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eBay acquires mobile payments specialist Zong for $240 million

eBay acquires mobile payments specialist Zong for $240 million
When Zong launched its one-click payment solution for Android back in June 2010, the company was just one of a number of independent outfits taking on larger players in the mobile payments field like Mastercard and PayPal.

Now, the company's technology is set to be incorporated into PayPal, thanks to a $240 million acquisition by its parent company eBay.

Payment power

That's exactly the angle eBay is highlighting, pointing to Zong's connections with more than 250 operators in 45 countries across the globe, and saying the technology will  "help strengthen PayPal’s leadership position" in the mobile payments market.

"With mobile phones, we walk around with a mall in our pockets," added PayPal president Scott Thompson.

"PayPal helps to make money work better for customers in this new commerce reality – no matter how they want to pay or what device they’re using.

"We believe that Zong will strengthen this value by helping us reach the more than 4 billion people who have mobile phones, giving them more choice and security when they pay."

Getting carried away

Zong's strength is that it allows consumers to pay for purchases from either their phone or PC through direct carrier billing. Whatever the product or service, users simply enter their phone number to add the cost to their bill.

It's not been made clear exactly how Zong's approach will fit in with PayPal's current model – or even if the Zong name will survive the transition – but eBay has stated the purchase will expand the payment options PayPal can offer consumers.

"Our customers love the convenience of paying with their mobile numbers – a number they know by heart, and a device that they always have with them," said Zong CEO David Marcus.

"We look forward to extending our services to PayPal's more than 9 million merchants around the world. And we’re committed to working with carriers and merchants to help them drive more sales across devices."

[source: BusinessWire]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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