eBay announced earlier today that it has agreed to acquire Zong, a leading provider of payments through mobile carrier billing, for total consideration of approximately $240 million in cash. Zong leverages connections with more than 250 mobile network operators around the world, offering localized, secure and easy-to-use payments capabilities for digital goods and services in 21 languages and 45 countries. Combined with PayPal’s leading global payment platform serving 100 million active accounts worldwide, the company expects that Zong will add complementary technology and talent that help strengthen PayPal’s leadership position in mobile payments and digital goods. From a strategic integration perspective I see why eBay made this purchase but am I the only person that wouldn’t want to charge things directly to my mobile carrier bill, I mean Verizon already fleeces me for enough.
Zong allows consumers to easily pay for purchases from their mobile phones or computers through direct carrier billing. Consumers simply enter their mobile phone numbers. Then, in a matter of seconds, Zong verifies that number and clears the payment on the customer’s existing wireless service account. With Zong, PayPal will have greater ability to offer consumers even more choices in how they want to pay – virtually anytime, anywhere. Both Zong and PayPal help to enable digital goods merchants to increase conversion, because they offer a faster, easier way for consumers to pay without leaving the merchant’s site.