Wait, hasn’t this already been done before? Indeed it has. SMS text message-based payment system have been in use for quite some time now, and it seems that Google has been keen to the new trend for about a year and a half. The search giant has just published their patent application (filed Feb. 28, 2006) for an SMS text message-payment system, ostensibly called “GPay,” that would facilitate private transactions between a merchant and a customer for goos and services. Pay the milkman with your mobile phone (does anyone still get milk from a milkman?). Tip the neighborhood paperboy with an SMS text message – the possibilities are exciting, to say the least.
The GPay user (“payor”) sends a text message to Google’s GPay servers that details the merchant (“payee”) and payment amount. Once received and processed, GPay will debit the payor’s account and credit the payment amount to the payee. The system would require that the payor keep a balance with GPay but does not require the payee to hold an account with GPay – payments are made externally to GPay’s system.
A computer-implemented method of effectuating an electronic on-line payment includes receiving at a computer server system a text message from a payor containing a payment request representing a payment amount sent by a payor device operating independently of the computer server system, determining a payment amount associated with the text message and debiting a payor account for an amount corresponding to the amount of the payment request, and crediting an account of a payee that is independent of the computer server system.
The question is, how much will Google be charging to use its GPay service? Will it use a commission model or subscription model? Either way, we can’t wait to see GPay launch. “How much do I owe you?…Okay, lemme get my phone” – yea, that would be sweet!