New Orleans introduces Mardis Gras donations via PayPal Mobile

New Orleans introduces Mardis Gras donations via PayPal Mobile

Revellers attending this year's Mardis Gras fesitval in New Orleans will be able to use their mobile phones to make charity donations to the city via PayPal's text-based mobile payment service.

Under a deal signed by PayPal, the city of New Orleans and MediaBuys - which is responsible for all advertising at the Madis Gras - festival goers will be able to use PayPal's m-payments service to donate funds to a 'city services fund' which has been created to offset event-related costs and help re-build the city's infrastructure following Hurricane Katrina.

As of 8 Februrary - the first day of the carnival - PayPal account holders will be able to make a donation to the fund by sending a text message containing a code. PayPal's automated system then texts the user back and prompts them to enter their PIN code to verify their identity and the transaction.

Donors can also give money online using their PayPal accounts via a special portal that will be added to the City of New Orlean's Web site.

Commenting on the service, MediaBuys CEO Chick Ciccarelli, says: "With millions of accounts worldwide, even a one dollar donation through PayPal could help fund Mardi Gras and support the city of New Orleans."

PayPal Mobile was launched in the US last year and features a 'text to give' service that account holders can use to donate to charities such as Amnesty International and Unicef.

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