Online marketplace eBay, which already owns PayPal, has now agreed to acquire California-based mobile payment service Zong for around $240 million. Zong offers ‘direct carrier billing’, enabling consumers to pay for purchases using their mobile phone number. The appropriate payment amount is then added to the customer’s mobile account.
Zong currently works with more than 250 mobile network operators in 45 countries, offering services to a number of major social networking sites including Facebook. Its technology will enable PayPal to give consumers even more choices about how they want to pay.
Scott Thompson, president of PayPal, said “Commerce is changing. With mobile phones, we walk around with a mall in our pockets. 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.”
PayPal has previously said it expects to transact more than $3 billion in mobile payments this year.
[PayPal blog; Zong blog]