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 [email protected])
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.

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