The idea of mobile commerce is heating up again, but this time there is finally some reality to it. eBay's PayPal is testing a service would let mobile phone users send or receive payments to other people or make purchases directly if the retailer provides a short-text code for that purpose. The idea of m-commerce imploded in 2002. Lousy user experience, bad user interfaces, slow-speed networks, security issues and the problematic distribution of money between content providers, retailers, carriers and handset vendors all contributed to the quick downfall of the m-commerce dream. Today, it appears some of these shortcomings have been addressed, and we're seeing some well-known e-commerce players entering the space and handset makers incorporating the idea of the m-wallet. Of course, using text messaging for purchases isn't that exciting, but text messaging is a service a lot of folks know how to use. It will take players like PayPal, one of the world's renowned payment-processing companies, to push m-commerce mainstream.
To read more about PayPal's mobile commerce plans:
- check out this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)