Mercury News:

PayPal, the online payment service owned by auctioneer eBay Inc., said Thursday that customers can now use their cell phones to instantly send money, buy items or donate to charities.

The PayPal Mobile service allows users in the United States and Canada to instantly send money by sending text messages.

Customers activate the service by logging onto a Web site and registering their cell phone numbers.

Every customer is assigned an identification number needed for each order. Once an order is received, the customer is called back for confirmation and the money is then sent to the seller, PayPal said.