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You now have a new way to repay your debts with your cellphone other than letting people make calls on it until you're out of hock, in the form of a new service called TextPayMe. Still in beta, the PayPal-like service allows a debtor to sign up on the website, and once he/she has an account, send money to others via text messaging. After selecting either a credit card or bank account as the source of funds, the user sends an SMS to TextPayMe with a mobile number and dollar amount, and the company either cuts a check or deposits the loot in the recipient's bank account. For security purposes, the service calls you back after you request a transaction and requires PIN verification, and also requires some sort of vaguely-worded confirmation on the part of the recipient concerning a security phrase that is sent to him/her. For now the service seems to be free, although it is unclear what the pricing model will look like once the service leaves beta. TextPayMe is trying to get merchants onboard to accept this method of payment, but we think it might flourish more as another way for purchasing services and conducting transactions in the so-called underground economy, where it's not always safe to carry around large amounts of cash.

[Via picturephoning]

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