Google is planning a new mobile payment scheme where mobile phone users pay for goods and services with a simple text message.

A patent application for Google's Gpay text message payment system has just been published by the US Patent Office. The patent application for the Google Gpay system describes a service where mobile users signed up to the system can receive or make payments to each other direct from a handset using text messages.

Gpay users will also be able to pay for items in stores or buy from vending machines using the payment system.

The application was originally filed in February 2006. It's one of many mobile-based micro-payment systems that have been developed to facilitate "mobile wallet"-style transactions. However, with the Google brand and financial muscle behind it, the Gpay system could soon be more than simply a nice idea keeping the US patent office busy.

Meanwhile, in the UK, mobile operators have today switched on a new mobile payment system called PayForIt which enables users to make payments of up to £10 with their phones.