PayPal ‘Text to Buy’ Primed for Marketing

PayPal has introduced a mobile payment system that appears rife with possibilities for marketers and media companies.

Indeed, Bravo TV is one of several partners in the entertainment sector who are already using the service to sell merchandise related to programming.

PayPal Mobile’s “Text to Buy” commerce application allows people to purchase items, transfer money or make charitable donations with their phone by text-messaging product codes directly to the eBay-owned payments company. To use the feature, members must register their phone numbers with the service and choose a PIN number to secure their payments.

They can then use a mobile handset to conduct a wide range of transactions, including responding to various marketing calls-to-action in print, television and other media.

Marketers, for their part, can work with PayPal to imbue promotions and other direct marketing campaigns with SMS-based payments, and several media sector launch partners have already begun to do so. These include 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Bravo, MTV, and the NBA Store. After a merchant receives a mobile payment, it can then ship purchased items to the buyer at the address PayPal has on file.

Bravo TV will use the “text to buy” feature to sell kitchen products emblazoned with the name of its new “Top Chef” reality TV series. These can be purchased by texting “TOP CHEF APRON” or “TOP CHEF KITCHEN TOWELS” to the short code 63336. Calls-to-action, already visible on the show’s Web site, will also appear in on-air spots during the next airing on April 12.

“Text to Buy gives our passionate viewers yet another way to connect to their favorite Bravo shows,” said Jason Klarman, Bravo’s SVP of marketing and brand strategy, in a statement.

PayPal introduced Text to Buy at the CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas.

Participating charities include Amnesty International, Starlight Starbright and UNICEF.

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