Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Paypal Mobile launches? - Engadget Mobile

you can either text PAYPAL (729725) with the dollar amount and recipients digits (i.e. "send 10 to 2125551212"), or you can do it manually by calling 1-800-4PAYPAL (1-800-472-9725), which is obviously far less exciting. There isn't any official press release we could find on this yet, so caveat emptor, we don't know what (if anything) they're gonna charge you. Oh, and do especially mind your phone from now on, ok? As if using it as an e-wallet didn't scare you enough, now it's linked to all your bank accounts and credit cards.

This is great! Hoping they open up to PH. Wonder if G-Cash or Smart Money would resist assimilation? This is telco agnostic m-commerce. With the only drawback that it requires a credit card. But it would be great for B2B and B2C applications.

Take note of the sarcasm bit: "Mind your phone from now on. As if using an e-wallet didn't scare you.". While Paypal is a direct link to your account, G-Cash and Smart Money is indirect. Those two can be treated as mobile cash/debit cards so it lessens the risk a bit. The moment you allow reloading the e-wallet from a real account via mobile, the risk meter increases a bit just below the paypal model.

Once you get into m-commerce, you basically treat your phone with outmost care just like a regular credit card. That means reporting it ASAP when it gets stolen etc. I don't know if telcos still allow specifying the from field (ever got a text that contains a name instead of a number in the from field?), so be also careful that you don't show your pin to anyone who also happens to know your number. Same with credit cards you don't want just anyone who happens to know your billing address to also know your cardnumber and the digits at the back.

The good news is that m-commerce is now a reality nad slowly taking off. Who will emerge as the leader? Is it the new currency that will play a vital role in powering the next gen economy?

Its still a long way to go tho, access to the local m-commerce infrastructure needs some loving. Its still a hassle to convert from cash to e-wallet or e-wallet to cash. Also the typical counter/cashier scenario doesn't blend very well with the SMS based way of transacting with a merchant. Peer to peer payment (mobile to mobile) doesn't appeal that much to a dominantly cash based society where majority are poor. Remittance delivered via m-commerce inherits the infrastructure problem mentioned above.

The current way of doing m-commerce on the otherhand should match nicely with e-commerce type applications. I wonder why the current options are not focusing on that one? hmmmnnn...

m-commerce + e-commerce? the practical killer combo?

Some say, I'm a dreamer...
But am not the only one...
-John Lennon

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