Scott Hanselman

The return of PayPal? TextPayMe offers Pay Over SMS

February 02, 2006 Comment on this post [7] Posted in eFinance | Gaming
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This is very interesting to me because not only is it in the realm of eFinance but it also reminds me of a very exciting time...remember back in the day when you could PayPal someone money using the IR Port on your Original PalmPilot? I used to split checks and do all sorts of things.

Now, a start up called TextPayMe has a very nice implementation of "Pay Over SMS". You just text "PAY amount number" to their 5 digit number and you're set. Chris Brooks, my boss, and I have already used to to send money around. Additionally, you get $5 for signing up, and if I (or you) sign up only 35 folks (it's FREE) I'll get an Xbox 360 (for the guest room.) Sure, it's multi-level marketing, but it's worth taking a look at if only to see their two-factor authentication.

SignUp at TextPayMe

You have both a password and four-digit pin. When you pay someone via SMS, you'll get a phone call back confirming that you were serious, then you type in your pin. You have to know something - your pin - and have something - your phone. Very cool.

I wonder how long until PayPal buys them. Anyway, sign up, get your own profile and spread the word. No banking or account information is needed unless you want deposit money.

UPDATE: More on TextPayMe at PaymentsNews, with some specifically interesting tidbits. Everyone but Verizon can use their 70820 number. They will market towards uses by CraigsList users. Anyone who signs up during the beta will NEVER pay a transaction fee. (Wish I'd gotten in on that when PayPal started!) Also, they have support for paying some online merchants.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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February 02, 2006 17:56
Count on me for a referral - this is great!!
February 02, 2006 18:23
Very interesting - count on another referral from me.
February 02, 2006 20:09
And of course, as people from the US tend to do, you forgot to mention that it's a US only thing. The world is small, huh...
February 02, 2006 21:06
Oliver! Doh! Sorry my friend. Didn't mean to be US-focused. I actually assumed it was international.
February 02, 2006 23:02
Sorry, I didn't mean anything - some days I get fed up with all those blog posts promising great things that turn out to be only for the more privileged 4.5% of the globe's population :-)
Anyone know an international download link for the Google video of a certain recent 81-point event?
February 04, 2006 3:06
My name is Philip Yuen. I am the CEO/Founder of TextPayMe.
We care very very much about our customer's money. We have no problem
telling our users that their funds are deposited into Bank of America and
their money is protected under FDIC pass through insurance. We will add
his to our user agreement as soon as possible to make sure everybody
understands this.

TextPayMe, Inc acts as the agent of our users. We place our users' unds
in a pooled account at an FDIC-insured bank (Bank Of America), which is
eligible for pass-through FDIC insurance coverage. That is how our user
is protected. In addition to that, this account is never used for
operations. This means that TextPayMe does not use this account for any
other purpose except to store user money for deposits and take money out
for user requested withdrawals.

We are not operating a money transmitting business yet. We are still in
beta and are testing the system out in terms of the shortcode, callback,
website, etc. We have been working with our attorneys to understand and
address what our legal responsibilities are during this beta period. To
be thorough, we have already submitted an application to the state of
Washington for a money transmitters license to ensure we are doing the
right thing.

We take anti-money laundering issues very seriously. We will post our
comprehensive policies on the website.
February 05, 2006 1:08
Another referral from me.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.