Regular users of PayPal will be pleased to hear that the online payment company is to provide a new service whereby consumers can make purchases or money transfers using simple text messaging via mobile phones. Known as PayPal Mobile, the new service will be launched in the next couple of weeks in the United States, Canada and the UK. The move can help PayPal reach out into the developing world, where phones, rather than computers, are the main way to connect to the Internet.

"This is very important because it is going to create an awareness that your mobile phone is much more than just a device for talk," said Dan Schatt, an analyst with financial consulting firm Celent. "It allows you to make transactions." In effect, the phone has become an electronic wallet.