Hack 13 Pay from a Cell Phone

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Send a payment or request a payment with a WAP-enabled cell phone.

Imagine rummaging through items at a garage sale and finding a priceless antique. Now imagine checking in your wallet only to discover that you don't have the $19.00 to pay for it. What do you do? Hide the antique behind a box, run to the nearest ATM, and hope the item is still there when you return? No, you use your head, the power of PayPal, and the wonder of technology: pull out your web-enabled cell phone and use it to send a PayPal payment on the spot!

To navigate to PayPal's Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) site, open your phone's browser, choose "Go to URL" (or something similar), enter paypal.com, and click OK.

PayPal's WAP site is shown automatically to anyone accessing http://www.paypal.com from a WAP-enabled cell phone or PDA. It's a secure (https) connection, but must already have a PayPal account before you can use it.

2.5.1 Sending Money

After you have successfully logged in, you can select the Send Money link from the main menu, as shown in Figure 2-5. Next, enter the recipient's email address, the amount in dollars, and the amount in cents.

Figure 2-5. Sending a PayPal payment from a WAP-enabled cell phone

When you're done, click Submit. This brings you to a screen where you can confirm the payment by selecting Yes, as shown in Figure 2-6.

Figure 2-6. Select Yes to confirm your payment

2.5.2 Checking the Payment

After you have made the payment, the recipient might want to verify that the transaction has completed.

If you're feeling charitable and the recipient is standing next to you, you can simply log out on your phone, hand it over, and let her verify your payment.

To check the status of a payment, log into PayPal on your phone and select the History link to display a transaction log that lists transaction amounts (debit or credit) and transaction dates in chronological order (newest to oldest). Select a transaction to view more details, such as who sent the money and whether the transaction has completed successfully.

2.5.3 Requesting Payment with a Text Message

You can send an SMS message directly from your own cell phone, from the web site of your recipient's carrier, or from email. Each cell phone and carrier has a slightly different procedure; refer to your phone or calling plan documentation for details.

When you enter the text message, make sure to include paypal.com. If the recipient is using a WAP-enabled phone, he simply clicks the Go option button that appears and is taken to the PayPal WAP site to complete the transaction.