eBay to acquire Zong; bolsters global mobile payments strategy

eBay to acquire Zong; bolsters global mobile payments strategy

Summary: EBay will acquire mobile payments provider Zong for $240 million in cash in an attempt to shore up its ability to process payments for digital goods.

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EBay announced on Thursday that it will acquire mobile payments provider Zong for $240 million in cash in an attempt to shore up its ability to process payments for digital goods.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Zong, which specializes in processing payments through mobile carrier billing, counts more than 250 mobile network operators around the world -- 21 languages, 45 countries -- as partners.

Its service specifically allows consumers to pay for purchases via a mobile phone or computer through direct carrier billing: enter a mobile phone number, send a payment, with verification and account synchronization en route.

EBay of course owns PayPal, already a top global payment platform in its own right with a portfolio of more than 100 million accounts.

Combining the two reinforces the company's lead in the sector as others -- including Visa and Mastercard -- vie for parts of the rapidly growing business.

The ultimate goal: make sure there's a solution anywhere a customer feels the impulse to pay for something.

As smartphones and other digital technologies open up these opportunities -- there are more than 4 billion mobile phone owners worldwide -- it's an industry race to plug the gaps.

Topics: Banking, E-Commerce, Enterprise Software, Mobility

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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