Blog Post

MasterCard Takes on PayPal on Mobiles

MasterCard (s ma) has launched its MoneySend service on the BlackBerry, taking aim at PayPal (s ebay) in the growing mobile payment business. MoneySend is a virtual prepaid credit card that customers can link with existing bank accounts, debit and credit cards to send and receive personal payments on the BlackBerry (s rimm). The MoneySend app is available as a free download on BlackBerry’s App World.

The MoneySend service can be used to pay for goods and services like any credit card, but is primarily aimed at person-to-person exchanges through a transaction on the BlackBerry (s rimm). Say you want to pay your babysitter and you both use MoneySend — just tap a few keys on your phone and the money is instantly transferred. Payments can be received via a simple text message, and the MoneySend app can be used to request payments from those who owe the customer money. MasterCard will really be onto something when they can make folks pay customers back, not just request payments.

With 270 million smartphones expected to ship this year alone, mobile payments are a huge looming business opportunity as consumers look for easier ways to conduct business from the phone. The opportunity is large enough that even Apple (s aapl) is looking at getting into the mobile payment business. We’ll be hearing more from these competing services, as Geoff Iddison of MasterCard and Osama Bedier of PayPal will be speaking on the mobile payments space at our Mobilize conference taking place this month.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): A Mobile Payments Glossary