PayForIt, the new payment scheme backed by the UK’s five mobile network operators, has gone live.

The system began operating on 1 September, offering a standardised way for content providers to process payments from customers on different networks.

It enables consumers to purchase content costing less than £10, including tickets, ringtones and games, from providers such as Multimap, I-play and Gameloft.

Mobile Data Assocation chairman Mike Short told the BBC that PayForIt presented an alternative to other systems such as premium rate SMS:

“It’s for those customers who have not felt comfortable with mobile transactions or payments.

“It’s about opening up the micro payment choices, but it’s not a total cash replacement.”

Using the system, a purchaser clicks on the PayForIt link to visit an authorisation page where they can complete payments. The amount is then added to their bill or deducted from their balance.

Meanwhile, a patent application for an SMS payment solution from Google was published last week.

Inevitably fuelling more rumours that the web giant is looking to launch a mobile device or operating system, the application covers:

“A computer-implemented method of effectuating a payment, comprising: receiving at a computer server system a text message from a payor containing a payment request comprising a payment amount sent by a payor device operating independently of the computer server system; debiting a payor account for an amount corresponding to the amount of the payment request; and crediting a payee account that is independent of the computer server system.”