UK consumers will spend about £1.14bn a year on online and mobile content by the end of the decade, according to research by PayPal and Datamonitor.
That would be 10% of all online retail spending. It will mean a massive increase from the 2005 figure of £380m, spurred on by 3G.
The bloke from PayPal commented that “The challenge will be in creating payment mechanism that means businesses can monetise their content without being entirely beholden to the mobile networks.” Which we take to mean “Use a system like PayPal, and preferably PayPal itself.”
Coincidentally, PayPal has formally announced the mobile payment service we have trailed in these pages. The Text to Buy service means consumers can make instant purchases by sending product codes via text message. There’s also a Text to Give to send money to selected charities (previously the charities have not pushed donation by mobile because of the operators’ charges).
To use PayPal Mobile, customers first need a PayPal account – easy enough to sign up for. They activate their telephones by logging into their PayPal account. After registering their mobile telephone numbers, users must choose a secure PIN which protects every mobile payment. And after making the PayPal Mobile purchase, the user will be called back by PayPal to confirm the payment before the money is sent to the recipient. In the case of a Text to Buy purchase, after the merchant receives the payment, the item is shipped to the address already saved in the user’s PayPal account.
PayPal Mobile works with “almost all” mobile operators in the UK (all the big names are on the list). PayPal, which is owned by Ebay, has 10m subscribers in the UK and more than 100m worldwide.