Earlier this month, PayPal launched PayPal MobileÂ (only available in Canada, US & the UK..grrrr). The service connects your phone to your PayPal account, making you able to purchase from your phone. Advertisements on posters, on websites, in magazines with the icon of Txt2Buy prompt you to enter a code and SMS it to PayPal. Whammo, you’ve got it and it will be delivered to you immediately. So, when you’re walking down the street, and you see a CD advertised, you can satisfy that on-demand urge and buy it immediately. So now, you can buy things immediately online and immediately on the street. We’re getting further and further away from the bricks and mortar…?
Another thing you can do is Txt2Give. By texting WATER you can donate to Unicef, other codes you can donate to Amnesty International and so on. Or you can transfer money to someone immediately. No fees apply, just your normal SMS cost.
Outside of PayPal is another service in Australia: mCode. This system provides the same code number prompt, but sending it triggers details to be sent to you. So, once you’ve registered with them, if you see a poster advertising an event you’d like to see, all you have to do is text the code. An email will be sent to you, outlining all the dates, times & avenues for buying tickets etc. In the spirit of PayPal, I’ve called this Txt2Know.
All of these services make sense, because everyone carries their phones with them all the time. I’m interested in creative uses of this system too. What if I read a story that asks me to Txt2Be…text to be closer to a character or the storyworld. I love the use of words as commands, to have ramifications in the real world.