's fees for NON-credit card funding are the same as for credit cards! This is the single biggest rippoff on their site. We understand Paypal charging a fee when you fund your account with a credit card. After all, they are being charged by Visa/Mastercard, etc. And we understand there is a lot of fraud with credit card funding. However, most of the money sent within the Paypal system no longer comes from credit card funding. However, money spent from PayPal account to PayPal account is subject to the exact same fees credit card purchases are! This money has been in the system for years and is "clean." That is, there are no fees at all to Paypal, and there is almost no fraud at all with this money, but Paypal charges the SAME fees to transactions with NON-credit card funds! Thus every transaction makes PayPal money, but it's nothing more than an entry in a computer database on their system. No money has actually moved, and there are no costs to Paypal. They are just skimming the gravy.

http://www.paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com]

Re:PayPal sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140121)

You got a better alternative?

Re:PayPal sucks (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140308)

You got a better alternative?

Ya, it's called accepting only cashiers checks when doing business over the internet. I sell on e-bay "as is". No refund. My credit and merchant integrity is based on account feedback.

Sorry folks, but when you get fucked by Paypal and those who abuse it, you do business strict and to the point (like me).

Re:PayPal sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140329)

Ya, it's called accepting only cashiers checks when doing business over the internet.

You know, cashier's checks can be faked as well. Instead, wait for the check to clear.

Re:PayPal sucks (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140990)

Trouble with personal checks are that even if they clear, they can still put a "stop payment" on it at any moment. With a cashier's check (not one from a bank), it's as good as cash.

Re:PayPal sucks (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140593)

>accepting only cashiers checks when doing business over the internet.
how are those viagra sales doing?

seriously I don't trust followup issues from merchants with a good rating if they limit to a non-disputable pay. You really must have a perfect 0 complaints or really undersale your potential customer base.

Re:PayPal sucks (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140328)

Use Google Payments. They're much better than PayPal ever was. I use them to handle all my Google Auction bids.

Re:PayPal sucks (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141018)

Standard bank transfer? Oh, right, that's crippled and uncommon in the USA.

Re:PayPal sucks (1)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15142182)

Standard bank transfer? Oh, right, that's crippled and uncommon in the USA.

My American bank charges $25 per transfer to do this, dumbass. It's not crippled and uncommon, it's expensive . That's why people don't do bank transfers in the USA.

Re:PayPal sucks (2, Interesting)

brain159 (113897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140514)

Move to Europe. The Paypal ToS are better over here, they are subject to regulation (as an "issuer of electronic money") and are answerable to the UK's Financial Services Authority. They can't lock your entire balance due to a dispute over part of it, and you have the right to appeal over their heads to the regulators if they mess you around.

Alternatively, pester your elected representatives for some legislation compatible with the relevant EU stuff. Get some proper Data Protection laws while you're at it.

Great (2, Interesting)

bl00d6789 (714958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140116)

So, on top of the already outrageous eBay and Paypal fees, there will be text messaging fees. I'll be sure to use this on a regular basis. Paypal is already worse than my bank when it comes to ridiculous fees.

Re:Great (3, Informative)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140206)

That's not really true, Paypal only charges fees on credit card transactions and the fees they charge are reasonably well in line with what other credit card gateways charge merchants when you purchase something from them with a credit card.

Whether the fees charged by credit card gateways are too much is another matter, and seems like it might be the case. I seem to recall class-action suits being brought against Mastercard by merchants because they felt the fees they charged were unjustified.

The fact of the matter though, is that although as a consumer you generally don't realize it, merchants always take a hit on credit sales and it's not always small. There are plenty of legitimate complaints about paypal and I don't see this as being one.

Re:Great (1)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140474)

if you want to accept one credit card payment, you are forced to 'upgrade' your account, then all transactions are charged for, even if the money was already in their paypal account.

The parents shouldn't be flame bait (2, Interesting)

Shohat (959481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141067)

Just because it's a rant doesnt mean it's a flamebait . And about Paypal Vs CC clearing : Paypal account freezing policies are much worse that any CC clearing company , in Israel cc clearing is around 1.7%, and as low as 0.65% for gas stations and travel agencies , with no per-transaction fee at all , setup fees , monthly fees or gateway fees .
Since here (in Israel) the credit cards are the same as in any other part of the world (Visa , MC , AMex , Diners) I don't see why should small merchants pay the 2.9%+ 0.3usd per transaction in the US , and risk fund freezing(plenty of PayPal horror stories) . Paypal is used mainly for two reasons - Ebay and really small merchants .The ebay integration is what keeps this company alive and I am confident that 80% of it's revenue is generated throgh Ebay's sites .It has very little use outside it ,unless you just dont have a CC with you(or at all)
A Paypal transactions doesnt make much sence for a merchant outside of ebay . Every merchant allready pays the CC clearing fees (because no one in their right mind would actually not accept credit cards) , so a paypal transaction would just cost more , and moreover it would actually hurt the merchant's chances of getting better % from his CC clearing company .

Great (0, Troll)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140120)

Just what we need, something to encourage Americans to make impulse purchases. As if we're not already enough of a consumerist impulse buying materialistic society already.

Re:Great (4, Funny)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140224)

You seem cynical. Perhaps you don't have enough money.

Re:Great (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140269)

something to encourage Americans to make impulse purchases

Yes, but this increase in choice could be used to add "extremely unique" financial management tomes to that American's personal space to enhance their pecuniary experiences.

Consumerism? (1)

Thomas Henden (804134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140296)

We have this in Norway already, typically you can pay for parking and charge your telephone with additional minutes of talking time.This alone is not so bad, however we have tons and tons of "SMS services", where you can participate in polls, competitions, drawing of prizes, and yes, there's the SMS sex market and SMS dating services.

Though this is consumerism at its worst, and the same people who can't resist wasting all their money on internet poker, waste their money on those SMS services. However the environment isn't going to be hurt as much by this, as, for example all these unneccesary plastic products and heavy plastic wrapping, which TV commercials and heavy catalogues already make people buy. Sometimes, the wrapping is so heavy, so you would need the very tool inside the package you try to open, to breach the plastic.

So it isn't like you have a choice anymore, to choose environmentally-friendly products. And btw. norwegians are now soon driving cars as much as americans, which means we are getting fatter too, since the oil is still relatively cheap in Norway, that is, compared to our levels of salary, an important point many spoiled norwegians don't realise.
(UN usually states that Norway is one of the world's richest countries, which is true if you look just at the average income of norwegian citizens.)

Believe therefore all these SMS competitions and poll services as described above are worse regarding consumerism, than simply being able to pay all those small fees, which demands unpractical amounts of change to reside in your pocket. Parking btw. is mostly paid for, with your credit/debit card, and not with text messages, since the latter IS more unpractical, than simply inserting your card and typing the 4 digit code. So one could say that perhaps being able to easily pay for your parking (either by credit card or SMS), is somehow contributing to 'consumerism', however paying your cinema tickets, or being able to pay for your tram ride, would not, so it would depend more on the type of service or goods you pay for, if it is consumerism, or not.

Logical (4, Insightful)

gerbalblaste (882682) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140125)

This is a logicalextension of paypal's increasingly omnipresent marketing and services.
Paypal has diversified into many diferent branches and while this new mobile payment may be subject to some criticism and a degree of scepticism it is likely that this will come to be as pervasive as credit cards.

Even more logical (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140376)

What if they offered this on other handheld devices?

Then you could transfer funds without paying cellphone fees.

For example, you could make payments over the infrared interface of a PDA. You could even "beam" someone money to settle a restuarant bill.

This would also be possible with 1999 techology.

In fact it was done, and this is one of the key PayPal features from their launch. It got quietly dropped on the floor a few years later.

Re:Even more logical (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140400)

As a matter of fact, Paypal used to offer a PalmOS program that did exactly what you describe. But they withdrew it — there was no way for them to make money off it.

Re:Even more logical (1)

Zack (44) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140947)

Check out BillMonk, I think it does everything you need, all via sms, email, or the web interface.

http://www.billmonk.com/ [billmonk.com]

 

Re:Logical (1)

Giblets.Of.Doom (968878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140996)

With one incredible exception... PayPal does not offer the same protection as your credit card company.

Re:Logical (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141056)

This is a logicalextension of paypal's increasingly omnipresent marketing and services.

Is it? Why? And omnipresent means PayPal is already everywhere... how can that be increasing?

Paypal has diversified into many diferent branches

What branches? Online payments and debit/credit cards come to mind. That's two. ... and while this new mobile payment may be subject to some criticism and a degree of scepticism

Anything new might be subject to criticism and skepticism. You could say that about cops walking the MySpace beat, or censored Wikipedia articles, or Microsoft bypassing hosts file. Take any Slashdot article and your statement applies equally as well to any of them. How bland. ... it is likely that this will come to be as pervasive as credit cards.

Why do you say that? Do you have any evidence that this might be the case? I don't see it as a likely thing at all but if you have some compelling arguments, it would have been nice if you had included them rather than just stating generic platitudes.
 

Great. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140128)

Now I have to worry about somebody stealing my cell phone.

What I want... (2, Interesting)

Snuggly_Soft (647073) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140140)

...is to be able to take a picture with my camera phone of a barcode on an item that I want to purchase. This would bring up comparison shopping info about the item, etc. If I want to buy the item, I'd just push pound or whatever.

Re:What I want... (5, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140157)

If you send a text message to GOOGL with the barcode number, it will return comparison shopping information. Unfortunately, in America everything is cheaper online, so there's no real point in going shopping anyway.

uh... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141093)

If you have access to the barcode on the item, you probably have access to the actual item, which means you are likely in a place where you could just buy the item without using a camera or a computer.

Re: What I want... (1)

christefano (899436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141206)

ScanZoom [scanzoom.com] is probably the most "complete" solution and sounds like what you're looking for. It runs on Palm and Symbian camera phones.

You can also scan barcodes with Barcode/13 [treoware.com] and look them up yourself. Hold down a button for a while and Barcode/13 "scans" and copies the barcode to the Palm clipboard. Unfortunately, the pictures that my Treo 600 takes are too saturated for it to work. I've heard that it works really well with the 650's camera, though.

An ounce of prevention... (3, Insightful)

Fantasio (800086) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140151)

No parent will buy a cellphone to their kid unless the feature is disabled.

TouchBuy (1)

thealsir (927362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140218)

the parent will have to learn their kid to not spend moneeeeee too, I presume.

Seriously though, even adults will have problems with this. Most people actually have extraordinarily weak constitutions, and the only thing preventing them from binge spending is laziness. If they can order/spend money on stuff instantly, on something they constantly use, we'll see the economic deficit widen even more.

The current financial system is rigged to make people go into ridiculously huge amounts of debt. Combined with the childlike nature of most people, it becomes a near certainty. Remember, whenever someone needs to go in the hole to buy something, the value of the money is decreased because the person has to spend more to pay for an item of a certain value. That, combined with a brain exodus will force us down the economic ladder. An individual cannot go into infinite debt and once his/her spending power runs out, he/she cannot buy. The inability to buy slows down the economy for everyone. In the long run, it causes growth to shrink to zero and even recess.

Sadly, nobody can do anything about smarter consumer spending. People will continue to do things no matter how much you tell them not to. THIS could sink us.

Re:An ounce of prevention... (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140579)

>No parent will buy a cellphone to their kid unless the feature is disabled.

Same as prepaid charge card, paypal damage is limited to the credit backing it. (link it to your bank account, bad, link it to the same charge cards they already carry, no change.)

as others have said, your recourse may be a bit more questionable through paypal. (but have you read your credit cards policy? most have in home state, and extreme time limits, and a mulit page dispute form that must be mailed within a short period of time after the charge. none is true of any Credit card I will hold. but even getting their dispute policy is painful.)

Re:An ounce of prevention... (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141362)

...and any self-respecting kid will have it enabled or cracked within a week. If not by themselves, then through "a friend" or the local stolen-mobile-phone-and-Xbox-chip retailer.

The perfect model (4, Insightful)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140162)

What a sensational business model.

1) Act and charge like a real bank, but don't say you're one.

2) Offer no real customer service, treat customers like thieves, offer no financial protection, unlike a real bank don't be forced to implement security and continity controls

3) Profit!

What parent poster is talking about (2, Interesting)

thealsir (927362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140184)

To hear about the sheer number of horror stories the parent talks about, go here: http://www.paypalsucks.com/ [paypalsucks.com] I've been ripped off once, but it was a small amount. PP's customer service was in the toilet. All automated, impossible to get to a real person. And no, they do not have FDIC backing or anything. So they are free from the rules that constrain most banks/require them to insure your money. They have a monopoly and thus get away with this. Once that starts eroding, they'll actually give a shit. Just look at IE...M$ has just started working on IE7. When FF was non-existent, the world had to live for years with a stagnating standards-incompliant browser. Something will have to break eventually, and let's hope ebay doesn't have too much leverage in this market (competition is building, but it could be growing a lot more than it is).

Re:What parent poster is talking about (1, Troll)

droopycom (470921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140278)

Off course they are not a bank... Paypal terms are fine by me: If they want to terminate my paypal account because I did a chargeback, I dont give a rat's ass...

They are not a bank: dont use them as a bank.

Re:The perfect model (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140343)

I see PayPal found the elusive ??? step before profit. Oh my, it's quite a mouthful.

"Troll" is wrong. Mod parent up to 2, pls (1)

MickLinux (579158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140388)

I don't know if someone disagrees with the parent post. Indeed, they may have reason to disagree with it, and good reason.

Moreover, the parent post did not go into much detail. So I can even see where an ignorant modder might think that the post is a troll.

However, there have been *tons* of people cheated by Paypal in combination with real thieves. I am one of them. That is, Paypal showed that they have no incentive to either use the insurance that they advertised they had; and they showed that they had no incentive to fight or even try to determine the real thieves. So in the end, the ended up supporting the thieves against honest businesspeople.

Moreover, this issue has been rehashed much on Slashdot. There really was no need to go into detail. Indeed, there are others on this website who went into better detail.

But it is by no means a troll. So in general, I would have left this one as it was, at a score of 2. If there is a moderator around who is willing to spend a mod point in bring this back to honorable obscurity, I think it would be well spent.

Re:"Troll" is wrong. Mod parent up to 2, pls (1)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140809)

A touch of comedy with an added smell of satire is the medicine.

Short and sharp was my motto, and it will probably be my undoing.

Appreciate the added commentary surrounding my post. For right or for wrong, I can see around 50% believe it's troll and the other 50% believe its informative.

Good day!

The Original Concept (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140174)

This interests me primarily because PayPal was originally designed as a mobile payment service for PDA users. Mobile phones now incorporate a substantial amount of functionality that was once restricted to the PDA.

Maybe their original idea was simply ahead of its time.

TextPayMe already does this (3, Informative)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140179)

TextPayMe already provides this exact same service. I wonder if they have a patent on it.

I'm confused (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140189)

Secure & text message don't really belong together.

SIM cards & phones can be cloned. IIRC, the text messaging network is susceptible to a DOS. Your cellphone isn't a credit card... you can't exactly charge back someone else's impulse buy.

Re:I'm confused (2, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140314)

Oh, I'm sure PayPal will do everything in their power to make sure there are plenty of protections in place for consumers.

</cynicism>

Re:I'm confused (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140403)

Secure & text message don't really belong together.
So you use something else and write software for the phones to handle it - most phones can run java applications these days and I've heard of RSA authentication even being used on the humble Z80 processor (and phones have faster processors than that). A couple of years ago software and back end hardware for this task was developed by a small company in a provincial city in Australia to be used in fuel stations in Italy. Surely a very large US company two years furthur down the track also has the resources to do such a thing or can buy something already implemented?

Nothing logical about this (4, Interesting)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140199)

so far the only thing they seem to be pushing is cd/dvd sales -- how the hell could it possibly be convenient to buy a cd via paypal via phone? why would i want to send a text message, and then receive a call in order to find out the price and shipping?

if i want music, i want it now, so if i'm shopping i will buy it at the campus music store, or if i am home i will buy it on itunes. the only time i buy cd's online at all are when they are not on itunes or at the cd store.

there's still hope though!

what if i could buy my movie tickets on my phone instead of waiting in line at the theater? that would actually be cool.

Re:Nothing logical about this (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140787)

www.handango.com (I assume it's everywhere, Tulsa gets a lot of things dead last) Buy movie tickets online, pick them up at a machine inside the store.

Re:Nothing logical about this (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140965)

www.handango.com (I assume it's everywhere, Tulsa gets a lot of things dead last) Buy movie tickets online

You meant fandango, not handango, right? handango.com sells Palm OS apps. fandango.com sells movie tickets.

(I don't know how that's supposed to work on your phone, though. On your computer, it generates a ticket to print out and take with you. Most cell phones, last time I checked, don't have built-in printers.)

Re:Nothing logical about this (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140977)

lol, that's right! (I've been working at Sprint too long.)

Re:Nothing logical about this (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141168)

lol i just assumed from your first post that handango did add some features like this, oh well hah

Re:Nothing logical about this (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141048)

One could probably do it by giving the phone an image of a barcode to display, with the barcode containing a ticket key. Then the customer just shows their phone to the attendant who swipes it on a barcode scanner. (Not sure how they go on scanning LCD displays though!)

All the more reason... (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140202)

All the more reason to steal someone's cell phone...

the same posting above is 'redundant' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15142165)

but this one isn't? moderstors are inconsistent, which is why /. sucks anymore

Nice... (5, Funny)

Ecko7889 (882690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140205)

So now after the hookers done, all I got to do is text her?

We'll call it Pay4Pal.

And when the phone is stolen? (1)

Old Wolf (56093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140213)

How do they overcome the problem of the phone being lost or stolen, and somebody else just using up all the person's available Paypal account? This is a pretty serious concern.

Re:And when the phone is stolen? (3, Informative)

Dex Ro (222863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140243)

An automatic system makes a voice call to your phone after you have texted "send 14.99 to 2125551212" to 729725 ((PAYPAL)) and you touch-tone back a PIN which you set up when you activated the PayPal Mobile service. So the phone thief would need your PIN, not just your phone.

Re:And when the phone is stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140293)

But won't some phones keep a keypress history until you clear it? Or is that usually just for outgoing calls? I don't know, I don't have a mobile.

Re:And when the phone is stolen? (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140444)

This is PayPal we're talking about. I'm sure that "Don't let your phone be stolen" is part of their Terms of Use, so as soon as you report that you have lost it they will immediately freeze your account, charge you a substantial fee, and then claim that you have been flagged as a possible fraud risk and confiscate what's left of your money.

Re:And when the phone is stolen? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140500)

That's pretty much what happened to me a few years back, except without the cell phone. I do something pefectly reasonable that they claim violates their ToS, and when all was said and done I was out about $1500.

Re:And when the phone is stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140799)

You should understand what the service is and how it works before commenting on it.

Stop being just another /. PayPal troll.

Losing your phone that is able to use this service is nothing like losing a credit card. You place a text message, then you get called back by PayPal and need to enter your PayPal Mobile PIN to complete the transaction. So unless you write down on your phone that #1 you linked it to a PayPal account, and #2 your PIN, then you should be fine.

Re:And when the phone is stolen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140618)

"How do they overcome the problem of the phone being lost or stolen, and somebody else just using up all the person's available Paypal account? This is a pretty serious concern."

It's not like having the phone will be the same as having cash. Purchases will need to be authorized with a pin/pw/whatever. A thief who steals the phone has done nothing more than steal the physical device. This will be no different from stealing an ATM card, and no one is crying wolf about those. I call FUD.

Re:And when the phone is stolen? (1)

boujin (832154) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140980)

Certain models of cells phones by Docomo and AU in Japan act both as your phone and you're credit / debit card. The technology is driven by contactless IC cards.

Vending machines, ticket wickets and even some bullet trains now have the IC proximity sensors to detect a nearby phone. This technology is espeically prevelant in train stations throughout the Tokyo area. With the ticket wickets, you just pass your phone over the sensor and you are charged, no confirmation or PIN required. According to the Docomo site [nttdocomo.co.jp] , you can either opt in for a debit style account or a credit card account. There is a disclaimer that if the amount being charged exceeds a certain level a PIN will be required. Docomo is calling these new fangled cell phones: cell phone wallets.

So to answer the question above, they can't really. Just hang on to that cell phone real, real tight.

Good Idea Gone Horribly Wrong (3, Insightful)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140220)

This problem has been solved years ago and the average mobile phone is more than capable of working as an electronic purse. A mobile phone needs no centralized network to process transactions and most certainly is more efficient and trackable than paper currency and Visa/MC association payments.

A tangentially related way to see how abusive things are in the association world is Walmart wants to open a "bank" so they can keep a piece of the Visa/MC Association rent.

The way this will be implemented will be the same old very inefficient way of processing payments with each company in the "chain" demanding their pound of flesh along the way.

This idea is DOA.

You definitely need centralization... (2, Insightful)

xiphoris (839465) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140491)

A mobile phone needs no centralized network to process transactions and most certainly is more efficient and trackable than paper currency and Visa/MC association payments.

Of course it needs a centralized network. Otherwise, what's to prevent me from hacking my phone and changing the amount of money that I have?

I understand what you're saying, in a sense: the transaction processing does not have to be centralized but it definitely must be authoritative. Without an authority, you must trust the phone to accurately report the amount of money it has -- clearly not workable. Thus, centralization is certainly needed.

Re:Good Idea Gone Horribly Wrong (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140735)

It needs a centralized something to work, be it the cell provider's system, Visa/MC/etc, Paypal or the banking system, which all have centralized controls in one form or another.

You said the problem has been solved before, I'd like to know what that solution is. I am skeptical as it would seem that the cell network providers would want a hefty piece of the action, these are the bastards that charge $3 for a 3 month expiring 100x100 wallpaper.

PayPal International Support (4, Interesting)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140237)

I'd like to take the word tonight to whine about PayPal not supporting my country, Bulgaria.

Every time I see a PayPal donate / purchase button I'm automatically filtered out since they just don't support my country and declineto accept my credit cards if I try to sign up.

For what is considered the most popular micropayments system in the world, they'd do better to hurry up and actually support the world..

Re:PayPal International Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140309)

Approx. 6,510,204,403 people in the world.

Approx. 7,385,367 people in bulgaria.

In other words, your country represents approx 0.11% of the global population. Do you really expect them to care?

Re:PayPal International Support (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140382)

"In other words, your country represents approx 0.11% of the global population. Do you really expect them to care?"

I don't expect them to particularly care about anything seeing how abysmal is the tech support and service for their already existing customers.

Re:PayPal International Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140825)

The reason why PayPal (and most other financial institutions) don't support the eastern european countries is that those countries are notorious for the sheer number of fraudsters. So much so that it is not worth it to provide service there.

You'd get more bang for your effort if you direct your anger at the fraudsters and encourage your police to arrest them rather than accept bribes.

Re:PayPal International Support (4, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141000)

"The reason why PayPal (and most other financial institutions) don't support the eastern european countries is that those countries are notorious for the sheer number of fraudsters. So much so that it is not worth it to provide service there."

Thanks for standing behind an old stereotype that offers quick answers. However you may notice that "fraudsters" script kiddies can obtain US credit card numbers and then sign up without problems for PayPal.

It's guys like me who want to sign up with their own credit card that have the problem. The credit card operators in Bulgaria are the same as those well known internationally (MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club etc.).

And to bust another stereotype, it's not "most other financial institutions" that don't support Eastern Europe, from the big payment processing companies, the problem is specifically with PayPal.

Re:PayPal International Support (3, Informative)

drazvan (93345) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141381)

I second this, I'm getting tired of all this "we don't support Eastern European clients" crap. I'm in Romania and have both debit and credit cards issued by Romanian banks. A Romanian client signing up with a Romanian credit card from a Romanian IP is definitely less likely to be a fraudster then someone signing up with a US credit card from an IP in Eastern Europe and asking for his goods to be shipped there.

Re:PayPal International Support (1)

AaronLawrence (600990) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141052)

Doesn't fly. 4 M people in New Zealand and it's well supported - I can use a bank account direct (not that I would risk that).

Pfff, I don't even have a credit card (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141004)

Wich means shopping outside my own country is out of the question.

I only care for MMO games especially since the answer exists. Just look at Sony. They use a company called GlobalCollect who make it their business to have payment system everywhere.

Sadly most companies online are american and they can't understand the concept of not having a credit card.

Oh well. Less chance of me wasting my money I suppose. Like on that oblivion horse armour. Credit card only you say? Oh well, wonder if someone already posted a torrent of it (and yes I did buy the original game, the collecters edition even)

Pretty smart Betheseda. Force a paying customer to piracy by not accepting non-credit card payments.

True crime... (1)

Baseball_Fan (959550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140332)

Will cell phones become a wanted item by criminals? Steal a cell phone, and use it to buy stuff? The only good thing about cell phones is police can use it to track the thief. Or the thief can use the cell phone to buy something, then throw it away under the back seat in a bus.

Re:True crime... (1)

jrockway (229604) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140743)

You've been able to pay for things with you cell phone in Japan for years. See http://www.sony.net/Products/felica/ [sony.net] . Basically they put the smart card chip in your phone and let you minimally interact with it from the phone GUI. Very convenient -- I forget my "Chicago Card" all the time... but never my cell phone. If the devices were integrated, my life would be easier :)

Sadly there's too much worry about everything here to adopt any new technology -- so we'll always be 5-10 years behind the rest of the world.

So I'm on the street in new york.. (2, Insightful)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140335)

Guy: "Hi, sir, Could you help a poor man out and let me borrow your cell phone for a quick moment to call my family? I'm going to be late for my daughter's birthday." Me: "Sure, here you are" Guy: "Thank you kindly, sir.." Guy: *transfers cash to his paypal account, while pretending to have trouble figuring out the phone* Guy: "Ah ha!" *after having transferred the money and pretending that he finally figured out what to do* Guy: *fakes a call to his pretend family, while actually calling his voicemail* Guy: "Thank you sir! ^__^" Me: "No problem! ^_^" This'll be fantastic!

Re:So I'm on the street in new york.. (2, Informative)

big tex (15917) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140430)

Guy: "Hi, sir, [remainder of unlikely made up theoretical story] This'll be fantastic!
--
Get a free Macbook Pro for yourself, and help me do the same. [free4me.net]


Right. Like we're supposed to take 'how to not get scammed' advice from a guy advertising a pyramid scheme [wikipedia.org] in his sig.

If you believe that stuff, getting fleeced by paypal's service or loosing your phone are probably not at the top of your problems.

Re:So I'm on the street in new york.. (1)

AWhiteFlame (928642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140483)

About the legality: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freepay#Pyramid_and_m atrix_scheme_accusations [wikipedia.org]

Reviews of people who've done offers like this: http://www.ratetheoffers.com/ [ratetheoffers.com]

Besides. My sig is irrelevent to the point of my post. I was posting concerning the security of paypal's new service, not anything to do with the offer I have in my sig.

Re:So I'm on the street in new york.. (1)

Nomad37 (582970) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140494)

Guy: "Hi, sir, Could you help a poor man out and let me borrow your cell phone for a quick moment to call my family? I'm going to be late for my daughter's birthday."

You: "Sure, what's the number?"

Guy: "Um..."

There you go, problem solved.

Re:So I'm on the street in new york.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140642)

Never thought that they might be using some type of security code in order to transfer the cash?

Donate NOW! (2, Insightful)

VGfort (963346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140385)

Does that mean we can have our own little Donate Now text message or recording on our cell phones?

Nice, no more silly receipts (1)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140479)

I see this as a great way to get rid or receipts. Lets face it, they always give you a receipt, but ever since I was able to look at my statement online, I've never worried about receipts. Think of how much paper this will save!

Re:Nice, no more silly receipts (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140526)

Not to mention the complete elimination of cash worldwide (yeah, right). While I too don't worry about receipts since I got eBanking, I like to have something to verify their screw-ups against. As it is, I almost never buy anything in person anymore, and I could not have a debit card and still function with my online purchases perfectly (not because it's saved everywhere, but because I've memorized it from typing it into Newegg so many times).

Honestly, having your local MegaStores not having an eight-foot-long receipt for a candy bar would make a much bigger difference. On the occasions where I do have to purchase anything from best buy or whatever, I've got a receipt that spells out their terms and conditions (which I can ignore, as they weren't presented prior to purchase), some code to enter a drawing or whatever, an itemized list of all the stuff I bought, the complete address of the store, and probably their terms another two times (which are also on the back). OTOH, my local art store gives me a little 2x1" stub that's price per item and total that's pretty much impossible to get any useful information from, but at least only a single leaf from a tree was killed to print it.

correction (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140488)

What is wrong with you people? Do you read things at all?

1) Your kids can't spend your money. You still need a paypal account to buy things, which they don't have.

2) Your money can't be stolen. You text the request for money to be sent, and they CALL YOU BACK, asking for your PIN number. If you are the only one who knows your PIN, no unauthorized transactions can go through.

3) this service can be convient for magazine and catalog shopping. No need to call in, or go to a computer.

Welcome to the rest of the world (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140567)

Next we will explain how freedom of speech and democracy work.

PayPal is hardware? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140616)

Bless their hearts, but, how did the editors decide a PayPal article should be placed in the Hardware section of Slashdot? :)

Re:PayPal is hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15141108)

Maybe it might have something to do with the fact that it is about using a cell phone. cell phone = hardware

"Your account access has been limited" (1)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140617)

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.

Fantastic (2, Funny)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140633)

Now I can lose my cell phone and my credit card at the same time!

Secure? Yeah right. (1)

blanks (108019) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140682)

Woudln't the phone need to have some way to encrypt these text messages before sending them?  I know none of the phones I have had in the past do not encrypt the messages. This would also mean that if they did come up with some way to encrypt them, pre-existing phones would not have the ability to use this service.

Will they allow phones that do not suport this level of security?  I would guess yes they will, because I dont think it will be secure in anyway.

Re:Secure? Yeah right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15141065)

Regarding the monospace font, am I supposed to read your post in a monotonous sounding voice?
 

Security and usage (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15140718)

The company's mobile service aims to use secure text messages as a payment method for direct-marketing initiatives and other 'on-the-spot' mercantile opportunities.

What's a 'secure' text message?

Also as 'in USA nobody uses text messaging [slashdot.org] ' who is going to use it?

People actually have to pay to receive texts in the US (utterly idiotic at best) - is this how they are going to generate (even more) revenue from users? Will we see tiered text pricing from operators as they are able to effectively tax users?

Coke machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15140884)

So when are we going to be able to buy drinks from a machine using our cell phone?
This was a great idea from the 90's and I know it was put to use in Japan (don't know if it's still going well or not) but how hard could it be?

Vending Machines (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141316)

The example in the article is idiotic. Who is going to pay for a CD with a cell phone via text messaging? This would be insanely slow and inconvient.

But it is ideal for vending machines. How often have you wanted something from a vending machine but had no change or cash on hand? Being able to text a message to a vending machine to pay for an ideam would be extremely handy.

I am sure that I have read elsewhere that a system like this was already in use in Europe or Japan. Can anyone comment?

Re:Vending Machines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15141744)

We've had that for at least five years in vending machines in Finland and plenty of other cases as well - you can e.g. purchase today's edition of certain newspapers to read online or access to some pay-per-view additional material on the homepages of various TV stations.

Spontaneous spending = disaster (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 8 years ago | (#15141460)

"To the extent that digital money doesn't feel like real money, it may increase spontaneous purchasing,. . ."

Yeah, this is what we need in the U.S.: more consumers spending money at random.

We already have a negative savings rate [msn.com] combined with large amounts of consumer debt (for some of us at least). Thrown in the continuing increases in government borrowing [kansascity.com] and you have a royal, financial mess.

I've said it for well over a decade (maybe 2 decades) that the only reason this country keeps running is because of all the crap people buy. I don't mean necessity items like food, clothing, etc but all the knickknacks that people buy and sit on shelves doing nothing but collecting dust (and helping to contribute to their allergies).

How about we not provide a new way for people to spend willy-nilly and start doing some serious education on money management. I propose we start at the top with the Congress and White House since they seem to think money falls from the sky.

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