Like it or loathe it, PayPal has revolutionised online commerce for small and large traders alike, so it's no great surprise to see something similar come to the humble mobile phone.

The new phone payment system, which begins later this month for users of Japan's NTT DoCoMo network, allows individuals to exchange money through each other's phone numbers.

Email notification

Anyone sending money simply logs onto a special DoCoMo mobile website and types in the number of the recipient and the amount, up to ¥20,000 (£128).

After that, the receiver gets an email allowing them to either credit the funds to their own phone bill or deposit them in a bank account. The payer has the amount charged to their own monthly bill.

Avoiding fees

As with PayPal, there are small fees involved, but the recipient can avoid them if they use a DoCoMo partner bank or choose to put the money on their DoCoMo bill.

With a monthly receiving limit of ¥200,000 (£1,275), the new service seems ideal for the sale of goods or services on a personal level.