updated 4/6/2006 12:51:55 PM ET 2006-04-06T16:51:55

Customers of the PayPal online payment service can now use their cell phones to instantly send money, buy items or donate to charities.

Viacom Inc.’s MTV, the National Basketball Association and News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Inc. are among those already accepting PayPal Mobile service for payment, PayPal said Thursday.

“With the overwhelming popularity of mobile phones, the time has never been better for the merging of e-commerce and wireless devices,” said PayPal President Jeff Jordan.

PayPal Mobile 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.

PayPal is owned by online auctioneer eBay Inc.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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