eBay pushes ahead on mobile payments with Zong acquisition

eBay completes its deal to buy out Zong, blazing its trail to simplified mobile payments around the world.

The buzz over mobile payments has died down a bit during the lazy summer months, but eBay shows no signs of slowing its own initiatives in this field.

The online auction site has bought up Zong, a startup that focuses on "frictionless" mobile payments that go directly to mobile carrier billing statements.

Zong will be incorporated to compliment eBay's subsidiary, Paypal, as Zong already has connections with over 250 mobile network operators worldwide in 45 countries and 21 languages.

The technology enables customers to enter their mobile phone numbers, wait a few seconds for verification so that the payments for digital goods and services can clear and then be billed to users' wireless provider accounts.

The deal, first announced in July, closed on Thursday. eBay paid approximately $240 million to take over the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company.

In April, eBay pushed forward into mobile commerce with the acquisition of WHERE, a Boston-based location media and ad network company that developed an app for finding local business listings and daily deals.

Then in July, PayPal promised support for near field communications (NFC), enabling peer-to-peer mobile payments. PayPal is expected to process over $3 billion in mobile payments by the end of 2011.

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