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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 89: Send and Receive Money on Your Mobile Phone with PayPal

Level Easy

Platform Smart phone or mobile phone with text messaging

Cost Free

The popular online payment service PayPal (http://paypal.com) offers a quick and easy way to send money to friends and co-workers — to cover your share of the dinner bill, pitch in on a shared gift, or send a payment for work done. PayPal’s smartphone apps and SMS service enables you to send and receive money directly from your cell phone when you’re out and about.

Mobile-to-mobile payments can come in handy in lieu of cold, hard cash when purchasing something from someone you don’t know (say, from Craigslist, http://craigslist.org) or when you can’t find an ATM and your buddy’s covering you. This hack explains how to initiate cash transactions via PayPal on your cell phone.

PayPal Mobile

You need a free PayPal account to start. To add money to your PayPal account, link your checking account or credit card to it. To enable cell phone payments, you can either:

  • Download the PayPal app for Android, iOS, or BlackBerry (http://tinyurl.com/2g8fd47) and login to your account. The native apps are the easiest way to interact with PayPal on the go.
  • Send money from any phone using text messages by activating your mobile phone number within your PayPal account.

Send Money Using the PayPal Mobile App

To send a friend $20 for covering your movie tickets, follow these steps:

1. Launch the app and select your friend from your phone’s contacts or enter ...

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