The system works for phones much like PayPal does on the web. Users can send each other money directly to each other using text messages. They will also be able to buy things from shops, and vending machines with the service.
Although this is one of many ‘mobile wallet’ systems to have recently come to the fore, with the Google name behind it it’s sure to be a success. Coupled with Google Checkout creating a single, secure platform independent payment system, this could turn out to be the only payment service you’ll need for anything.
Meanwhile on this side of the pond the UK networks have got together and launched a similar service. PayForIt is a collaboration between Vodafone, 3, O2, and T-Mobile to provide a trustworthy and consistent standard for paying by mobile phone.
PayForIt initially only supports payments of under £10 for things such as train tickets, ring-tones, games, and other mobile content, with the money being deducted from a PAYG balance, or added to the user’s mobile bill.
"Payforit is about opening up the micro-payment choices, but it is not a tot al cash replacement," said Mike Short, chairman of the Mobile Data Association.
"It is for those customers who have not felt comfortable with mobile transactions or payments."
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