RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Ups the Ante on M-Commerce

Yahoo! Inc. upped its ante in the much-contested mobile-commerce fray, delivering Yahoo! PayDirect and Yahoo! Local Sales on Internet-enabled mobile phones in the United States.

The launch of the two new services marks the company's entry into mobile commerce via Yahoo! Everywhere, the portal's initiative to enable consumers to access Yahoo!'s Web content and services on Internet-enabled phones, personal digital assistants, two-way pagers and other alternative and wireless devices.

The PayDirect service, linked to Yahoo! auctions, enables customers to request, receive, send and make person-to-person payments through the wireless Web, eliminating the need for mailing paper checks and money orders.

The Local Sales service provides consumers on the go with a one-stop source to find advertised sales and specials offered on products in local stores in their own neighborhoods.

"Yahoo! is bridging online and off-line commerce through our mobile offerings, providing additional value not only to end users, but also to our marketing clients," said Anurag Mendhekar, director of Yahoo! Everywhere. "Yahoo! Everywhere is bringing 'time' and 'place' relevance to Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auctions by distributing these services to Internet-enabled mobile phones -- everywhere our consumers want to compare prices or conduct transactions.''

By using Yahoo! PayDirect as a person-to-person payment option, Yahoo! Auctions enthusiasts can now participate in, monitor and close an auction wirelessly, the company said.. The m-commerce solution lets users send money to anyone in the United States with an e-mail address, pay for an auction item and receive payment from a buyer. PayDirect is supported by CIBC National Bank.

Yahoo! Local Sales is a free service that lets consumers browse by store, category or brand. By clicking on a product of interest, the consumer can instantly find the product, call the nearest store, and get driving directions. The service is supported by ShoppingList.com, a "clicks to bricks" local shopping resource.

Meanwhile, Yahoo! launched a new Personal Address feature for Yahoo! Mail, its free e-mail service. Currently available for people with @yahoo.com e-mail addresses, the new feature allows users to create and use their own unique e-mail address in conjunction with Yahoo! Mail.

Users can create personalized e-mail addresses (such as jane@loves2dance.net) connected to that domain name and send, receive and manage e-mail from those personalized e-mail addresses using the same tools and features that Yahoo! Mail offers.

The Personal Address registrations are seamlessly integrated with a user's current Yahoo! Mail inbox and account preferences, the company said. Cost for the service is $35 a year and includes registration of a domain name and up to five e-mail addresses for that domain name.